Harvestman

July 7th, 2011 - 7:10 PM | Filed under Featured Photos | 1 Comment

7mm body | July 2, 2011 | Monte Alegre, Minas Gerais, Brazil

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.

Lateral view

There’s also a nice collection of spurs on the hind legs. Here’s a closer look at one of those legs.

Hind leg detail

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.

Lateral view of eyes

Frontal view of eyes

Here’s a few more photos.

Closeup of body

View from the other side

One last view

I just noticed some harvestman photos online showing how some flouresce under UV light. I didn’t realize that or I would’ve experimented with this one. I already released it in a nearby park, so I’ll have to find another one now!

 

Beetle with Red and Black Elytra

July 7th, 2011 - 12:38 PM | Filed under Featured Photos | 5 Comments

25mm body | July 2, 2011 | Monte Alegre, Minas Gerais, Brazil

I spotted two of these beetles, both on tree bark at the base of trees. I don’t have any of my references with me, so I can only speculate about the family. Tenebrionidae, perhaps?

Huntsman Spider

July 7th, 2011 - 11:45 AM | Filed under Featured Photos | 1 Comment

13mm body | July 2, 2011 | Monte Alegre, Minas Gerais, Brazil

I’m pretty sure this is a huntsman spider in the family Sparassidae.

Frontal view

Termite Soldiers

July 7th, 2011 - 10:34 AM | Filed under Featured Photos | 1 Comment

July 2, 2011 | Monte Alegre, Minas Gerais, Brazil

I generally overlook termites, but this trip I decided I’d change that. These were the first ones I found. They were busy pulling grains underground.

Now that I’ve been paying attention, I can see there’s quite a variety. In this species, the soldiers and the workers are about the same size.

Soldier with worker

Cockroaches

July 7th, 2011 - 10:15 AM | Filed under Featured Photos | No comments

30mm | July 2, 2011 | Monte Alegre, Minas Gerais, Brazil

I saw quite a variety of cockroaches in my relatively short outing to Monte Alegre. The first one, above, was the largest and was not altogether unattractive. It blended in well with the leaf litter.

The second one was a bit smaller, and was spotted in some low foliage.

25mm | Dorsolateral view

This last one was the smallest, but the most robust.

20mm | Dorsal view

It was moving slowly about until it encountered something tasty (rodent dropping?).

Lateral view | Feeding

Ants Tending Leafhoppers

July 6th, 2011 - 7:37 PM | Filed under Featured Photos | 3 Comments

July 2, 2011 | Monte Alegre, Minas Gerais, Brazil

These ants are tending to some treehopper nymphs. Most of the ants are busy collecting honeydew, but the one on the bottom has noticed me and is on alert. I accidentally bumped the branch after this shot and all of the ants started running around looking for something to attack. I held up a leaf for a background here so that the ants would stand out.

In this next shot, I’m assuming the white areas are either treehopper eggs or a protective covering for the eggs. One of the adult treehoppers is also visible here, a darker shade of red than the nymphs.

Egg mass and adult treehopper

In this final shot, there are more eggs, another adult and some late instar nymphs.

More eggs and some late instar nymphs

Odd Spider

July 6th, 2011 - 11:00 AM | Filed under Featured Photos | 5 Comments

7mm (body) | July 2, 2011 | Monte Alegre, Minas Gerais, Brazil

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.

It’s difficult to make out details like the number and arrangement of the eyes. Maybe something in the family Thomisidae?