Saturday, July 18, 2015

Yay!! Spotted a Giant Stag Beetle!

Giant Stag Beetle, Sally Kneidel
A rare treat -- a fabulous Giant Stag Beetle (Lucanus elaphus). My fingertips for scale. Incredible!!! Saw this one at Little Sugar Creek Greenway last week. The huge jaws are only on males, they fight for females just like male elk, deer, and moose. Check out this video of 2 males fighting (a different but similar species):

Sunday, July 05, 2015

If you don't begin, you can't get there

Saw this lovely little bug plodding patiently along a wall at a city park last week. She inspired me!

She's a wingless nymph (sub-adult) in the family Reduviidae. 

The dissenter

Why does this one beautiful Black-eyed Susan have red on it, while the others are all yellow?

Saw these native flowers yesterday, growing wild at a local greenway.

Friday, July 03, 2015

World's fastest accelerator -- not what you might think!

Eyed Click Beetle, photo Sally Kneidel
Saw this beautiful big click beetle on the deck a few days ago, about an inch long. If clicked away after one picture, disappearing into the brush.

The two black spots are fake eyes that startle birds and other predators and give the beetle a chance to get away. Lots of butterflies and caterpillars have fake eye spots for the same reason.

Click beetles move by suddenly snapping their body at the middle -- they do that by pulling a peg on the thorax out of a tight groove, sort of like pop beads. When they do that, their body flips away, accelerating faster than any other animal on the planet. They don't go very far, especially the little brown click beetles that are so common. But this Eyed Click Beetle moved fast enough to get away from me and my camera. I couldn't find it again.

Thank you little beetle for letting me take the one picture!