Blog Archives

Tapinoma Ant Observations

April 13, 2012 | Twelvestones, Roswell, GA, USA

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.

Moving out

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. read more

Posted in Featured Photos | 1 Comment

Crypsis Challenge #13 Reveal: Jumping Stick

82mm | July 9, 2011 | Tupaciguara, Minas Gerais, Brazil

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.

Grasshopper revealed

Check out how closely the color and texture of the insect matches that of the surrounding vegetation.

Can you distinguish animal from plant here?

Here’s another image where it’s blending in fairly well. read more

Posted in Crypsis Challenges | 2 Comments

Katydid

January 21, 2011 | Finca La Isla, Limon Province, Costa Rica

If not for the long antennae, this large katydid could easily be mistaken for a grasshopper.

Posted in Featured Photos | Leave a comment

Large Bark Katydid

75mm | January 19, 2011

Armonia Nature Preserve, Limon Province, Costa Rica

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.

Posted in Featured Photos | 1 Comment

Crypsis Challenge #10 Reveal

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. šŸ™‚

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.

Cricket, outlined

January 19, 2011 | Armonia Nature Preserve, Limon Province, Costa Rica

I provided the outline to show the position and to show just how long the antennae are. Here’s a closer photo, sans antennae. read more

Posted in Crypsis Challenges | 3 Comments

Identification Challenge #5 Reveal

As usual, Ted C. MacRae was right on all counts for this challenge:

January 28, 2010 | CaraƧa Natural Park, Minas Gerais, Brazil

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.

Katydid

My sister guessed a dragonfly via a Facebook comment. I can see the resemblance so not a bad guess.

Posted in Identification Challenges | Leave a comment

A Walkingstick with Wings

Walkingstick | January 28, 2010 | CaraƧa Natural Park, Minas Gerais, Brazil

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.

Jumping stick | January 28, 2010 | CaraƧa Natural Park, Minas Gerais, Brazil

Posted in Featured Photos | Leave a comment

Crypsis Challenge #4 Reveal

Hopefully it didn’t take more than a few seconds to spot the katydid in this image.

January 27, 2010 | CaraƧa Natural Park, Minas Gerais, Brazil

Posted in Crypsis Challenges | Leave a comment

Crypsis Challenge #3 Reveal

Did you find the critter hidden in this image?

January 28, 2010 | CaraƧa Natural Park, Minas Gerais, Brazil

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.

Outlined

Cropped

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. read more

Posted in Crypsis Challenges | 3 Comments