I hope you enjoy taking a closer look at some of the things I find interesting.
- North America (155)
- South America (171)
- Amphibians (10)
- Frogs and Toads (10)
- Arachnids (41)
- Fungi (3)
- Insects (215)
- Ants, Bees, Wasps and Relatives (44)
- Barklice (1)
- Beetles (27)
- Butterflies and Moths (55)
- Cockroaches (2)
- Dragonflies (1)
- Earwigs (1)
- Flies (20)
- Grasshoppers and Relatives (9)
- Mantids (3)
- Net-winged Insects (7)
- Termites (5)
- Thrips (1)
- True Bugs (57)
- Walkingsticks (1)
- Webspinners (1)
- Mammals (2)
- Millipedes (1)
- Polyxenids (1)
- Plants (3)
- Reptiles (13)
- Velvet Worms (3)
- Amphibians (10)
These two photos of critters both 4mm long were taken less than an hour apart in spots just a few feet apart. I believe these two are probably a mimic and its model.
I first photographed the jumping spider. I only got a few shots before I lost it. Later I spotted the ant and took quite a few photos. Here I selected one that would show roughly the same pose as the spider.
The area around the rearmost eyes of the jumping spider is darkened to better match the larger black eyes of the ant. The dark spots on the spider’s abdomen are an anomaly though. Maybe this ant isn’t the model after all?
Those are some weird looking antennae for a planthopper. After a bit of research, I determined that this member of the family Delphacidae belongs in the genus Copicerus. There are at least three species in Brazil according to this page. One of those species, Copicerus irroratus, ranges into temperate North America.
This atypical treehopper belongs not to the family Membracidae, but to a separate family, Aetalionidae.
Searching around on the internet, it seems most photographers generally seem to catch these hoppers while tending their eggs, as shown here.
To learn a bit more about the family check out Ted C. MacRae’s postÂ from earlier this year.
I found quite a few cocoons like the one shown above. They all had openings where the moths or parasitoids had emerged. I didn’t spot any hairy caterpillars that might be responsible for them. Here are a few more examples of the cocoons.
This is the largest bagworm I’ve ever seen. The twigs look like they’ve been cut up by a beaver. It was empty, so a moth must have already emerged. I know it’s a bagworm because later in the trip I found another one that still had a caterpillar in it. Unfortunately, I didn’t have my camera with me.
I found several of these caterpillars. They all had lighter colored mid-abdominal segments, like this one.
I believe these photos are all of the same individual, but I can’t be sure. It was skittish, but when spooked it always seemed to land close by.
These really are very small treehoppers, only around 3mm long.
These stingless bees have made their nest inside a termite mound. Earlier in the day, the bees weren’t clustered around the entrance like they are here. Instead they were simply flying in and out occasionally. This was taken late in the day though, and I suspect they are preparing to seal the entrance for the night.Â In the photo below, you get a better sense of how the nest is situated in the termite mound.
Though these bees are stingless, they aren’t defenseless.Â Do you see the clump of resin in the upper left? Looks like an ant has been encased there. I wonder if the bees perhaps mobbed it and secreted all that resin.
I spotted this small mantidfly hanging out on the underside of this leaf. I’m always excited to find one of these.
I saw quite a few of these oddly shaped things. My guess would be that they are theÂ oothecae (egg masses) of a praying mantis. I’ve read that each species of praying mantis has a distinctive looking ootheca. After quite a bit of searching, I’ve been unable to find one that looks quite like this.
This one was on some sort of succulent plant, but I found others on tree trunks and various other plants.