Inquiries, Requests, and a Place to Spill Your GutsSubmissions I am Ashley. This is my personal blog. If you want just marine biology, go here. I love the world; I really don't like people. I balance all this animosity towards the human race with being an almost always kind and gentle being to all creatures. I'm highly introverted and nature is my primary escape from people. Creepy-crawly-slimy things are my favorites. Dinosaurs are fantastic. Future marine biologist; presently an amateur entomologist, ichthyologist, artist, biologist, and writer. Literature, video game, and music connoisseur. I'm so full of passion for the world that it hurts. I think a lot, I laugh a lot, I love a lot. Almost none of the photos are mine and only some of the drawings are mine. Listen in.
This insect is a European water measurer (Hydrometra stagnorum), also known as a marsh-treader. They belong to the family Hydrometridae, which consists of all water measurers. These species live on the surface film of water—like pond skaters—but they move in a creeping, stealthy way that allows them to sneak up on their prey. Water measurers are predators at all stages of their lives, using their sharp mouth-parts to spear and suck the life juices out of their prey, which they prefer to be already dead or dying. They use vibrations along the surface of the water to locate their prey, such as the springtail (class Collembola) that the water measurer shown has caught.
Dragonflies and damselflies—order Odonata—are predatory insects that hunt mid-flight. At the ends of all six legs are two tarsal claws that aid in catching and holding on to prey. They also have specialized mouth parts that allow them to engulf their prey whole. Dragonflies—suborder Anisoptera—are distinguishable by their generally more robust build and how they rest with their wings spread out, perpendicular to their body. Pictured is the southern hawker (Aeshna cyanea). Damselflies—suborder Zygoptera—are typically more slender than their dragonfly cousins and they rest with their wings folded behind them, parallel to their abdominal segments. Pictured is the emerald damselfly (Lestes sponsa).
The family Membracidae contains some of the most outlandish-looking insects. Commonly known as treehoppers, these insects often form a mutualistic relationship with ants in which the treehoppers protect the ants in return for honeydew. Pictured are two different species within the family.
Insects from the family Fulgoridae are often collectively referred to as lantern bugs. They belong to the order Hemiptera, which encompasses all true bugs. Fulgorids—especially those from the tropics—are known for their oblong heads. These insects typically rest and feed during the day and fly at night. When Fulgorids lay their eggs, they also exude a frothy secretion which hardens around the eggs to protect them. A wart-headed bug (Phrictus quinquepartitus) is shown above.
Creobotra elegans is a species of flower mantid, all of which belong to the family Hymenopodidae. The family (almost 300 species) is characterized by bright, contrasting colors that often allow the insects to be camouflaged on flowers. The nymphs of flower mantids are able to hunt their own prey immediately after their cuticles have hardened. These mantids have an ultrasonic ear that they use to detect predators, and some species have a second ear that can hear much lower frequencies. The exact purpose of this second ear is unknown, but it is probably useful for hunting or avoiding predation.
The picture on top is a male strepsipteran, a type of parasitic insect. So why are there arrows in the second picture pointing to a wasp’s butt? Those little black bumps that the arrows are pointing to are the grub-like female strepsipterans, which use bees, wasps, and other bugs as their hosts. The females never leave their host; eggs hatch while still inside the female and exit her through a passage in the mother’s body that allows them to be deposited on flowers to await their own hosts. There are 8 families and approximately 580 species in this order, all of which undergo complete metamorphosis.