itscolossal: A Beetle Tattoo Spreads its Wing…


A Beetle Tattoo Spreads its Wings in Tandem With its Owner’s Arm


pterygota: Alright so I’m the anon, and the s…


Alright so I’m the anon, and the shiny one is Bert. Also, found this other little dude among a horde of lady beetles/bugs/birds (???) and a shiny looking mosquito? But anyways, I’ve branched out from bees to other bugs, on my side blog just for them! I’m very pleased about it

oh, bert is beautiful!! i love those colors!

i believe the little dude under the leaf is a stink bug of some sort, and the shiny thing is a long-legged fly, probably in the genus condylostylus – i just love their iridescence! i sometimes come across ones that are a deep blue color

thank you so much for sharing! do you mind sharing your sideblog? 🙂

Hold onto your horseflies Anon submitter! Your shiny Bert is a lady beetle!!! (Commonly called ladybugs or lady birds, they are members of the order Coleoptera, aka Beetles). Bert is likely a member of the Halmus genus. If you are in the US, you are probably in California, because Bert is an Australian species (Steelblue lady beetle) that was recently introduced to the US [link to bugguide].

Your shy hiding friend is a stink bug, from what I can see, most likely a Rough Stink Bug (usually camouflaging on tree bark). He could be something else, but it’s hard to tell from just his face.

And the above is correct about your shiny green friend. Long-legged flies are very pretty. Some species are a shiny orange-red, but most are blue or green. They do look a lot like mosquitos, which are just another kind of fly.

September 17, 2018

Hello! I sent you the message about not liking…

Hello! I sent you the message about not liking most bugs but wanting to like them? I went outside today and started taking photos (just with my phone) with the intention to look at them later and see what's out and about in my area, and I think I did alright! Found a shiny beetle and called him Bert, and I just wanted to let you know so, yeah. Thanks for reading this!

thank YOU for sending this!!! im so happy to hear! 🙂

if you want you can totally submit Bert or anything else to me, id love to see!

if you dont have an account, i definitely suggest joining inaturalist if you want to know more about whats out there. you dont have to know anything at all to get involved, in fact most of my bug knowledge i got directly or indirectly through inaturalist! @nanonaturalist set up a group for tumblr inaturalist users actually, called iNatters of tumblr. the intent of that group is all about learning to use the site and learning about nature!

SCORPION ALERT!!! Made this friend after the M…

Made this friend after the Master Naturalist meeting tonight 😍 Very well camouflaged until I turned on the keychain blacklight! Had to poke him to get him off the walkway and into safety.

September 17, 2018

I’ve just happened upon your fabulous tu…

I’ve just happened upon your fabulous tumblr and have an inquiry. I have been wanting to teach my child who is 9 yo more about botany. I’m a casual fan of it, and not a great teacher. I feel like I get too caught up in the details for him to follow. So, my question is, where could I start? Do you have any resources that could help me in teaching a child this age? I want to make a book of the plant life he can find in our local area with him but want to do it in a way that will be memorable.

(tbh i think the biggest mistake we make when teaching botany to kids is that we dont show them the cool parts. like when we teach kids about animals we show them lions and tigers and elephants and stuff that they may never see in their lives, and then when we get to plants we show them like. petunias and the parts of a flower and that’s it. kids are always enthralled learning about venus fly traps when they learn about them (because they’re cool as hell), but then we fall flat when talking about how they’re a plant you can stumble across in north and south carolina, and how they contribute to the ecosystem there and can be poached just like an endangered rhino or elephant could be. 

i remember when i was younger i was under the impression that there were cool and exotic plants and ecosystems somewhere in some dense forest in asia or africa, but certainly nothing strange here, where i live. i was under the impression that i was just unlucky in that i lived in a really boring place for that sort of thing. and then i got older and realized that there were plants around me i never knew existed.

for instance, i was told at a carnivorous plant conference this year that every state in the US has a native carnivorous plant. i thought, “Bullshit, not where i live!”. when i got back to school i searched through our herbarium and found a Utricularia specimen collected in 1975… the county right next to where i was born and raised (side note: Utricularia is one of those unappreciated carnivorous plants. they live in still water and waterlogged environments where they put down very, very tiny vacuum-sealed bladders; when microorganisms swim by them, they hit the hairs to trigger the traps and get sucked into the pouch, where they’re then digested. the current theory is that venus fly traps evolved from these!)

in high school, i started learning about thermogenic plants, which are plants that heat up. i was under the impression that they were all very far from me…until i found a species that lived in a protected reserve in rural iowa literally 20 minutes away from my house. it’s a remnant ice age population of about 200-400 plants, and knowing that they were there and had always been was incredible. i went and hung out with them about once every couple months in high school. 

so i think the best way to go about it would be to work backwards. native plants are awesome, but when we go to teach animals we don’t start with the native birds in our area; we have to get kids interested first, and then we use that interest to apply it to the things already around us. carnivorous plants are bomb af, and again, there’s a wide range to choose from there (fun fact, we now know that carnivory in plants evolved multiple times independently, so you can find them scattered in with completely normal non-carnivorous relatives!). 

as for resources, documentaries are awesome because they show a good broad range of strange species from across the globe (not just carnivorous plants and titan arums). i made a post with my faves here, and lot of them are on youtube. many of the botanists i met at the carnivorous plant conference this summer became enthralled with them in childhood and found themselves falling into botany because of them (there’s still a lot we don’t know about The Hungry Lads)! 

also one last thing: i have to recommend for you or him one of my fave non-academic botany books of all time, The Plant Messiah by KEW botanical horticulturalist and local lily pad nerd Carlos Magdalena. his entire job is literally rescuing native plants from the brink of extinction, and this book is basically him talking about his adventures in the field and his passion for botany (and also what he had to do to start his career in it). you may know him as the dude who saved the world’s smallest (and most adorable) lily pad species from extinction. this is him in the KEW’s lily pond, holding one of said Small Lads up for comparison with the world’s largest species: 




Visitor in our garden. Not exactly sure what type of insect it is, but he or she’s beautiful! It’s about 2,5cm long.

Some highlights from Hornsby Bend on Saturday!…

Some highlights from Hornsby Bend on Saturday!
1. Beelzebub Bee-killer (robberfly) AKA Fuzzy Wuzzy Eats Some Bees
2. Summer Tanager daintily pulling paper wasp larvae out of the nest and eating them
3. Comet Darner dragonfly (HUGE!!!)
4. There was a bug puddle full of swimming bugs that looked unusual. I looked at them a bit closer. THEY WERE ALL GRASSHOPPERS. WHAT WERE THEY DOING?!?
5. Anhinga!
6. Scissor-Tailed Flycatcher Borb
7. Crab spiders gettin’s lucky. This is how they mate! The male’s sexual organs are part of his mouth, the females are where her bellybutton would be if she had one.
8. Common Nighthawk
9. Mystery bug baby!
10. A Yellow Warbler who is actually VISIBLE for once

September 17, 2018

Did you know: lots of carpenter bees are freel…

Did you know: lots of carpenter bees are freeloading thieves who steal nectar from the base of flowers while avoiding the responsibilities of pollination?

It’s a lot easier to be large when you don’t need to fit inside these dainty little morning glories!

September 16, 2018

pterygota: @coniontisesnormally i reply in th…



normally i reply in the notes but im on my computer right now and this is really interesting so i decided to make my own post

i thought it was taking a while to develop! thats really interesting, what a funny little conclusion to my project! i know for a fact it is thyanta perditor, as i bred it, so thats actually a much more satisfying result than if it became green, considering my whole goal was to add more photos to bugguide and stuff because i saw thyanta perditor images were lacking (also i fell behind on that, need to get around to adding those) and so what do you know, i can contribute a different colored bug on top of that!

Thyanta custator was somewhat similar. I ended up with 30% green/70% brown adults.

Releasing butterflies during over a week of ra…

Releasing butterflies during over a week of rainstorms has NOT been easy! Yesterday, the last three of my milkweed babies emerged, two Queens and a Monarch. And I could not release them yesterday.

I was out birding all morning, and by the afternoon they were RESTLESS and I gave them some nectar since they were probably hungry. But the turds couldn’t find the nectar. When the weather cleared up, I took them outside, and two of them wanted to be hand-fed before they would leave me. Great chance to show a side-by-side comparison of the two species!

Ignore the color, focus on the pattern instead. Monarch (top) had black veins on the top wing (forewing), while the Queen has white dots only. The white patches on the Monarch are bordered with black, but have no border on the Queen.

The color and size of each species may vary, but the features I mention above are always the same. The Queen has a very restricted range, so unless you are in or near Texas, you are unlikely to meet a Queen.

September 15, 2018