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)
For several days I had noticed ants racing along the bricks at the base of one of my garage doors. I finally took a closer look to see what could be keeping them so busy for so long. They were streaming between a hole in my house and somewhere out in the front yard. I tried following, but these ants are tiny, only a few millimeters long. I quickly lost them in some pine straw.
Turns out they were moving out of my house. The ones heading toward the yard were carrying eggs, larvae, and pupae. As I watched them though, I noticed something else leaving with them that didn’t look quite right.
Were you able to find the critter in the photo above? It’s in the lower right corner. Some of you may recognize this as another stick grasshopper in the family Proscopiidae, previously featured in Crypsis Challenge #3. They are so cryptic that I couldn’t resist doing another challenge with this one. Here’s an outline of the grasshopper if you’re still not seeing it.
Check out how closely the color and texture of the insect matches that of the surrounding vegetation.
Here’s another image where it’s blending in fairly well.
If not for the long antennae, this large katydid could easily be mistaken for a grasshopper.
This large katydid was trying to remain inconspicuous on the side a tree. With a body three inches long and antennae over twice that, it was difficult to miss. I considered making this a crypsis challenge, but it seemed too easy.
In the second photo, it’s in the lower right corner.
I didn’t intend to leave this challenge open for quite so long. Unfortunately, other things in my life sometimes have to take precedence over this blog, even if I’d rather it be the other way around. 🙂
Looks like the challenge was more difficult than I expected. Commenters who suggested a katydid were on the right track, but this looks like a cricket to me. Here’s the original photo and another version where I’ve crudely outlined the cricket.
I provided the outline to show the position and to show just how long the antennae are. Here’s a closer photo, sans antennae.
As usual, Ted C. MacRae was right on all counts for this challenge:
I thought perhaps the swept-back antenna across the bottom third of the photo might throw people off. Not so.
Here’s a better shot of the katydid which was cooperative enough to allow some good closeups. This should put all the body parts shown above in context.
My sister guessed a dragonfly via a Facebook comment. I can see the resemblance so not a bad guess.
We don’t have that many species of walkingsticks here in the Southeastern US. None of the ones I’ve encountered have wings. So this one looks odd to me.
Remember the jumping sticks? Here’s one more photo of one of those so you can see how easy it is to distinguish the two based on their antennae.
Hopefully it didn’t take more than a few seconds to spot the katydid in this image.
Did you find the critter hidden in this image?
Ted C. MacRae did and correctly identified it as a stick grasshopper in the family Proscopiidae. As a reward, my next post will be a tiger beetle.
If you still need help finding it, here’s an outline and a cropped version.
Hopefully this one was bit more challenging. I didn’t spot the critter in this setting. It was originally higher up in some foliage and only jumped to the ground in a failed effort to escape my photographic pursuit.
Note the short antenna which makes it easy to distinguish these from walkingsticks.