Tag Archives: insects

Rhinoceros beetle! 

10 Nov

Found this poor guy trapped amongst some debris at a gas station. Surrounded by a concrete jungle, he most likely wouldn’t have survived. Took him home and fed him and will release in the bush. ​He was a little feisty, but calmed after we got him home. 

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Sub-adult Goliath stick insect

9 Oct

Hey everyone! Just wanted to share a video of me holding (just one of) my beautiful sub-adult female Goliath stick insects. These gals will get quite a fair bit larger after their next molt, and be a beautiful green! 

Holding my Holconia immanis huntsman

22 Jul

Hello all!

Life’s been absolutely crazy lately, between work, school and kids, and unfortunately that leaves little time for much else.  But I really wanted to share my video with you of me FINALLY holding my beautiful Cuddles, the Holconia immanis (or Banded) huntsman.  I’ve had her for a couple of years now, and before she passes, I wanted a chance to hold her.  I know to you arachnaphobes out there, that sounds absolutely insane.

But I love spiders, especially large ones (not the deadly ones exactly), and I guess I built up my confidence holding my Nephila species Golden Orbs.  Neither species are known to be aggressive, though they are both venomous (although they don’t possess ‘medically significant’ venom), and have very large fangs that are not a problem to see.

I started slowly, with coaxing her onto the lid of a container where she nearly walked onto my hand.  Some of you long-time readers may remember I was bitten by a large huntsman (same species) back when I lived in Byfield Rainforest.  And yes, I remember the pain. So, although I really, really wanted to hold her, I prepared myself for the worst…just in case. A few tries later and I was able to get the following video.  Enjoy!

 

Common Crow butterfly chrysalis

9 Mar

Recently I found a Common Crow (Euploea core) caterpillar.

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Euploea core caterpillar

I decided to track the progress of the amazing chrysalis they make. A beautiful, golden metallic colour, that looks more like a piece of jewelry than anything else.

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Euploea core chrysalis

Progess above from Day 1 to about Day 9.

And finally, a beautiful Common Crow butterfly emerges.

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Cotton Harliequin Bugs

5 Mar

Every year at this time, the flame trees at my girls’ school just erupts in hundreds of Cotton Harlequin Bugs (Tectocoris diopthalmus). The flame trees (Brachychiton sp.) have these fuzzy seed pods, that contain urticating  hairs all over them which can cause itching to whoever touches them.  The insects are fine with them however, with the nymphs tending to congregate inside the seed pods at times.  The mothers of this species lay eggs around a branch, and guards the eggs until they hatch.  The young will usually cluster together as a way of defense against predators-powers in numbers when you’re a small stink bug. When disturbed they can emit a foul odor (I think it rather smells like a mild cleaner), which in turn hopefully make the predator think they are inedible. 20160304_084034

Over the course of a few weeks, the nymphs will undergo a series of molts (shedding exoskeleton) to grow, and will change colour in the process.  The newly hatched nymphs are a bright red, then turning to greens and blues in consecutive molts, and finally settling on a bright orange in adulthood.  Males can also be orange and red but tend to have brighter spots of blue and green on them, where the females are just orange with sometimes no spots, and sometimes with very muted coloured spots.

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Nymphs at various stages of growth.

 

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Male, female and nymph Cotton Harlequin bugs on seed pod.

I’ll be doing a follow up post on these, because the other day for the first time, I noticed two separate clusters of nymphs, on different seed pods.  They were the same size, but one cluster were the red ones you see above, the other group were all green/blue.  I’ve never noticed this before so I’m thinking perhaps the females and males cluster together.  And that means the picture of the red ones above would be all female.  I can’t find information on this, and up to now have read and assumed all nymphs resembled each other until adulthood.  I didn’t have my camera but will be getting a picture soon of the difference.

Giant Waterbug/Toe Biter

15 Jan

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Like my new hair accessory? Now, before anyone goes warning me about this bad boy “biting” me, I’ll let you know it’s dead. I found it that way. And if you don’t know what this beautiful creature is, it’s the Giant Water Bug (Lethocerus insulanus). Or more commonly known as the Toe Biter, in many parts of the world.

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These guys feed in water (although they can fly)on small fish, tadpoles and your toes, should you step in the water. Just kidding…sort of. 

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As you can see in the picture, their front legs have a small hook like claw, helpful when pulling in prey. They feed (put simply) by sticking their mouthpart, known as a rostrum, into their prey,  injecting a saliva that helps liquify it, and then sucking it up.

And I’ve heard rumor that a piercing from one of these guys is quite painful. But aren’t they stunning to look at?

Orb Spider (Nephila maculata) on my face video going viral!

1 Nov

Well, recently I did a video of my Wuelfing stick insect (juvenile) walking around on my head.  It got such a crazy response from my friends, I decided to up the ante.  Why not put my beautiful orb spider, Coraline, on my head and really freak people out?  (I blame my love for Stephen King for this love of making people’s skin crawl.) As many of you may not know, this spider, despite appearances, is actually a very docile creature.  They’re not aggressive and not ready biters, although they are venomous and fully capable of biting.  But, their venom is not considered medically significant, like say a Redback.

So, I posted this video to YouTube so I could share it with my friends on Facebook.  Then I posted it on Reddit.  Somewhere in there, it went viral…ish.  Right now it’s sitting at just under 73,000 views.   I’ve been interviewed by the local news station, local newspaper, the story has been run on everything from The Daily Mail to MTV.com.  I’m not sure how these phenomenons happen, but it’s pretty crazy that it’s my silly mug on the viral video of the minute.

So, here’s a look at the video that’s causing such a stir.  ***Remember, these spiders are venomous and should not be handled by anyone not experienced with insect and spider handling.***