Category Archives: arthropods

Fossilized trilobites preserved parading in line. But why did they do this?

A new paper in Nature by Jean Vannier et al. reports the unusual finding of a parade of trilobites—a group of the ancient arthropods—apparently killed and fossilized while walking in tandem, like an invertebrate conga line. They’re 480 million years old, from the Lower Ordovician, and were found in Morocco. (The paper can be seen […]

True facts about the Sand Bubbler Crab

Reader Vampyricon called my attention to this video about a crab unknown to me: the sand bubbler crab. It eats sand, extracts the organic material, and then spits out the sand in a series of little balls. Moreover, as Wikipedia notes, In each burrow, the crab waits out the high tide in a bubble of […]

Readers’ wildlife photos

Tony Eales from Brisbane sent us some lovely photos of arthopods, including some great examples of mimicry and camouflage (“crypsis”). Tony’s captions are indented. Some mimicry and a few other random arthropods. Three shots of a wraparound spider, Dolophones sp. These are small, only about 8mm across and fairly common, but rarely seen for obvious reasons. […]

Readers’ wildlife photos

Today Mark Sturtevant gives us a batch of lovely insect and arthropod photos from Hawaii. Mark’s notes are indented: Over a year ago, my family and I visited Maui for a ten-day vacation. I of course brought my camera and I used every opportunity to photograph arthropods. We spent several days in Kihei, which is […]

Readers’ wildlife photos

Tony Eales of Australia sent some diverse but inclusive photos, including insects, plants, fungi, mammals, and arachnids (mites). His notes are indented: A more or less random grab bag of images. First is the law of the jungle in my back yard. One of our native crab spiders Boomerangia dimidiata captured a soldier fly Odontomyia sp. Next is […]

Readers’ wildlife photos

Thanks to the readers who have sent me photos in response to my plea. I still need other ones, though, so send in your good photos—and thanks! Today’s photos come from Mark Sturtevant, who says, “The pictures tell a story that is only a tiny bit sad.” His narrative is indented:  I have always been […]

Readers’ wildlife photos

My photo tank is about half full, which means that I’ll importune you once again to send in your good wildlife photos. Today’s contribution comes from Mark Sturtevant, crack arthropod photographer. His notes are indented: The small moths in the first two pictures at first seemed too plain to bother with photographing, but they turned […]

Readers’ wildlife photos

We have some photos and a story from reader Olen Rambow. His text is indented: Attached are some wildlife photos taken in Shenandoah National Park in Virginia. I believe the butterfly is a female Eastern Tiger Swallowtail (Papilio glaucus), and the moth is a Royal Walnut Moth (Citheronia regalis). I was not able to identify […]

You have mites on your face

As you sit there reading this, thousands of mites are living on your face, burrowed into the follicles of your facial hair and the pores around your eyes, nose, and mouth. As the NPR article below shows (click on second screenshot), every human is colonized by “eyelash mites”, members of the subphylum Chelicerata—yes, relatives of […]

Readers’ wildlife photos

While sitting at the airport, I just received a few animal photos from my old friend Peter, who once spent several years in Africa. It’s an unusual gathering of springtails in New England. Peter’s notes are indented: This is a large group of Collembola crossing a dirt road in New Hampshire. I estimate the arc […]