mr-flibble-says: postsfromthemrs: sosuperawesome: Moth and…

Friday, April 13th, 2018




Moth and Butterfly Fibre Sculptures, by Yumi Okita on Etsy

See our ‘sculpture’ tag

I used to be scared of moths but I’ve seen the error of my ways now. I would like at least one of each please.


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bunjywunjy: gallusrostromegalus: silverhawk: silverhawk: one of my ABSOLUTE favorite moth…

Wednesday, April 4th, 2018





one of my ABSOLUTE favorite moth species out there has to be the madagascan sunset moth

its such a GORGEOUS moth that not a lot of people seem to know about and i just??? god what a beauty

some more:

I drew one of these for class once, and they’re really fun becuase you get to use all your neon colors and sparkly gel media for once.  My professor described it as “It’s like Lisa Frank made a moth.”

that’s a butterfly with a fancy fur vest

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buggirl: Tumblr,I started this blog when I was a nightclub…

Friday, March 16th, 2018



I started this blog when I was a nightclub bartender in Hollywood with a “useless” lonely nerdy passion for the world of entomology/ararchnology nearly 9 years ago.  The act of creating this blog opened my eyes to a community of fellow naturalists that shared my passion.  I was no longer lonely and my passion no longer seemed useless.  Our community grew and grew.  Because of this realization – I went back to school, despite my original doubt that “bugs” were a legitimate career and that I had what it takes to be a scientist.  I finished my BS in ecology/evolution, and I am now close to finishing my MS. Since starting this blog, which originally was only intended as a bug journal of the insects i stumbled upon throughout daily life…an outlet for my interest in bugs…  I have been to the Ecuadorean Amazon 3 times to study the organisms I was only dreaming to blog about.

Today, I got word– I have been awarded a 4 year fellowship to continue my research and earn a PhD in Zoology in Leticia Aviles’s lab at the University of British Columbia. 

This is a dream come true for me. 

I am not exaggerating when I say that I credit the experience I have had making this blog and interacting with so many of you as the foundation of my journey as a scientist.   We shared a love of the natural world and I am reminded every day why it is that I love being a biologist through this process.  Many of you have helped fund my research through my campaign on, and some of you even sent me live spiders.   Whether directly or indirectly– this has contributed to my science…  and has enriched my life..

Thank you, all.

Spiders and bugs rule! 


Oh.   A beautiful Phoneutria wandering spider for attention in Jatun Sacha, Ecuador. 

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dendroica: Majority of Anna’s hummingbirds may have feather…

Wednesday, March 14th, 2018


Majority of Anna’s hummingbirds may have feather mites on their tail feathers

Hummingbirds are known to host a diversity of feather mites, but this relationship is not well-understood. In particular, mite distribution in situ has not been previously studied. The authors of the present study examined 753 hummingbirds of five species from urban locations in California: Anna’s, Allen’s, Black-chinned, Calliope and Rufous Hummingbirds. They documented the presence of the feather mite Proctophyllodes huitzilopochtlii on tail flight feathers.

The researchers found that feather mites were present on the tail flight feathers of nearly 60 percent of Anna’s hummingbirds, but less than 10 percent of the other species. Across all the species, the mite was more prevalent on the tail feathers of males (44.9 percent) than on those of females (36.2 percent), possibly because of the nesting habits of females.

The authors used tabletop scanning electron microscopy to analyze individual feathers, building a detailed 3D picture of the distribution of live mites in situ. They found that there tended to be more mites on the hummingbirds’ outer tail feathers than inner, and saw that mites often nestled between the barbs of individual feathers, sometimes in high numbers.

The authors state that their study provides the first prevalence and distribution information for these feather mites on both Anna’s and Black-chinned Hummingbirds. This is especially important given that Anna’s Hummingbirds co-reside seasonally with other hummingbird species, with the potential for spread of mites.

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cool-critters: Candy crab (Hoplophrys oatesi) The candy crab is…

Sunday, February 11th, 2018


Candy crab (Hoplophrys oatesi)

The candy crab is a very colourful crab that grows from 1.5 to 2 cm. It lives on various species of soft coral in the Dendronephthya genus. It camouflages itself by mimicing the colours of the polyps among which it hides. It adds further camouflage by attaching polyps to its carapace. Colours vary depending on the colour of the coral, and may be white, pink, yellow or red. This crab is widespread in the Indo-Pacific and it feeds on plankton. photo credits: digimuse, Brian Maye, divemecressi

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mostlythemarsh:Not Stayin’ Still Bastard

Friday, August 25th, 2017


Not Stayin’ Still Bastard

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dennybitte: goldig by Denny Bitte

Tuesday, August 15th, 2017



by Denny Bitte

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Tuesday, May 30th, 2017

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end0skeletal: (via Orache Moth by FreezingGlare on deviantART)

Friday, May 26th, 2017


(via Orache Moth by FreezingGlare on deviantART)

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Sunday, May 21st, 2017

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nanonaturalist: nanonaturalist: I am too excited by the babies…

Wednesday, April 26th, 2017



I am too excited by the babies coming to sit on these. Look at these brand new precious butterfly babies. All these photos were taken TODAY.

Tawny emperor caterpillars
April 25, 2017

More baby pictures! Top photo was last night (April 25th) before I went to bed, bottom photo was this morning (April 26) before I left for work. Didn’t bring the babies with me because I have a long day and I don’t think I can bring a mason jar full of larvae into a concert with me, so I made sure to fill the jar with fresh hackberry leaves because BABIES ARE HUNGRY!!!

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Monday, April 10th, 2017

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Saturday, April 8th, 2017


GUYS I JUST SAW AN ANT WITH THE FREAKY MIND CONTROL PARASITE. The parasite is a microscopic flatworm (Dicrocoelium dendriticum) with a crazy lifecycle–it starts out in snails, then gets into ants, then goes to cows, and starts all over again. The ants affected by this parasite will climb to the end of a stalk of grass in the evening and wait there until early morning, where they will go back to regular ant activities, every day until they’re eaten by a cow.

This ant is a harvester ant (I believe–last two photos are of the nest) which is interesting because the wikipedia article specifies the species this parasite affects in the US, and it’s not a harvester ant. But this spot (a ranch with a pond and lots of cows nearby) would be a great environment for the parasite to thrive. This ant was struggling but COULDN’T let go. I tried to get more/better photos with the microscope but lost the blade of grass (wind blew it away) before I could get set up.

Learn more about this parasite here:

That’s so cool. At our local salt marsh there is a flatworm parasite that uses killifish as an intermediate host. The parasite lodges in the fish’s brain and induces it to swim on its side near the surface, which causes the fish’s light-colored belly to flash skyward. This makes it more likely the fish will be preyed upon by a heron, inside of which the flatworm completes its life cycle.

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nanonaturalist: Went on an archaeology field trip in McDade for…

Friday, April 7th, 2017


Went on an archaeology field trip in McDade for a master naturalist class, and we only spent 45 min actually looking for pottery because you can’t take 20 naturalists into the woods without them all constantly stopping to photograph and ID every living thing they see.

Had to take screenshots of all the photos to remove gps tags–the location of archaeology sites is Super Secret.

April 1, 2017

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lonelyetntomologist: sleepovergames: blanketflowerbees: Bee…

Thursday, March 30th, 2017




Bee Fly (Anastoechus nitidulus)

he do

such a fuzzy little fellow

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I assume you are probably already familiar with it, but if not I highly recommend Charley Eiseman and Noah Charney’s book Tracks & Signs of Insects and Other Invertebrates. It’s a fantastic guide with lots of detail about things like galls and egg cases and silken hides and whatnot. Great photos and explanatory text. Charley’s also awesome about responding quickly to mystery photos posted to Bugguide. Thanks for posting so much cool content! I’m glad I found your blogs. :-)

Tuesday, March 28th, 2017

Hello there! Funny you mention it, I discovered Charley Eiseman yesterday while I was trying to ID some tricky galls I found in my yard last week. I only noticed them after I crouched down to investigate the harlequin bug eggs that were attached to a nearby sapling [link]. The pink caught my eye, and since I was in “excited insect egg” mode, I thought these were eggs of some sort. I’m new to trying to ID eggs, so that was my wild guess since I hadn’t seen any galls like this in person. Technically, they’re not not eggs?


I posted them to iNat [link], and didn’t get any IDs from people. The next day, I wanted to go back and check on the harlequin bug eggs, and I noticed MORE pink spikes on another leaf, and made another iNat observation [link]:


I am lucky to live in an area with a very active naturalist community. I was at a bioblitz on Sunday and met a guy I have been interacting with pretty heavily on iNat (I love introducing myself to people with my username and see how excited they get to meet me in person!). This guy saw my observation of these galls and identified the plant as a hackberry. Knowing the host plant is the most important step in doing these gall IDs, and after I googled “hackberry gall,” I saw a picture of my galls after scrolling for what seemed like forever:


Image is © Charley Eiseman, see his post about them here [link]. The image above is of the Hackberry Horn Gall (Celticecis cornuata) specimen he sent off to the entomologist who described this midge as a new species in 2013. 

You cannot comprehend how excited I was to (1) ID this under-documented species (there is currently only one, not so great photo of these galls on bugguide [link]–I submitted my photos as an ID request because I kept getting yelled at for being wrong, but nobody’s commented on my page [link] so I might just add my photos anyway) (2) be one of the few people to see AND document it, and (3) specifically request an iNaturalist admin to add the species page because it wasn’t in the system yet.

Next steps: I’m going to go back out into my yard at some point this week and see if I can dig up the sapling these are on and move it closer to the house. I want to watch them hatch! Also, I have access to some pretty fancy microscopes at work, so I can dissect one under a light microscope, and THEN use the scanning electron microscope to get super high resolution images. STAY TUNED.

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waitingfortheweek:Look @lies, something actually emerged from…

Friday, March 3rd, 2017


Look @lies, something actually emerged from this one!

That is super awesome! I wonder if it’s actually a hole made by something on the outside pecking/chewing its way in, in search of the inhabitant. If you look at the hole it looks more like a somewhat messsy-edged thrashing by a general-purpose tool, rather than the efficient incision you get with a larva’s specialized chewy bits.

That’s just a guess, though. Do you mind if I forward the image to some brainy ichnologists for their opinion? And do you know what species of plant that is?


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spiders-spiders-spiders: jumping spider by Jimmy Kong on…

Monday, February 13th, 2017


jumping spider by Jimmy Kong on Flickr

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susuwatori: The Sea of Decay

Saturday, February 11th, 2017


The Sea of Decay

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typhlonectes: Green Hairstreak butterflies (Callophrys rubi),…

Thursday, February 2nd, 2017


Green Hairstreak butterflies (Callophrys rubi), Oxforshire and London, England, UK

photographs by Charles J. Sharpe CC

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