Categories
Nature

Owlflies: The oddball of an insect

Want to see a strange insect? Look no further than Owlflies.

These flying insects look like a mix of butterflies and dragonflies, possessing strange rainbow-mirrorball eyes and knob-like antennas.

An unusual group of insects part of the Ascalaphidae, a family in the order Neuroptera, these colorful creatures also make deadly aerial predators of other flying insects. Their bipartite compound eyes are UV sensitive, allowing them to hunt prey against the bright sky.

They can also blend in with twigs when at rest.

Owlflies: The oddball of an insect
Owlflies: The oddball of an insect
Owlflies: The oddball of an insect
Categories
Animals Nature

The Picasso bug, where art and nature collide

You can’t beat the brushstrokes of nature. Native to tropical and subtropical Africa, the Picasso bug is truly nature’s work of art.

The Picasso Bug (Sphaerocoris annulus) is a species of shield-backed bugs that possess a vibrant carapace that does more than illustrate its aesthetic beauty. The mosaic design serves as a warning to predators.

Nicknamed “stink bug,” the tiny creepy crawler also emits a putrid smell when disturbed.

As the famous abstract artist, Pablo Picasso once said, “Good artists borrow. Great artists steal.” But seeing a bug like this would’ve tempted Picasso to become a naturalist instead.

The Picasso bug, where art and nature collide
Photo: Eu Curto Biologia (via TW/Nature_Is_Lit)
The Picasso bug, where art and nature collide
Photo: Twitter/Rainmaker1973
Photo: Twitter/Kiddopediatv
Categories
Animals

How your wealth attracts more insects

A recent study links higher income to the diversity of bugs inside homes. Called the ‘luxury effect,’ wealthier people tend to have more bug types hanging out indoors.

This may not seem obvious at first, but the reason is simple. The richer you are, the more likely you are to own a bigger house and maintain a landscape, which supports more plants and trees, which cultivates more bugs, thereby inviting more types of insects into your home.

“More expensive houses tend to be larger, providing more space for bugs to roam. This is called the species-area curve, a concept originally  developed to help explain diversity in oceanic islands. The concept soon expanded to include diversity of all stripes. Basically, the more area there is, the more species can call a place home.”

The study also suggests that bugs treat the larger homes like they do trees, living in different rooms like they do on tree branches.

So, just imagine the diversity of insects bug lovers would discover at the White House, Lebron’s mansion, or your resort. But if you live in a city? You can throw the insect to income ratio out the window.

Categories
Nature

Nature’s flying jewels

If you liked the video of the dead leaf butterfly, then you’ll want to check out this video of the beautiful Archduke (Lexias pardalis dirteana) butterfly in its baby caterpillar state.

Full of spines, its next stage will be chrysalis before shedding and breaking into a restless butterfly.