Sunday, October 31, 2010
What did I do to celebrate? Nothing yet. I painted my nails orange. ^^ And later I'm gonna pig out and watch Charmed.
As for bugs I didn't see any today. I didn't want to stay out too long understandably. And the reason for my absence this week was because my comp got some sort of virus so I had to get it fixed. All is well now obviously or this post wouldn't be here. :P
Onto the photo. The spider ( yes it's a spider ) in the photo is none other then Maratus volans the Peacock Spider. Just by it's name you can "guess" a whole lot about this spider.
I don't even have to go on Wikipedia for what I'm about to say. These spiders are the arthropod version of the peacock in it's life style and mating rituals. Of course it's more detailed then that but that was the "short version".
The long version with all the lovely details is here. Now if you were to look up M. volans even further you'll see that there's quite alot of info.
Also the genius Maratus is peaking my interests and I have questions:
Questions I'd Like Answers To:
1. Do all Maratus species males have the peacock like mating rituals/"body parts"?
2. Is anything else known about the other Maratus species?
3. ......or is Maratus volans the only one with info?
4. Have the others even been observed or are they hard to find?
5. Was M. volans hard to find?
6. Why was Maratus volans studied and not the others?
I hate when I don't have answers to questions involving interesting insects/spiders. It's quite annoying actually.....smh.
Anyway have a happy and safe Halloween!
Saturday, October 30, 2010
三年前農曆年假回老家過年，順便到村後的八掌溪拍攝高蹺鴴，偶然發現岸邊的芒草有幾隻大十三星瓢蟲，從此我開始注意大十三星瓢蟲在北部的分布，但這幾年間沒再見過牠。大十三星瓢蟲體型很大，較一般小瓢蟲大2 ~ 4倍，主要特徵為前胸背板有1枚梯形的大黑斑，翅鞘左右各5枚，加上中央的3枚，總計有13枚黑斑，與小十三星瓢蟲差別在於：小十三星瓢蟲左右各6枚黑斑，加上翅末端的1枚；位置和大小也與大十三星瓢蟲不同。
自從在八掌溪發現這隻大瓢蟲後，每年春節、掃墓回老家都要到八掌溪畔看看，幾番寒暑下來只在當年的四月再次看過，但沒拍好照就讓牠飛走！之後不死心，不論 春、夏、秋、冬只要回老家就去找，但每次都悵然而回。八掌溪畔為沙質地，那裡栽種玉米、蘆筍、蕃薯等農作物，岸邊還有許多高大的芒科植物、竹林、大花咸豐 草、和某些豆科的野生植物，因為有蚜蟲所以引來許多瓢蟲，以六條瓢蟲最多，七星瓢蟲、波紋瓢蟲次之，龜紋瓢蟲和錨紋瓢蟲較少，但怎麼找也看不到大十三星瓢 蟲。
今早我照例到這裡報到，拍了許多瓢蟲，有不同種類的瓢蟲在交尾，雖然搜尋不到目標但也算有所收穫。我不相信尋不到牠們，下午又去找，決心沿著溪邊往前走， 不放過每一株可能躲藏瓢蟲的植物。下午豔陽高照，風沙吹得滿臉不舒服，走了二個小時還是沒著落只好折回，正要收工時，忽然發現玉米田裡有一隻大瓢蟲，輕輕 撥開葉子一看，啊！大十三星瓢蟲，睽違多年我們終於再次相遇！大十三星瓢蟲已經成為稀有昆蟲了！為什麼這種大瓢蟲會驟減呢？難道體型較大的昆蟲在物競天擇下容易被淘汰嗎？象鼻蟲中的大字號─台灣大象鼻蟲不也變成瀕臨絕種的稀有昆蟲，但牠們在過去農業年代是很普遍的。皇天不負苦心人，讓我找到這隻大瓢蟲，除了影像記錄牠的存在，我也寫下這些文字，見證這隻大吉祥的瓢蟲還在我們身邊，牠告訴我們要重視環境保育，才有機會一飽眼福再與牠相見。
Secondly the site that I found out about this ladybug is all in Chinese hence the text about it and my need to understand it. So I went to translate on Google and it made no sense.
However what did make sense is that it apparently is very rare and it hasn't been seen in a few years. Google also mentions it being called "Samsung Big Ten Ladybug" Seriously?
First off Samsung is a Korean electronic company and they make TV's and DVD players and other stuff I can't think of. So it's quite obviously not going to come up under searches with that ridiculous name. And it didn't cause I went searching just in case.
However if I found out the Chinese name for it ( since it's obviously known to science ) that might lead to a scientific name and possibly an English one.
However I want to know what the text says. There's more pics here.
That site is AMAZING! I wish they had English translations. :(
Thursday, October 28, 2010
Tuesday, October 26, 2010
I dare say I'll be researching these like crazy. After reading about Volucella sp. I'm compelled to find out even more on other species of Hoverflies because they're mind bogglingly fascinating. I also wonder how many species will break the rule of the "typical" hoverfly life cycle.
Assuming that they all more or less follow the same "rules". Hell no. They're quite surprisingly variable as the Wikipedia article mentions ( backed up with references galore ).
I also wonder if any are parasites. I had assumed that some species were because I could've sworn that I've read about certain species infiltrating various bees and wasps nest and killing their children. But Wikipedia doesn't mention a thing....
I'll keep looking on that of course. Photos of said mugshots borrowed from Wikipedia.
Monday, October 25, 2010
Thank God there are people doing their part though. I have a friend that's researching them as we speak more or less on how to send their blood sucking asses back to hell.
As for the questions that I have......I'm sure other people have wondered:
1. Whether or not they have a Bed bug repellent.
*In other words a spray you spray on yourself to keep them from biting you
2. How did this whole damn epidemic start?
They're suspicions that it started in Chicago in some sort of shipment I believe.
3. How to make sure that they don't return.....ever.
*After I get them out of the house I don't want them coming back obviously so how do you prevent this?
4. Is there anything that hunts the bastards down and eats them?
You know how like spiders are beneficial to have in the household because they keep the number of flies and other insects down.
5. Out of curiosity how do you tell the sex of the damn things?
*An exterminator had told me by the shape of the head and legs but of course I don't know if they're other methods cause they all look alike to me.
Remember this is just out of curiosity. Everyone I see will die regardless of gender or sexual orientation.......*giggle*
Sorry I had to put that it was priceless. XD
Sunday, October 24, 2010
I however atm can't find any other info online on them. I'll keep looking.
The female enters the underground paper nests of the common wasp Vespula vulgaris, or the German wasp, Vespula germanica, and lays her eggs. Despite the conspicuous nature of the intruder, the hosts do not appear to register her presence as she makes her way into the otherwise well-guarded nest entrance.
When the eggs hatch, the larvae drop to the bottom of the nest chamber where they feed as scavengers on debris. This may include dead wasp grubs and adults, remains of food brought into the nest by the wasps and other insects living there.
Mature larvae are sometimes on the combs and have been recorded feeding on dead or moribund wasp larvae and pupae which were left in the combs when the nest was abandoned by the wasps in the autumn. Fully grown larvae leave the nest and pupate in the soil below.
If the host nest is in the roof or walls of a house then it is not unusual for the larvae to end up crawling about in the dwelling-space.
Interesting. Since they're not exactly parasites feeding on the live larvae themselves I put " so I hopefully wouldn't mislead anyone. It's funny how the host don't seem to notice their presence. I wonder how that's possible? Do they release some sort of pheromone?
I'd like to find all of this out somehow. I wonder what other Volucella species are like? Since this is a species of hover fly I'm compelled to wonder what other species do.....
I bet that I'll find one that's twisted.....*^^*
Saturday, October 23, 2010
As I've mentioned many times before ants are quite amazing. Not only are they incredibly smart, strong, and work well together in teams to solve every problem that comes their way, they've also managed to fuck up our preschool/kindergarten "knowledge" of them.
How? Well when you go into your science class and the teacher starts to "educate" you on ants and their life history she fails to mention the golden rule.
The rule that I've been "preaching" to you since I've started this blog.
"Never assume anything about the insect world...you'll be proven wrong 99% of the time"
The teacher tells you that ants live in groups called "colonies". And in the colonies they have 4 "family members". Oh happy happy joy joy!
The Ant Family Members:
Workers: Which may number up to one million individuals, do all the work in the colony while Your Highness sits on her lazy ass and shits out the next "generation"
Males: Mate with the queen and then die
Soldiers: Defend the colony against predators.
Queen: See above
What the teacher fails to mention is that there are exceptions to your "typical" ant life cycle/history. She fails to mention the army ants who don't even build a nest, but live on the move building a fort of protection for Your Majesty with their own bodies. They call this a bouviac ( sp? ). Fascinating.
She also tells you how the queen lays the eggs and that the workers while are females don't lay eggs....they leave that "job" to Your Highness...........
What she fails to tell you ( and I just found this out ) is that Harpegnathos saltator utterly breaks this rule!
They are also unusual amongst ants in that the queen-worker difference is very limited and some workers can mate and lay fertilized eggs just like the queen. These workers are termed gamergates. New colonies are founded independently by single queens, and on aging they are replaced by several gamergates.
The gamergates copulate with males from their own colonies and being inbred are related to the original founding queen. Colonies being very small, they never undergo fission to form new colonies.
And yes there's references backing this up ( thank God! ). H. saltator goes on to break even more rules to the typical ant life cycle! Read the rest here.
I tell you this is utterly fascinating. I wonder if any other species do this?
Friday, October 22, 2010
This book.......I want it. Give it to me!!
*Goes to add this to her wish list*
I know so little on these moths and their larvae.....and they're one of my favorite Lepidopteran families ( don't ask me to list anymore....there's too many XD ).
It's wonderful to know that such a book is out there.....and it will be MINE!
Thursday, October 21, 2010
So I saw one of these little guys on my bathroom wall.......I threw him outside after I showed him to mommy.......she loved it.....naaw JK.....*giggle*
So I went researching. Dermestes maculatus.....isn't the first time I've seen them in my house along with the larvae. Why? There's no rotting animal carcasses for them to strip clean to the bone in this house so what drags them here?
I've just read through several blogs and articles on them and I must say they're very.....um.....well they're very good at what they do. Wikipedia lists them as pests I see them as something that can be very useful in what they do in a controlled environment.
I say controlled environment for obvious reasons. You know "Too much of a good thing" isn't good. In this case if your little flesh eating friends get out of control.........
*DRAMATIZATION* Warning: Do not read if you're easily traumatized. I have a sick sense of humor.....you have been warned....
*~* So your friends' husband/boyfriend kicked the bucket and his body is being dressed up for the viewing/burial.......what his friends/family didn't know is that he isn't alone......
Dermestid Beetle 1: *Giggle* Do you think they know we're here?
Dermestid Beetle 2: Nope. ^________^ Did you bring the reinforcements?
DB 1: Yup 500+ are feasting tonight........Whee!
DB 3: Quick! Get in his pockets someone's coming this way!
*They all hide*
Mourner 1: *Sniff* It's all so sad!
Mourner 2: I know. But at least he had a good life.
*~* Everyone clears out of the room so the guys ( whatever they call the people who dress up dead guys ) can finish up and go look over the tribute thingy to the guy....WTF do I know about these things? Any way in that one hour they left him in there ( the coffin ) horror ensues.....
*Dermestid Beetle 3 peaks out of coffin* They gone yet? It's all dark.
Dermestid Beetle 1: Yup! *giggle* There's no one here.
Dermestid Beetle 5: In that case......PAAAAAAARTEEEHH! Whoo Hoo!
*CENSORED* You know what happens next. I don't need to tell you.
Dermestid Beetles: He's so good! Best feast EVER!!
DB 365: Better then that sea gull they fed us at the museum thingy we work at. *munch* *swallow* Good thing Fred let us come with him...oh wait he doesn't know we escaped! AAAAAAAAHAHAHAHAHAHA!
*~* In one hour they.....well you know what they did! I feel kinda sorry for Freddiepoo. Fred was one of the dead guys friends who works for a museum and specializes in said Dermestidae. What the poor bastard should've known was not to bring 500 of them in his car to take to some lab or something.......poor Fred.......the fucker's doomed.
Funeral Management Guy 1: .......and let us always remember him.
Funeral Management Guy 1: Would you like to say your goodbyes?
Girlfriend of Dead Guy: YYYYYYYYESSSS! *Giant Sniff*
FMG1: Should we open the casket?
Girlfriend: I want to see him one last....time
*~* What happens next is nothing short of something out of a horror movie....
*The casket opens......*
Dermestid Beetle 8: *Dancing on top of dead guy's bones*.......YEAHHHHH WHOO HOO SHAKE WHAT YA MOMMA GAVE YAH.....*turns around* Uh Oh.....*drops fork* LET'S GET OUT! PARTY'S OVER!
DB's: See ya later! Thanks for the food!
Everyone: Oh. My God. $*%($^(#*#%.........AAAAAAAAAAAAH!
Fred: ........oh my.....I didn't think they would get ou...
Fred: Um.......well I had.....um they were in my car.......I didn't think they would get out.........
GF: YOU MOTHER FU.......
Fred: .......Uh oh *Runs*
*~* It was never cleared on what happened to Fred.......but as I said he was one dumb mother fu......
So there you go my morbid sense of humor.....XD I used to write things like this for The Venom List ( which I need to pop in for a visit.....it's been too long ) and they loved it. XD
1. I imagined the beetles dining with mini forks and knives.....
2. ......and they had a mini juke box...hence the dancing.
3. Please note that this never happens. XD Hope I didn't traumatize you. XD
Tuesday, October 19, 2010
Possibly a bunch will be ramblings if I can't think of anything but it will include a bunch of creepy crawly things.....YAY! This one will as well because I came home to some bittersweet news. My last beloved hermie Mary Shelly "Ms. Switchy" went to heaven sometime while I was away.
I was crushed because I at least wanted to say goodbye. So I guess I'll post it here:
Dear My Little Mary Shelly,
You and your friend Little Buddy were an ABSOLUTE JOY to have. Both unique, adorable, and fun to have in this house. Me and mommy LOVED you both so much. You Mary Shelly were my little troublemaker.
Always switching shells every other day or week. I honestly didn't know where you were sometimes and to be honest it scared me a bit.....*^^* But when I found you in another shell safe and sound I can swear you thought it was funny.
If you could laugh I'm sure I would hear you snickering.....my little troublemaker. But you also gave me such a unique opportunity to have a crab that did something none of my other ones lived to do for some reason: change shells. That was a gift in itself. Plus I can tell it made you happy.
You looked so pretty in all of them. But my favorite on you was your last one. The same kind that Little Buddy and my first hermie Swifty lived in. It made me happy and sentimental.
I thank you for that with all my heart. I'll NEVER forget you. Give Little Buddy a kiss for me.
God bless you! Kisses and hugs! See you later!
The sweet news is that I got 3 new ones. And they're Pacific Hermies. Ones that I've seen but never had the pleasure to own until now. They're GORGEOUS! My little babies that are going to be pieces of work I can tell but I'll try my best and hopefully won't pinch me anymore after I get to know them and them me.
I do hope that they change out of the shell though because they're too small for them I think. But if they're comfortable then keep 'em. ^^
And after I get some more rest Cimex lectularius will die.