What was that giant scaly eye? It belonged to this delicate animal: It was, as so many of you nearly instantaneously guessed, an owl butterfly in the genus Caligo. Points are awarded as follows: 10 points go to Bill Rockenbeck, for being the first to the correct genus. I’ll also award 2 consolation points each [...]
Posts Tagged ‘Lepidoptera’
During the day our showy goldenrod (Solidago speciosa) is visited by the usual sun-loving suspects: bumble bees, sweat bees, hover flies, butterflies, and so on. I was curious about what happens after dark, though, so I just popped out to have a look. It’s nearly as active at night, too, but with a different set [...]
A dark green-yellow mottled background helps along this photograph of a swallowtail caterpillar’s defensive osmeterium: Subtle & tasteful. Scaled up for a larger insect, though, and the fact that I’m using a watermelon for backdrop becomes perhaps a bit too obvious: A large papaya might have been better.
Evo-devo biologist extraordinaire Antónia Monteiro is visiting campus this week, and she shared with us this photograph of a simply unbelievable Malaysian moth: Do you see the mural? Mimicry is common in insects. Some adopt the cryptic appearance of sticks or leaves, some ape the stripes of stinging wasps, and some sport the colors of [...]
What was that Tiger-Skin Rug? It was a close-up of the abdomen of North America’s largest moth, Hyalophora cecropia. I happened across a mating pair while taking out the garbage the other night, of all things, and spent the next couple hours arranging the above photograph. Ten points to MrILoveTheAnts for a game well played. With two [...]
What was that dashing, color-coordinated tropical moth? This mystery was difficult on two counts. First, it’s a tropical moth from a poorly documented fauna. Second, the family-level taxonomy of this group was just revised and the once-proud Arctiidae, the tiger moths, is now a mere subfamily (Arctiinae) in a larger Erebidae. What was the genus? [...]
Midway through my recent Ecuador trip an ant photographer’s nightmare came to pass. My trusty MP-E 1-5x macro, the lens responsible for 95% of my images since 2003, died. The electronics failed with the iris stuck full open, rendering it incapable of providing any depth of field. It became a doorstop, essentially, and there was [...]