Saturday, November 28, 2009
The Peacock spider or Gliding spider (Maratus volans) is a species of jumping spider. The red, blue and black colored males have flap-like extensions of the abdomen with white hairs that can be folded down.
They are used for display during mating the male raises his abdomen, then expands and raises the flaps so that the abdomen forms a white-fringed, circular field of color. The species, and indeed the whole genus Maratus have been compared to peacocks in this respect.
The third pair of legs is also raised for display, showing a brush of black hairs and white tips. While approaching the female, the male will then vibrate raised legs and tail, and dance from side to side.
I found out about these fascinating things not too long ago and I wanted to find out more about them naturally so here you go.
Apparently they're tiny little things. I would like to see these in person though.
Wednesday, November 25, 2009
Friday, November 13, 2009
Tuesday, November 10, 2009
Monday, November 09, 2009
Sometimes referred to as “land lobsters” or “walking sausages,” the Lord Howe stick insect is considered the rarest insect in the world.
Believed extinct since 1930 after being wiped off its only known native habitat on Lord Howe Island, the enormous insect was rediscovered in 2001 when fewer than 30 individuals were found living underneath a single shrub on the small islet of Ball's Pyramid, the world's tallest and most isolated sea stack.
I certainly hope that they'll be able to make a comeback. Photo and info from Mother Nature Network.
Sunday, November 08, 2009
The forest bug (Pentatoma rufipes) is a species of shield bug in the family Pentatomidae It is a common and widespread species found in forests and woodlands worldwide. It is shiny dark brown with red-orange markings on its body and bright orange legs. It is shaped like an escutcheon-type shield, flat, and about 14 mm in length. Its distinguishing characteristic is a pair of plates extending forward from the shoulders at the front of its dorsal thorax.
The forest bug's main food source is any of several species of oak. It is a sap-feeder and uses piercing mouthparts to withdraw the liquid. It can also be found on other species of deciduous trees. The forest bug is also an agricutural and garden pest, as it will not hesitate to feed on fruit and nut trees. Occasionally it will consume other insects.
Adults lay eggs during the summer in the cracks of tree bark, and the larvae hatch the following spring.
Thursday, November 05, 2009
The bug feeds on various broadleaved woody plants. Occasionally it sucks on dead insects. In late spring the female sticks around 40 eggs in lines or discs on different parts of plants. The young bugs which hatch vary in colour and are flightless. Wing stumps are only recognisable after the third nymph stage. To protect against predators, young bugs have stink glands on their back; in the case of adults, these are to be found on the underside of the thorax. If threatened, a strong-smelling secretion is released. They are not good fliers; their sluggish flight makes loud humming noises.
This species displays diurnal, thermophilic activity. As with most Pentatomidae, it produces only one generation per year. It likes to overwinter on walls covered with ivy. In its search for suitable winter quarters (splits and cracks) it often unwittingly finds its way into houses.
This species produces a plethora of eggs when disturbed in its habitat. Angering or threatening the bug produces an off white colored secretion which can be harmful if swallowed. The chemicals in the secretion allow the eggs to continue to fertilize in any environment, even those which are highly acidic/basic. To prevent these excretions, this bug should not be killed by any means.
This is good to know if I ever go to Europe. See mom? Some bugs shouldn't be killed. XD
Sunday, November 01, 2009
The name of the Blue Bug is very well chosen. For usually it is greenish blue metallic. Like so many other animals with metallic colouring, the colour may vary. In this case it may be greenish, copperlike, blue or lilac. This depends on the reflection of the light. But usually the Blue Bug doesn't show a lot of variation in colouring. The larvae are very different. They are black with patches of red on the abdomen. Adult Blue Bugs are capable of flying, but rarely do so. Reaching a length of 5 to 8mm, this is our smallest Shield Bug. Often it isn't even noticed, because of the size and the reclusive conduct.
The first Blue Bug larvae are usually seen in late spring. Like the adults they suck on insect larvae, as well as on plants. In our garden they hunt for the larvae of Altica oleracea mainly. That is a small, blueish Leaf Beetle that lives on our Primroses in great numbers. The Blue Bug will not visit all gardens, though, for it loves heaths, moors and the edges of forests and is only found nearby such areas.
~ Garden Safari
I think they are beautiful. I never thought that there were blue shield bugs but if they're blue lady bugs then I think that anything is possible.
It's just a matter of finding out about it. Enjoy Photo not mine obviously. Copy right infringement not intended.