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Creature catch up

3 Sep

Some of you may have noticed that I had a bit of a hiatus from blogging.  And although it was hard to find the time to post about the things I was seeing, I never stopped taking pictures.  Life can get busy but when you stop seeing the beauty that’s all around you, it’s time to slow down.  So, my apologies for the absence but here are a few pictures to get you caught up.  And remember, although this is an entomology blog, beauty comes in all shapes and sizes.

 

Shield Bug

Shield Bug

Male and female Rhinoceros beetles

Male and female Rhinoceros beetles

Bee on Mock orange bush

Bee on Mock orange bush

 

DSC_0001

Spangled Drongo

Galahs

Male and female Galahs

First ever close up of a crow

First ever close up of a crow

Female Rhino beetle giving my nose a hug

Female Rhino beetle giving my nose a hug

Red-eye bug nymphs

Red-eye bug nymphs

My brave girl holding a Cotton Harlequin bug

My brave girl holding a Cotton Harlequin bug

Seriously big dragonfly

Seriously big dragonfly

Quiz answers and bug nerd shout outs

14 Aug

So what were your answers?

A.

1.

B.

2.

C.

3.

D.

4.

E.

5.

F.

6.

G.

7.

H.

8,

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?

1.

2.

3.

4.

5.

6.

7.

8.

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.**

Entomology Word of the Week

25 Jan

So, my friend Ted MacRae over at the Beetles in the Bush blog, did a fascinating (and by fascinating I mean, very in-depth, “keep your scientific dictionary right beside you”) post on a species of click beetle.   And although I sometimes feel like an imposter while reading his blog, around the scientific words he successfully weaves in excitement about whatever his subject might be (see Beetles) that keeps you coming back for more.

To make a long story short, I have some click beetles of my own at my house.  You probably do too.   We’ve all seen them; those long, black beetles that ‘pop’ whenever you pick them up, in order to escape capture.  But I have also noticed that a click beetle that seemed fine when I picked it up, suddenly has its legs pulled in in the familiar death pose.

And so, this brings me to today’s word, Thanatosis.  

Thanatosis is when an insect plays dead in order to avoid predators.  Many animals do it too — opossums, some species of brown snake, some fish.  Even teenagers sometimes do it when faced with angry parents.  But in the insect world, there are quite a few species that do this.   Some species of beetle, ant, spider (arachnids), grasshopper, damselfy and bee all do it.  I’ve even noticed it in many species of moth.

So, today’s challenge is for you to use ‘thanatosis’ correctly in a conversation.  Let me know how you go in the comments below!

Also, for a great read on click beetles, how they click and thanatosis, visit Ted’s blog HERE.