Archive | August, 2014

Cotton Harlequin Bug

28 Aug

Just a quick post to share some pictures I was able to get of some of the beautiful Cotton Harlequin bugs that are so abundant lately.



Superhero Insects and Animals

20 Aug

We all know the story of Spiderman. Well, I don’t know every detail (don’t tell the hubby) but I know that he got super powers after being bitten by a genetically modified spider…or something.

Anyway, it got me thinking, do insects, spiders and some animals really have super powers? Well, apparently some do.

Can you match the ‘superpower’ to the ‘superhero’?


1. Pulls 1,141x its own body weight.
2. Uses a form of morse code communication. 
3. Use photosynthesis for energy.
4. Resistant to high level radiation.
5. Can jump 100x body length.
6. Can fly 20 miles per hour.
7. Can glow in the dark.
8. Can beat its wings 1,046x per second.
9. Run at 50 body lengths per second.
10. Can convert their prey into zombies.


Now, match the above qualities with the super creature.

A. Locust
B. Wasp rider
C. Flea
D. Fireflies
E. Cockroach
F. Parasitic wasp
G. Pea aphid
H. Dung beetle
I. Scorpion
J. Species of midge


As always, answer below in comments or on facebook. 

Photo credits:

Quiz answers and bug nerd shout outs

14 Aug

So what were your answers?

















The answers are as follows:

1. F, 2. H, 3. B, 4. G, 5. A, 6. E, 7. C, 8. D

1. Bird-dropping (Death’s head) spider

2. Ladybug (beetle) larvae

3. Rhinoceros beetle larvae

4. Mountain katydid

5. Pollen and nectar feeding katydid

6. Whip spider

7. Early instar of an owfly

8. Giant huntsman on my face

Okay, so maybe you were only able to get #8…I did put it in there for a freebie.  (And in case you think I’m completely crazy, you should know that the huntsman was dead…so I’m only half crazy.)

And don’t feel bad, I did not know 1-7 myself before researching them.  But that’s the fun, isn’t it?

We had a couple of people guess all of them correctly, so a special WE shout out to Marc at entomacrographic and to Drhoz.

**Be sure to click on the above links (1-8) to find out more about the featured creatures.**

(All photos property of Lisa Vankula-Donovan unless otherwise stated.)

Strange Insects — Quiz

11 Aug

Every once in a while, I’ve come across something that just baffles me. (I mean besides why they don’t put more jam in jam doughnuts.) But, without having a background in anything related to entomology, it’s sometimes a challenge to figure out what it is.  See, those experienced in the field can look at a number of things to at least narrow it down to an order.  I’m getting better at it but, as you’ll see, some are just plain confusing.  (But, if you’re a follower of the blog, these might not be that hard 😉 )

Can you guess what is what?









Now, match these letters up to the picture you think belongs with it.

A. Pollen and nectar feeding katydid

B. Rhinoceros beetle larvae

C. Early instar of an owl fly

D. Giant huntsman on my face

E. Whip spider

F. Bird-dropping (Death’s head) spider

G. Mountain Katydid

H. Lady bug (beetle) larvae

Post your answers in the comments below or on Facebook.  Answers will be revealed in tomorrow’s post.  I will announce the person(s) that got the most correct.

*All photos property of Lisa Vankula-Donovan unless otherwise stated.**

So, what was it?

8 Aug

So, did you have a guess?

Now, before I give you the answer, let me explain a few things.  First, the creature (and I’m being careful not to give it away by choosing that word) in the picture is a mimic.  There are two reasons for mimicry (myrmecomorphy); to either fool predators or to fool prey.

Gum Leaf Katydid resemble ants in their early development.


There are four types of mimicry (more on those in a later post) but this particular guy is employing the Batesian Mimicry.  Batesian mimicry is when a there is a resemblance between one insect or spider that is unprotected and palatable (our guy) to another species that is unpalatable and protected (what he is mimicking).

So, what is this guy mimicking?

The Golden black ant.  And not only do they resemble them in appearance, but these guys go so far as to hang out with the ants, undetected!  And here’s how I figured out what it was — they also take their front two legs and wave them around like they’re antennae. and I noticed this guy suddenly walk on his ‘antennae’! What? Wait, let me count those legs…

1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6… 7… 8!

What has eight legs?

Now you’re with me.

(Drum roll, please)

Introducing…the Golden Ant-mimicking Jumping Spider!

golden ant mimic

Yes! A spider.  And when I took him outside to get a better shot, he dropped off the bowl and hung from some web…which I was not able to capture.  Bummer.

To see my personal favourite example of mimicry, check out the post I did on the Bird-dropping Spider.

What is it?

7 Aug

This little guy was found on one of my children’s stuffed toys. As most lovers of all things creepy crawly can attest to, we pretty much know the creatures that share our humble abodes…but this guy was new to me.

I was able to guess it straight away. Can you?


Vine Hawk Moth

6 Aug

Probably one of my favourite types of moth is the Hawk moths. This beautiful specimen is called the Vine Hawk moth. Notice the subtle pink on the inner wings.