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?
Can you spot the spider corpse here? Looks like it succumbed to some sort of fungal infection. Fungi are quite diverse and I don’t recall ever seeing one quite like this one. Here’s a closer view.
I suspect that webbing is probably from the spider itself. It probably was hiding inside a silken retreat when it died.
Would the fungus properly be called an arachnopathogen? I think so but there’s practically no hits when I search for that term.
I did find a photo with a similar looking fungus on BugGuide though. Sadly, no info on the identity of the fungus. It’s neat to see that the photo was taken not too far from where I live though.
This attractive green huntsman spider in the family Sparassidae (formerly Heteropodidae) was concealed beneath a leaf. With such a striking green color, it must hunt primarily in foliage.
When I found it, it was concealed within a silken retreat on the underside of a leaf. The texture of the silk is interesting.
That wouldn’t do for photos though, so I poked at it until it removed itself.
That did allow for some nice closeup shots though, like this one of the eyes. I always try to get a shot like this to help in the identification.
Spitting spiders in the family Scytodidae are easily recognized by their high dome-shaped carapace. They are named for their behavior of spitting a liquid that turns gooey on contact, ensnaring their prey.
Although they occur in my area, I’ve never seen one around my home. For whatever reason, I don’t think I’ve made a trip to Brazil yet where I haven’t seen at least one. This one was on the underside of a small log.
I spotted this scorpion on the trail just after dark. Somehow I spooked it and it ran for cover. When I removed the leaf it had hidden under, it was curled up as shown below.
I found this little tarantula (family Theraphosidae) under a rock. It could be full-grown, but I suspect it’s young and far from its adult size. It blends in quite well with the rocky ground.
Despite its small size, it’s definitely got attitude. After some prodding, it demonstrated a classic threat display.
Here’s another crazy looking harvestman for my collection. This was a small one, found under a log. I didn’t want to risk it getting away, so I grabbed it and took those pictures at home on a piece of bark.
Aside from the horns towards the rear of the abdomen, there’s a couple that rise up between the eyes.
There’s also a nice collection of spurs on the hind legs. Here’s a closer look at one of those legs.
Here’s a closer look at the eyes. What I assume is a mite is sitting in front of the eyes, with a scattering of what must be eggs close by. If you look closely, you can find other mites in these photos.
One of my brother-in-laws offered to drop me off for a few hours in a forested area on one of his farms. I was thrilled, but perhaps a bit anxious when he offered me a revolver in case I encountered a jaguar. I turned down the gun and if there was a jaguar in the area I never saw it.
The first critter I found was this odd looking spider. I spotted it while breaking up a rotting log. It’s quite flat, evolved no doubt for squeezing into tight spaces. I wanted to grab it for a closer look, but it managed to fall into the leaf litter and escape.
Could this be the harvestman equivalent of an ostrich burying its head in the sand? Or maybe it was just trying to get at something to eat.
After a few shots as I found it, I prodded it into a better position.
It has some interesting “combs” on a few of its rearmost legs.
It’s actually quite small, the body measuring only about 5mm front to back. The longest leg, however, was about 3cm long. I’m not sure what purpose those horns might serve.
I have to admit I’m drawn to these strange creatures. I think in part it’s simply because they are so alien looking.