Category Archives: arthropods

Quiz: name that arthropod!

Here’s a tw**t sent by Matthew; your job is to guess what this thing is. At least you should be able to get the order! Answer at 12:30 Chicago time. by Matthew Cobb Found in the MCZ teaching collection with a note reading "holotype! please be careful!" It's certainly unique, but a holotype, this ain't… […]

Readers’ wildlife photos

I’m beginning to get a bit nervous as the photo tank empties, so please remember to send in your good photos, please. Fortunately, I have at least a week’s worth, but remember, I can’t do this without the readers’ help. Mark Sturtevant sent some lovely insect photos, and his notes are indented (don’t miss the […]

Readers’ wildlife photos

Reader Kurt Helf sent some photos and captions (the latter indented): This past spring the family and I went to Destin, FL for my daughter’s last cheerleading competition.  I visited Gulf Islands National Seashore and took the first two snaps. These smooth goose barnacles (Lepas anatifera) had colonized a long piece of wood drifting in the […]

More astounding spiders

Here’s another unbelievable—in terms of both evolution and videography—segment from Attenborough’s BBC Earth. Jumping spiders in the genus Portia are said by Wikipedia to be “remarkable for their intelligent hunting behaviour”, and you won’t deny that after watching this 4-minute video. According to Attenborough, this beast has “three superpowers”. Her speed and intelligence are remarkable! Here’s what […]

A health benefit of cigarettes!: Finches apparently put cigarette butts in their nests to repel ticks

Well, we all know about the deleterious effects of smoking, but it actually has a salubrious effects on some birds—house finches (Haemorhous mexicanus), at least in Mexico City. Mexicans smoke more than do Americans, or so I’ve observed informally in Mexico, so cigarette butts are common. Montserrat Súarez-Rodríguez and a colleague at the Universidad Nacional Autónoma […]

The incredible Darwin’s bark spider

This is hands down one of the finest Attenborough segments I’ve seen. The four-minute video from BBC Earth has incredible photography of Darwin’s bark spider (Caerostris darwini) building its web over a river on a 25-meter-long “bridging line”. Rivers are of course good places to catch insects, as they’re clear conduits through the forest. Here’s some […]

You won’t believe the size of this spider!

Yes, I employed clickbait; my bad! I am not afraid of spiders; in fact, I used to have a collection of about half a dozen tarantulas when I was a graduate student, and would let them walk all over me. (I was never bitten.) They are fascinating creatures and mesmerizing to watch, especially when you […]

Readers’ wildlife photos

Reader Rick Longworth sent some “working biologist” photos; his notes are indented. My daughter Amelia is a veterinarian living in Boise, Idaho. One of her clients is a wildlife biologist studying ferruginous hawks.  He invited her and fiancé Ryan to spend a day helping with his field research work on the ferruginous hawk (Buteo regalis). They […]

Readers’ wildlife photos

Reader Tony Eales from Queensland sent a spider and a beetle, both mimicking ants. His notes are indented. Came across another ant mimicking jumping spider. I seriously thought it was an ant until I got the camera on it. One of the gurus from the Australian Arachnid Photography page reckons it’s Myrmarachne erythrocephala. It’s clearly […]

A spider that mimics a beetle

Matthew Cobb sent me another remarkable case of mimicry, revealed in this tweet: Remember how we talked about ant mimic spiders? Well this jumping spider is a beetle mimic! Photo: G.Anderson — realscientists (@realscientists) May 5, 2017 The link leads to an article on the site that gives this information under the heading […]