Archive | September, 2013

We’re getting a makeover!

27 Sep

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First, I apologize for the absence.  I’ve got a few things brewing behind the scenes and they’re taking longer than expected.  I planned on only a couple of days away but as these things usually go (you know, expecting others to read your mind) it may be a couple more.  I’m no expert at the things I need done so I’ve had to enlist the help of skilled computer magicians.

In the meantime, you can enjoy this video I made of all of my pictures from the Byfield Rainforest…

Or you can caption this picture of my daughter Sarah with a bread roll around her wrist:

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Or you can just stare in amazement/fear/shock/wonder at this picture of a huntsman spider as big as my hand…yes, that’s my hand. grey huntsman

But whatever you choose, please choose to check back soon to see the new and improved Wannabe Entomologist!!

Entomology Quiz

21 Sep

Here’s a reblog of the Entomology quiz. How many can you get right?

Wannabe Entomologist

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So, I thought it would be fun to put together a little quiz for you.  Some of these answers I knew but even with my bucketfuls of curiosity about all things creepy crawly, some of these had me stumped.  So, how many will you get right? (Googling the answers is not allowed)

1. Entomology is the study of:

     a.  insects and animals

     b. just insects

     c. just animals

     d. entertainment

2. A spider is:

     a. an insect

     b. an arachnid

     c. both

     d. scary

3. Most grasshoppers make noise by:

     a. snapping their hindwings rapidly

     b. rubbing their abdomen against their wings

     c. rubbing the pegs on their back legs together

     d. Both a and c

4. The Periodical Cicadas spend how many years underground before emerging? 

     a. 3-5

     b. 7

     c. 13-17

     d. 21

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Reader Photos-Butterfly Chrysalis

19 Sep

So, I guess being the person in charge of this blog, I’m not supposed to be anything but professional and be happy that people (besides me) are finding really cool things. Well, let me just say that I lived in a rainforest, a stinking rainforest, for nearly a year and while I got some really awesome shots and interactions with some really awesome things, these reader photos are bringing out the green eyed monster.

First, I missed the cicada coming out of its exoskeleton, as you may have seen in THIS post. But now a friend sends me pictures from her friend who was able to photograph a butterfly’s chrysalis!

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A couple of interesting facts on this subject:
*Butterflies do not make cocoons, only moths do. Butterflies form something called a chrysalis.
*Depending on the temperature, a butterfly will usually emerge around ten to fourteen days on average.
*The chrysalis is actually made up of the last skin shed by the caterpillar.
*A butterfly lives around 2-4 weeks.

These pictures were taken by Paula in Yeppoon. I’m not sure exactly what type of butterfly this belongs to (I did try to find out) but isn’t it magnificent? Looks like something out of a movie. Nature is just amazing! I’ve been assured of follow up photos, if in fact they can get them, so stay tuned!

In the meantime, check out this time-lapsed video of a monarch emerging from its chrysalis. Click HERE.

Giant Green Slantface Grasshopper

17 Sep

A grasshopper walks into a bar. The bartender says, “Why the long face?”

I guess I jumped the gun a bit on the post where I said that grasshoppers were a bit boring and don’t vary much in appearance. Now, I can’t say that I’ve seen this much variation in grasshoppers…

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Female Mountain Katydid

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Mottled Katydid

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Green Leaf Katydid

But, I did get the awesome chance to hold the not-so-ordinary looking, but accurately titled grasshopper, the Giant Green Slantface.

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Apparently these guys are not the best fliers or jumpers and can usually be found camouflaging themselves with long grass. I found this guy in the dog’s water dish. Well, actually my husband (who had been sitting on the couch for a while) very nonchalantly mentioned that there was a “praying mantis” in the dog’s water dish. Have I taught him nothing? A. Fish it out B. not even close to a praying mantis. It’s like he doesn’t listen or something, hmmm. Do men do that?

So, here it is, my beautiful slant faced friend who found a new home and camouflage in the large mock orange bush beside the house until his wings dried. Don’t you love that face?? Sorry about the photo quality, he was walking all over my hand. Maybe he wasn’t having a good antennae day.

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So, what was it?

15 Sep

So, on the edge of your seat, right? Sorry for the delay in the follow up post. My shoulder/back decided it was tired of being not in pain and I pulled a muscle while saving an old lady from drowning laying the baby down for a nap. I know, horrible. But in my defence, I’m old(er) and he’s a huge baby.

But, now that I can sit normally for longer than two minutes I will let you out of your misery and tell you what that crazy u-shaped, ricey thingy was.

It is a cluster of Blue Eyed Lace Wing eggs!! Next question, what’s a lacewing, right?

This is a lacewing…

Now, before you go saying, “But Lisa, isn’t that a Dragonfly,” and me and all the other bug nerds smack you for not paying attention, let me point out that unlike dragonflies, lacewings fold their wings in a tent shape, have antennae, are in the Order Neuroptera. And last I checked, not one person had a lacewing tattooed on their person.

That little cluster of rice looking things are actually the eggs. Isn’t is so neat? Every other one goes sideways and it’s in the perfect shape of a ‘u’. I think it’s safe to say that lacewings are a bit <whispers> OCD.

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But one thing the larvae are not, is cute. Get a hold of these ugly babies.

Makes your head itch just looking at them, doesn’t it? But no need to worry, these ugly ducklings want nothing to do with your beautiful coiffure. They’re hunters of other small insects, like those stinking aphids eating up my tomato plant leaves. My ladybugs are either outnumbered or lazy.

So, the next time you see a cluster of u-shaped rice you’ll know what it is. And before I go, I know you’ve probably all seen these from time to time…

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I see them a lot on screen doors and lately, clothes pins! These are also lacewing eggs. But another species of lacewing, probably more like this guy…

Now, I do have both green lacewings and their eggs around my house but when I went to get pictures today, my battery was flat. It was like the second time that’s ever happened. The first time was during an event where I was the only photographer and not only did my battery die, I forgot to bring the charger. Yeah.

So, now it’s your turn. Can you find any lacewing eggs around your house?

What is it?

12 Sep

I took this picture while living in Byfield.  I knew it had to be something insect related, or aliens were leaving clues and I was not smart enough to figure it out…one of the two. I apologize for the quality of the picture, it was up high and I’m not.

Anyway, you pro-buggers out there won’t have any problem with this and it was easy enough for me to find out.  So, I ask that you keep hush-hush and let the amateurs give it a go.  Casey Mae, do you know?  No Googling, please, just give it a guess.   The winner gets a mention and a jar of my delish homemade salsa next time you’re in Australia.  Until then, I’ll take a picture of myself eating it, for you.  You’re welcome.

Sooo, what is it?

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Mantis in Macro

11 Sep

Alright, after this post I promise to get back to doing informative ones.  I’m just having so much fun with my new macro that it’s hard for me to want to do anything but share some of the shots.  Seriously, you should thank the big man upstairs this is an entomology blog because if you could see all the things I’m taking macro pictures of…  (Hint: I never even knew a belly button could hold that much lint!)

I’m kidding…or am I?

Anyway, I wanted to share some macro mantis pictures with you since it seems to be the season for them.  I had one that I thought was going to be the best that was of the mantis’ antennae blowing in the wind and it looked like his head was leaning back enjoying it.  But wouldn’t you know, the one photo I wanted to turn out was blurry.  To all my photog friends, I promise to study more on the macro thang soon.  But to the amateur eye, these are pretty boss.  Oh yea…

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Seriously, look at the eye ball!  They watch you.

Seriously, look at the eye ball! They watch you.

Alright, here’s the blurry “blowing in the wind” one. It stinks but I still find it funny.

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And I’ll leave you on a high note.  Check this one out…BAM!

Bath time.

Bath time.