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Sunday, September 18, 2005

Thanks, and a few responses

Thanks to all for your comments. A few called for responses:

Yes I like bugs; it's not a ruse. In Ursula LeGuin's The Dispossessed, Shevek awakens his first morning on Urras and is overwhelmed by the sound of a bird chirping; on his home world Anarres there are no birds, and he is awed by this conspicuous abundance of life. I guess I believe I owe at least recognition to the embarrassment of riches that inhabits our planet.

Tori: Ah, yes. Your bug must be scaribuggus eiffeli; the reference to MIB was the tipoff. JK, I am no expert and would surely be completely deficient in European species. I do recall those guys in the movie reminding me of either roaches (order Blattodea or suborder Blattaria) or true bugs (order Hemiptera). If you would like to ever research bug id, try BugGuide an excellent site run by volunteer naturalists who know way more than I do or maybe ever will. Click on the Guide tab, and then make choices down the increasingly narrow taxonomic divisions. There are plenty of photos to compare to what you're trying to identify. BugGuide consists of North American species; however it can probably get you to the order if not the family.

Wow, so many of you have seen a praying (or preying?) mantis! I haven't seen any this year. The ones we have here in the city are not our very shy native species, but are bought by gardeners and released, the idea being they will thrive and eat plenty of garden pests. Walking sticks, while closely related to mantids, are herbivores and usually feed on a specific plant. If you saw them feeding or hanging out on plants, and knew the plant species, that would be helpful in identifying a walkingstick.

The camera I use for the pictures on this blog is a Sony Cybershot 4.1. It's very large; my kids call it retro. It has a macro function that's kind of limited. I try to make up for this by setting the image size at the maximum, so if necessary the shot can be cropped close. Also, since I like to capture some of the behavioral/environmental aspects of the subject, the wider angle works out OK, too. I am thinking about getting a digital SLR.

alex: Your photo of the dragonfly eye is great! Being restricted to life-sized observation, I have often been amazed at the geometry of behaviors. I saw a dragonfly the other day: grasping a high protruding stem, body held at about 30 degrees to the ground, wings outstretched, never walking, suddenly flying off and up, catching something in its basket of legs, flying up and then away. You'll always see this dragonfly act this way. That amazes and delights me.

sirbarrett: Flies do have a bad reputation. There are less unpleasant flies that will maybe soften your opinion of dipterans.

23 comments:

bookworm said...

hey there. that's a fantastic idea for a blog. an entomologist (that IS what you are, right? correct me if i'm wrong) will have limitless content with which to fascinate audience. count me in as a regular reader from now on! the bug has bitten me! keep posting!

PS: i'll link to you from my blog. hope you don't mind.

michelle said...

im cool with bugs..i just dont like cockroaches..maybe its their color..

Rosie (formerly known as Rox) said...

I love bugs too. My favorite bugs are those that are unique in appearance and of course butterflies. I also like snakes which most of my female friends think is really weird of me.

Myrtle Beach Stuff said...

Thanks for the link to bug guide - that is the coolest site, After yours, of course!

Have a happy Senior Week

sad girl said...

who is your mom &dad do they love in montana hardin? if the do is his name george if that is your dad name this is keshia your cousin the one who cried when i had to go home

HanktheDog said...

I thought you might be interested in this URL to video of the lubber grasshopper, which is among the few insects in our Florida back yard to really eyeball us in a most alarming way.

http://www.fotosearch.com/DVA005/018-0087/

TxCashGuy said...

Hello all,
This is a very thoughtful list! What kind of camera do you use? Very pretty even if they are bugs. Thanks for sharing.
Mike
Get the Best Credit Card for You

Rafael Prestes said...

Your Blog is cool I like the colors in it and the style of course as well as the topic.
It looks like a Brazilian Blog, very green. Cool.
have a nice day.
Rafael Prestes

Trevor Hammack said...

You may or may not be intrested but I have two intresting pictures of a praying mantis on my blog. If you like them feel free to cut and past to your blog.

www.worldvieww.blogspot.com

Trevor Hammack

James Willis said...

Great Blog I also enjoy looking at many different types of bugs.

sarah the great and wise said...

I really like bugs…probably too much.

My favorites are the fiery searcher beetle, long horned beetles, the ichneumon wasp, and the Luna moth.

Oh, and the spotted cucumber beetle.

Actually I just really like beetles (they are the most beautiful insects).

I really like your blog. Good job.

R2K said...

Im glad you liked my images... I have more that I will be glad to share with you some time, but I cant post them all due to concerns about people stealing them.

Understanding the micro world around us is probably the single most life altering thing I have ever gone through. You never look at things the same way again once you know just how much is going on in every square inch.

One thing I love is to use a stereo microscope to watch soil and such. The amount of life in there is shocking, mites, worms, single celled organisms....

:) Anyway, great blog, the best ever added to the front page.

R2000

Priscilla said...

Bugs are creepy. They do serve a purpose I suppose. I do like your pictures and content. It's always nice to see others interests.

uncertain routine said...

interesting!

bekxy said...

I dont really love bugs. But your blog is really nice including the background....

Twisted angel said...

Hi awesome photos, I am an artist and your photos are beautiful, keep up the fantastic work!

merikeyrock said...

interesting

Rosalyn said...

I just saw your blog today, and although I have to admit I don't love ALL bugs, I love looking at them and your blog is super! Maybe you'll even change my mind. I realize how great they are in ecosystems, so maybe with the help of this blog, someday I'll get over my phobia of bugs crawling on me. :o)

hevean2stars said...

I was browsing the recently updated blogs and your caught my attention. What a cool blog!! I am not a fan of bugs but your website is realy well done. It is also informative. I have one on what I read all the time. Keep it up.

LegallyNaked said...

bugs are cool.. i agree.. and i'm not too comfy when cockroaches are around.. mostly when they fly around.
the smell.. grrrr

check out this blogspot too.. it might interest you too :)
http://legallynaked.blogspot.com/

hehe.. the name could be a bit dirty, but nothing bad is in it.. check it out ;)

RepublicanGirl77 said...

wow. this is a really cool blog! good work. :)

vanessa cardui said...

Many: I like green.

Legalynaked: Yes, the smell. It seems people have varying abilities to smell insects. Or is that a handicap? I can smell 'em (roaches, ants, ladybugs, etc etc) others I know cannot.

Trevor: I like the picture of the mantis with the dollar. There's something poetic about that.

bookworm: nope, not an entomologist. just someone who is interested in bugs' lives. Thanks for your comment; yes there are an awful lot of species to explore, even in a narrowly defined geographical area.

alex: In a class I took, Diversity of Life, we viewed onion cells metabolising under a 'scope. I mean, you could see macromolecules being transported through the cells. That was an epiphany for me; a real eye-opener and no mistake.

Anonymous said...

You are under siege!