Invertebrata

Invertebrate education and photography

August 26, 2014 3:25 pm

Family Saturniidae- The Giant Silkworm Moths

Saturniidae is a large family of moths with roughly 2300 known species. Adult saturniids can be easily recognized by their large, hairy bodies and relatively small heads. Adults of this group have reduced mouthparts and do not eat. They instead live off of the fat that they stored up as a larva. Because of this they are able to devote almost all of their time to reproduction. The adult males have very large, feathery antennae that allow them to detect the pheromones of a female from great distances.

(Source: Encyclopedia of Life)

(Image credit: 1, 2, 3)

August 25, 2014 8:54 pm

astronomy-to-zoology:

Zebra Conchylodes (Conchylodes ovulalis)

…a species of pytaustine crambid moth which occurs in North America from Pennsylvania to Florida west to Arizona and south into the neotropics. Adult Conchylodes ovulalis are typically seen in flight from May to September or August and inhabit deciduous and possibly other forests. Zebra conchylodes are typically associated and feed on the Asteraceae.  

Classification

Animalia-Arthropoda-Insecta-Lepidoptera-Pyraloidea-Crambidae-Pyraustinae-Spilomelini-Conchylodes-C. ovulalis

Images: ©Micheal Skvarla and ©Larry McDaniel

August 23, 2014 5:08 pm
rhamphotheca:

Baby Flamboyant Cuttlefish (Metasepia pfefferi) in egg, Negros Oriental, Philippines
“Although still inside of its egg, these flamboyant cuttlefish were still able to flash dark purple if something got too close. when they are born they will be ready to hunt and change color on their own...”
photograph/comments by Dan Geary
(via: Project Noah)

rhamphotheca:

Baby Flamboyant Cuttlefish (Metasepia pfefferi) in egg, Negros Oriental, Philippines

Although still inside of its egg, these flamboyant cuttlefish were still able to flash dark purple if something got too close. when they are born they will be ready to hunt and change color on their own...”

photograph/comments by Dan Geary

(via: Project Noah)

August 22, 2014 10:48 am
Some Moths are Actually Butterflies According to DNA Sequencing Study
August 21, 2014 8:39 pm

cool-critters:

Chorinea sylphina

The Sylphina Angel is a species of butterfly of the Riodinidae family. It is found in Ecuador, Peru, and Bolivia. It has transparent wings.Adults fly in full sunshine, but occasionally settle beneath the leaves of bushes.photo credits: Adrian Hoskins, Ssola

(via rhamphotheca)

7:35 pm

rhamphotheca:

Asian Multi-spotted Ladybird Beetle (Harmonia axyridis):

The first photo set shows the variety in coloration and spotting, bit what stays the same are the large white edge spots on the sides of the pronotum (thoracic shield).  (photo by ©entomart)

The second set shows the full life cycle of H. axyridis. (photo by puddingforbrains).

This species has been widely introduced, purposefully, into Europe and North America, as garden pest control. This has had a deleterious effect on several of our native lady bird beetle (“ladybugs”) species, as native species are often unable to compete with the voracious predator of scales and aphids.

In the United States, we do have several species of native Ladybird Beetle. Find out more here:

http://bugguide.net/node/view/179

August 17, 2014 12:40 am
rhamphotheca:

The incredible honey hunters of the Himalayan foothills
by Bec Crew
Twice a year, locals in central Nepal risk their lives high up in the Himalayan foothills to harvest honey produced by the world’s largest honeybee.
Growing up to 3 cm (1.2 in) in length, the Himalayan cliff honey bee of Nepal is the world’s largest honeybee. 
Found only in the foothills of the Himalayas, building their homes at altitudes of between 2,500 and 3,000 m (8,200 and 9,800 ft) and foraging as high up as 4,100 m (13,500 ft) above the ground, these insects have a unique ability to thrive at incredible heights.
The Himalayan cliff honey bee is the only species in the world to produce a type of honey called red spring honey, and it cannot be reproduced by commerical beekeepers due to the high altitudes that give it its unique properties. Said to be "intoxicating and relaxing", red spring honey is understandably very valuable, and twice a year, honey hunters from the Gurung population of Nepal risk their lives to harvest it up in the foothills…
(read more: Science Alert! - Australia and New Zealand)
photo by Andrew Newey

rhamphotheca:

The incredible honey hunters of the Himalayan foothills

by Bec Crew

Twice a year, locals in central Nepal risk their lives high up in the Himalayan foothills to harvest honey produced by the world’s largest honeybee.

Growing up to 3 cm (1.2 in) in length, the Himalayan cliff honey bee of Nepal is the world’s largest honeybee. 

Found only in the foothills of the Himalayas, building their homes at altitudes of between 2,500 and 3,000 m (8,200 and 9,800 ft) and foraging as high up as 4,100 m (13,500 ft) above the ground, these insects have a unique ability to thrive at incredible heights.

The Himalayan cliff honey bee is the only species in the world to produce a type of honey called red spring honey, and it cannot be reproduced by commerical beekeepers due to the high altitudes that give it its unique properties. Said to be "intoxicating and relaxing", red spring honey is understandably very valuable, and twice a year, honey hunters from the Gurung population of Nepal risk their lives to harvest it up in the foothills…

(read more: Science Alert! - Australia and New Zealand)

photo by Andrew Newey

August 16, 2014 10:33 pm

libutron:

Spurge hawkmoth - Hyles euphorbiae

The Spurge hawkmoth, Hyles euphorbiae (Sphingidae), was the first classical biological agent released against leafy spurge in the United States, with approval for introduction granted in 1965. The moth was also introduced from Europe into Ontario, Canada, to help control various weed spurges, and then into Alberta where specimens are occasionally still taken.

Originally the Spurge hawkmoth occurs from south and central Europe to central Asia. 

Caterpillars may approach 10 cm in length, and are variously patterned with green, yellow, and black (young); or red, black, yellow, and white (older). They are distinctive by having the so-called “ring-spots” (spots that lack a nucleus), which is thought to have an aposematic function, being used as signals of distastefulness. 

The body of the adult moths is light brown with various white and dark brown markings, while the wings have a conspicuous tan, brown, and pink or red color pattern. The upperside of the hindwing is a rosy-pink, but there is a great deal of variation among the adults.

References: [1] - [2]

Photo credit: [Top: ©Adam Gor | Locality: Nagykovácsi, Pest, Hungary, 2013] - [Bottom: ©Tony Morris | St. Margaret’s at Cliffe, England, 2007]

(via rhamphotheca)

August 15, 2014 12:26 am

cool-critters:

Rhododendron leafhopper (Hraphocephala fennahi)

The Rhododendron leafhopper, so named as it feeds on the sap of rhododendrons, is native to the USA. The species was introduced to Great Britain in the 1930s and continental Europe in the 1970s. photo credits: André Karwath aka Aka, insects, insektoid

(via rhamphotheca)