Category: fashion shoot

Live from my bedroom window: Obscure Bird Grasshopper 👌
Check out those pecs 😍

September 6, 2019

nanonaturalist:

Was visited by a dobsonfly tonight. My first!!! I was so excited! My backyard has the best bugs

May 19, 2017

A beautiful lady! I had another one visit me this year as well. I am so blessed.

Reposted July 16, 2019

nanonaturalist:

What can I say? Bugs just find me attractive.

Life hack: wear a headlamp out in the country at night, and you too can have giant beetles flying at your face.

May 17, 2017

Hardwood Stump Borer, Mallodon dasystomus, who loved me (or at least my lämp)

Reposted July 16, 2019

nanofishology:

I love meeting new friends. Saw an abdomen from my kitchen window and had to investigate. Looks like she’s about to deposit some eggs somewhere

Carolina mantis lady from fall 2016, her descendants continue to grace my yard year after year. *kisses that fat abdomen*

Reposted July 8, 2019 

I just wanted to say that it's grasshopper and cicada season where I live now. There so many grasshoppers that if I walk in any patch of dry sand and rock, anywhere from 10 to 100's of them start jumping at once and just cascade and fly into my face and I love them so much. What neat grasshopper facts do you have?

It’s grasshopper season here, too! I’m a bit of a grasshopper dunce, but I do still know some neat grasshopper facts.

One of my favorites is about grasshoppers vs. locusts. They’re essentially the same thing! There are some species of grasshoppers that will turn into massive swarms if they get too crowded, and they will destroy everything they will find. Some researchers looked into this, and it turns out, brushing their hind legs releases serotonin in their brains, and that’s what causes their behavioral changes! [link to LiveScience article] 

The Australian Department of Agriculture has a great page about locusts, including their life cycle, I highly recommend checking it out, it’s a great brief overview [link].

Another grasshopper fact, which I discovered by obsessively photographing every bug I see and then having people identify them for me on iNaturalist, is that… the same species can come in MANY different forms! Here are are bunch of photos of Short-winged Green Grasshoppers:

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Thing is, when I first encountered this species name, I assumed all of them would have… short wings… and that they would maybe, be green? NOPE!!! There is a LONG WINGED form (See the babe in the top left? Long wings!) And I don’t think I need to point out the ones that aren’t green. These are ALL THE SAME SPECIES! Don’t believe me? Bottom left corner, a green lady is mating with a brown gentleman. Definition of species, right?

Grasshoppers are so good at camouflaging, holy carp. Take these Aztec Grasshoppers for example. There are two in the photo. This is at Bastrop State Park, where some of the dirt is red from the iron content:

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Or what about this Broad-horned Grasshopper I saw in Malawi?

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And while we’re in Malawi, I HAVE TO SHARE this Gaudy fellow (seriously, the family is commonly called “Gaudy grasshoppers), a Dictyophorus sp. babe I saw hiding out in plain sight on a Cycad, which I didn’t see until I’d been staring at a wasp for several minutes:

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Coming back to Texas, I’ve seen SEMI-AQUATIC GRASSHOPPERS???? NO REALLY, THEY WERE ALL SWIMMING ON PURPOSE, AND THAT’S THEIR THING????? I still don’t know wtf these things are besides pygmy grasshoppers.

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Showy Grasshoppers (that’s their name!) that look like aliens:

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Aztec spur-throat grasshopper nymphs that look like candies:

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The Bird grasshoppers, named because, I presume, they are so huge they are mistaken for birds when they fly:

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One of my fondest grasshoppers memories, though, was of this Red-shanked Grasshopper, who was waiting outside my building at UT Austin when I was a grad student. I was leaving my lab late one night (1 am! Hey, I said I was a grad student!), and he was just waiting for me. I wasn’t a naturalist quite yet, this was 2014. So I did what came naturally to me when faced with a giant grasshopper:

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Grasshoppers are awesome! I hope you get to meet some fun ones!

July 6, 2019

AHHHHH ANOLES!!! I love watching them around my apartment complex! I'm so jealous you can get so close!

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shhhhhhh they’re sleeping

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oh! 

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look at this small child, who has grown up next to a giant finger used to gauge their size. But hmmmm what’s that dot on their head?

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That thing that looks like a hole on the baby’s head is a parietal eye [link to wikipedia article], a light-sensing organ that regulates circadian rhythms and hormone cycles. These organs are common in reptiles, amphibians, and some fish.

When I say my yard is full of anoles, I mean… I can go out in my yard any night from April through November and find at least three or four of them lounging in my trees. Sometimes I find cuddle piles of them.

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I love them.

July 3, 2019

nanonaturalist:

A big, fat Tawny Emperor (Asterocampa clyton) lady came out of her chrysalis today, but we had a storm in Austin and I didn’t want to release her in the rain! So I gave her some plum, over-ripe banana, and a paper towel soaked in hummingbird nectar (4 parts water, 1 part sugar). She went for the nectar and the banana when I watched her!

Had to take photos through the sides of the enclosure she’s sharing with a Gulf Fritillary and Question Mark, both also came out today. I wasn’t able to photograph them, though! These look like I’m a sneaky butterfly paparazzi, huh?

For the Asterocampa butterflies, the females are larger, have a fatter abdomen, and the bottom wing (called the hindwing) is rounded out. In the males, the hindwing is more triangular, the outer edge is straight, not circular.

June 27, 2019

About to release, Question Mark nomming banana

June 28, 2019

A big, fat Tawny Emperor (Asterocampa clyton) lady came out of her chrysalis today, but we had a storm in Austin and I didn’t want to release her in the rain! So I gave her some plum, over-ripe banana, and a paper towel soaked in hummingbird nectar (4 parts water, 1 part sugar). She went for the nectar and the banana when I watched her!

Had to take photos through the sides of the enclosure she’s sharing with a Gulf Fritillary and Question Mark, both also came out today. I wasn’t able to photograph them, though! These look like I’m a sneaky butterfly paparazzi, huh?

For the Asterocampa butterflies, the females are larger, have a fatter abdomen, and the bottom wing (called the hindwing) is rounded out. In the males, the hindwing is more triangular, the outer edge is straight, not circular.

June 27, 2019

Some Sausages

Hackberry Emperor, Asterocampa celtis

June 24, 2019

TIME TO SCREAM

Late spring in central Texas, nice and warm, not quite hot enough to melt your shoes, but hot enough to melt everything in your car.

But it’s not summer until…

the trees start screaming!

I have heard some cicadas farther east of me (a different species than I have), but so far, this year has been quiet. So I feel like I have been visited by the Cicada Queen, who has bestowed upon me a great honor: I saw my first cicada before I heard it. She was hiding in the elm that popped up in my yard!

So beautiful and perfect!!!

Superb Dog-day Cicada

June 3, 2019