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Friday, September 14, 2007

Is That a Stinger, or are You Just Happy to See Me?

He's just happy to see... well a female of his species. My first scorpion fly and I didn't realize it till I was reviewing the pictures on the computer. Gads, I must need my eyes checked. I can take solace in knowing I'd recognize it right away if I happened upon it again. Another MA pic.
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Auditioning for the Part of an Elven Shoe

Am I right, or what? It's definitely the perkiest rear end I've seen in a while.
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Young Green Model

Probably the most social of all insects, and definitely one of the most graceful.

You can probably tell from all the green, that this charming European Mantis was found while we were in Massechusetts.

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Stones on Scituate Beach

Caught my eye.
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Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Having a Drink Creekside

This is a species of my favorite group of butterflies, the Blues. I believe it is a Melissa Blue, due to the orange on the underside of both sets of wings. Very fuzzy.
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Gene Simmons Impersonation

Here's another Bee Fly for all you aerial tribble fans out there. Science news' latest issue has an article about Batesian mimics. The as yet unanswered question is whether the cheating mimics make the world a more dangerous place for the toxic species they imitate.
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Saturday, September 08, 2007

More of the Golden Spider Queen

A few extra shots, one clearer on the cephalothorax and another that shows more clearly her shrunken abdomen. The last one you have to look closely, but you can see on of those giant grasshoppers wathching the spider and her prey. Seems like a case of morbid fascination.

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Friday, September 07, 2007

Rural Argiope

Same spider, a couple days after a rain storm. Her abdomen was far smaller (perhaps my original comments had her on some sort of abs and glutes workout) but she was feasting on a yellow jacket in her newly remade web. There's slight decoration there, but not particularly noteworthy.
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Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Now This is a Real Woman

Remember a post or so ago (ok, like twelve posts ago) in Argiope, I said "she" and "gal" when referring to a spider. I'm an idiot. Maybe it was all the talk about papilla that had me make the mistake. Now this, this looks like a real woman. I put in a number of abdomen shots for those of you who appreciate that sort of thing.

She was busy eating and the mini-thisles her web was anchored to made a head shot difficult. I tested a strand of her web after a large (two inch) grasshopper jumped and bounced off a few strands of her web. I pulled the strand with my fingernail and could "twang" it. Wow. Now that's a web. I think I'll go back today and see if I can get a few more shots. Note in the first shot you can see a strand of silk connecting her to the web by her spinnerettes.

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BIG Spider

I really need to start carrying measuring tape. Maybe it wouldn't have mattered as this fellow wasn't very interested in holding still, perhaps because it was daylight and Rowan, Jasmine and I looked frightening. I saw him clearly, from about eight feet away (he was that big), moving off the path of a nearby open space into the bordering scrub.

I'm guessing it's a wolf spider and the cephalothorax and abdomen together measured about an inch and a half. It never ran, but didn't want to hang out much to Rowan's disappointment. He was suitably impressed by its size though and the tale of seeing it was almost as good as being able to hold and/or take it home.

This is the first time I've seen one in the wild, and I didn't expect to see it at three in the afternoon. The Butterfly Pavilion has one or more on display if you want to see one up close but behind glass.
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Monday, September 03, 2007

Boston Jellyfilsh

This jellyfish lives at the Boston Aquarium. Seems nice for the aquatic set, but it was stunningly crowded for the humans. I lasted about thirty minutes before feeling nauseated from the press of bodies.
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Dragons Eggs

Our dragonfly pond is ideal in many ways, even for the younger set.
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Grisly Discovery

I found this while walking along the side of our house. I was surpised by just how large the eye sockets were. I don't know much about birds, but we have a significant population of house finches and sparrows around our house and I suspect there's a nest somewhere on the roof or rain gutter.
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Stink Bug in the Larder

I really like the color scheme of this bug.
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Jumping Spider Appetizer

I followed this spider around for a few minutes and was rewarded with a catch. The amazing part was that I was shooting continuously and I somehow missed the leaf hopper. One minute the spider was empty ... pedipalped, the next he was eating.
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Plume Moth

I took a few shots with a large depth of field, dorsal shots, but they were boring. I like how airplane-ish they look -- or rather, I like how plume moth-ish airplanes look.
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Willow, Lilac and Dragonfly

Here's another one of my backyard dragonflies.
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Little Bee Fly on Sunny Sun Flower

I like how these little flies buzz so loudly.
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Sunday, September 02, 2007

Silver Dragon

Another dragonfly, I've been finding them hanging around the Chinese Lilac bushes in the early evening looking for dinner, I suppose. I need to look up this species.
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As common as these spiders are in the books I read, this was the first time I'd seen one in my yard. (A while back I saw a much larger, related species in Roxborough State Park. That one was probably four times the size of this quarter inch one.) This gal was easier photographed from the ventral view because that pretty mottled green background is made of my very prickly blackberry vines. I got a couple dorsal shots, but shed a little blood to do so.

The round nodule on the posterior consist of spinnerettes, anus and anal papilla (according to . I am a somewhat sheltered girl (I will ignore the snickers I hear from certain readers), so I had to look up the word papilla. Weird.

There's some of the web decoration that Argiope is known for. I hadn't realized that there was so much discussion on the matter of purpose in decorating the web.

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