Tag Archives: weird insects

The naming of the Spiny’s!

21 Sep

So, quick post to update everyone on what I decided to call my three gorgeous Spiny Leaf’s. I’d like to thank everyone who had suggestions, either here or on Facebook, but I’ve decided on the following:


This beautiful girl will be called Lucy. Partly because my daughter Charlie came up with it on her own and also, to pay homage to an Aunt of mine (yes, named Lucy) who is the polar opposite of me when it comes to insects.  So, what’s funnier than naming one after her?


This guy will be named Ricky. And for those of you old enough, you’ll know why. But as a funny aside, my uncle, who is married to my Aunt Lucy, is also named Rick! Funny, huh?


And, last but not least, this guy shall be named Groot.  Thanks again to my pal Michael on this suggestion. If you’ve seen the movie Guardians of the Universe, this choice will be a Keanu Reeves ‘whoaaaa’ moment.

So, there you have them.  All named and feeding happily on eucalypts in their home in my office.  And besides probably being annoyed with me for wanting to hold them a hundred times a day, they seem to be relaxing into their new space.

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.**

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?


Mantids by Scott Cromwell

13 Jul

Alright, so today I get to show you some more of those amazing Scott Cromwell mantis photos. I thought you’d like to see more of his Orchid mantis work, but I’ve also added in a few pictures of other types of mantids that you may not have ever seen or heard of. My personal favourites are the Devil’s Flower mantis (otherwise known as Idolomantis diabolica-how cool is that name?) and the Ghost mantis.

But first, a quick word from Scott Cromwell, the man behind these (and many other) amazing photos.

“I have been raising mantids for two years [and] been obsessed with photography for about a dozen. I’ve been interested in shooting macro most of that time and, of course, shooting my dogs. Getting my older Labrador as a puppy is what got me started in photography more than anything.”

You can check out these and many more unbelievable shots on either Scott’s Flickr site HERE or check out his photography site at:


**If you are looking for prints of these, or any other of Scott’s photos, you can contact him via the above website.**

Now, for some more amazing Orchid mantis pictures.

Orchid mantis portrait

Orchid mantis portrait

Orchid on orchid

Orchid on orchid

Orchid mantis couple

Orchid mantis couple

Orchid mantis after molt

Orchid mantis after molt

Now for a few more pictures of some of the most unique insects you’ll ever see…I mean, besides the Orchids.

The Violin mantis

Violin mantis

Violin mantis

The Spiny Flower mantis

Spiny Flower mantis

Spiny Flower mantis

The Ghost mantis

Ghost mantis

Ghost mantis

Devil’s Flower mantis portrait

Idolomantis diabolica-Devil's Flower mantis

Idolomantis diabolica-Devil’s Flower mantis

Devil’s Flower mantis’ threat pose.

Devil's Flower mantis threat pose

Devil’s Flower mantis threat pose

All photos are property of Scott Cromwell and under copyright.

They cannot be used, copied or downloaded without permission from the artist.






What is it?

9 Jul

Now, we’ve all seen these little guys.  But what exactly are they?

As always, type your guesses in the comments section below and remember, Googling is cheating. 😉


What is it?

26 May

Here we go for another round of, What is it?

This picture was sent to me by a reader named Nazmi in the hopes that I could pinpoint what it was.  Normally I am pretty good at narrowing things down but this one had me Stumped.  (Notice the capital ‘s’?)  I couldn’t find a thing.  I did run across a couple of pictures like it but the people didn’t tag it or name it.

So, I enlarged the pic, looked at it from every angle, visited every insect site on the net (obviously not every one), asked the reader for more photos, which they obliged AND sent me a great video as well…and nothing.  Not even a link to a cousin.  So, I’m going to throw it out there that I don’t think any of you can even come close to figuring this one out.  No cheating and no asking someone with a degree.  Which honestly, is probably the only way you’ll find out.

I’ll just end this by saying that I did find out what it was thanks to a fabulous entomologist by the name of Ted Macrae and oddly enough, the reader himself ended up finding even more information.  But I will share that with you all tomorrow.

So, good luck!

reader photo 1

Photo credit: Nazmi Haris

What is it?

3 Feb

Any guesses? Find out tomorrow. As always, no cheating!

colorful katydid