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.**
photo credit: SOLENT (www.telegraph.co.uk)
This giant weta (or wetapunga), one of the largest on record, weighing in at 71 grams (2.5oz) was found by adventurer and American researcher, Mark Moffett on New Zealand’s Little Barrier Island. These insects can grow up to 10 centimetres long and have a leg span as wide as 20 centimetres. It’s genus name, Deinacrida, means ‘mighty locust’. Dating back 190 million years, these creatures are in fact insects in the Orthoptera order. The same order as grasshoppers, locusts and crickets.
The thing I love most about entomology is that you never stop learning. Not that I’m even remotely close to having the knowledge of a real entomologist, but there are so many twists and turns when learning about all the wonderful creatures around me.
Now, this little creature was found on the side of the pool in a little puddle of water. Every morning I do my rounds, looking for any leftover visitors from the night before. I always check the pool to make sure no one is in it that shouldn’t be. I’ve acquired a pretty keen eye for spotting something that isn’t just a stray leaf. And this little guy caught my attention.
I would say, at this point in my learning, I’ve seen a lot of different insects and not much surprises me. This guy did. Mainly because I couldn’t even place what type of bug it was. Cricket? Grasshopper? Assassin Bug? Nothing fit.
And since I assumed because of its colour, leg placement and the fact that it had pincers on its face that it probably wasn’t a water bug, I decided to take a chance and instead place it out on a tree branch — where it blended nicely and began to crawl away.
Here’s a second, and best picture I could get, of the little guy’s legs. He/she had three on each side sort of fanning out from a central point, if you will. A little hard to see but take a look.
Alright, so I posted this picture on Facebook (after much research of my own that led nowhere but to more confusion) and a few people made some guesses. I was sure I had it in at least the right class of bugs and after much frustration, decided to bite the bullet and ask an expert.
I won’t tell you yet what it is…just yet. I will do that post tomorrow along with the response I got from a very accommodating and well-informed entomologist from the University of Queensland, Kathy Ebert. And I’m sure you will be just as surprised as I was at the result.