I’ve covered the mantis before, but I just found this one and had to post the picture. I think this is an atheist mantis, though, because he isn’t praying.
“Did you hear that katydid?”
“Katy did what?”
“Huh? That katydid over there.”
“Katy did what over there?”
“What are you talking about?”
“I don’t know, but who is Katy?”
Hmmm, I could drag that on for hours…sorry. Anyways, a katydid is similar to a grasshopper, but the telltale sign of its identity is in the length of its antennae. They can sometimes reach the length of its entire body, unlike the short and thick antennae of the grasshopper. Yous can often hear them on late summer evenings as they produce noise by rubbing their front wings together (stridulation).
There are over 6,400 species of tettigoniids. many of them dine mostly on leaves and other plant matter, while others are known to eat other insects, snails, and even small vertebrates. Some large ones are even known to inflict a painful bite.
Also, I don’t know who Katy is or what she did so stop asking.
Harvestmen may look like spiders, but they aren’t. They are arachnids, though. For some reason this came as a shock to me the first time I learned it and I don’t really know why. It’s not like it shook the foundation of my reality. Anyways, the main difference between opiliones and spiders is that spiders have 3 body segments while opiliones only have 2. They also only have only a single pair of eyes.
They also are commonly referred to as Daddy Longlegs, but this can often create confusion because that nickname is also used for the common “cellar spider” Pholcidae.
I’ve often heard the rumor that opiliones are one of the most poisonous arachnids in the world, but are too weak to actually bite you. Apparently this is untrue as they don’t posses fangs, or even venom glands for that matter. They use a fangless chelicerae for grasping and eating food.
One final thought, and I can’t be the only one to think this. I was instantly reminded of the opiliones the first time I came across a “Strider” in the awesome game Half-Life 2.
I’m not entirely sure about this one. I think it’s a black fly (not just because it flies and is black), but I just can’t be positive. Please let me know if you happen to know specifically what this is. For the time being, lets learn about black flies.
Apparently, black flies are quite a nuisance to humans because they like to bite. The females feast on your blood, while the males mostly feed on nectar. I ran into a swarm of them partying on a bunch of irises. I think were they engaging in territorial gang warfare with the whiteflies.
I have to admit, though, that the more I look at information about black flies, the more I think this might be something else.
I don’t have a picture of a full grown stink bug, but I found a couple a nymphs hanging around on some leaves in my back yard. Personally, I think the nymphs are a lot prettier than the adults anyways.
The stink bug gets its name from the foul smelling secretion it emits as a defense mechanism when disturbed . I’ve “disturbed” quite a few of these guys and haven’t ever smelled anything, so either it isn’t very strong to the human nose, or I’m just not that threatening of a person.
The stink bug can damaging to crops (they suck plant juices), but certain members of the Pentatomidae family are also beneficial as they are natural predators of japanese beetles and other pest insects.