Category: gif


Imperial moth caterpillar, now 4th instar! One more molt to go before pupation!

October 20, 2019

Still alive, still unemployed, still raising giant chonking caterpillars. Got 40 of these spiny sausages.

Save me

Also, hire me dammit

October 21, 2019






a few money-saving tips for millennials

-Instead of buying coffee each morning, make your own at home before you leave for work. Those dark roasts really add up! Buy just one drink per week and make it a special occasion to savor and look forward to.

-Stop costly ‘vampire power’ drains by unplugging appliances when not in use. Use power trips when possible for east turn-offs and avoid plugging things into the wall.

-Employ the ‘30 day rule’. If you want to make a purchase, put it back and wait a month—if the urge to buy it has passed, it probably wasn’t worth it.

-Use grocery lists and stick to them.

-Prepare your own meals whenever possible instead of going out to eat—and host your friends at home!

-Cancel unused gym memberships and automatic subscriptions.

-Learn how to sew and cut your own hair. This saves a buttload if money if you’re not replacing new clothes or going to expensive trips to the salon.

-Use poison-testers efficiently. Paying someone to test your food for you can provide peace of mind and a sense of security, but it’s an expensive service, especially if you have many determined enemies! Buy, store, and prepare your own food in a room only you have access to, vary your diet, eat unpredictably, and you will only need to employ a poison tester for special occasions, like weddings or diplomatic missions.

-Learn to enjoy cold showers! Not only do they build character and increase endurance, but they’re good for the skin—and cut on electricity costs!

-Sell your guns! Bullets are expensive and extremely difficult to make, and subject to legal restrictions. In contrast, a good sword and a whetstone can last generations with proper care and be repaired with comparative ease. If ranged attacks are important to your home defense system, arrows are reusable and easy to make. Watch free YouTube tutorials instead of attending a class.

-Coupons, coupons, coupons!

-Dogs are high-maintenance, expensive, and can be difficult to train. They need high levels of attention and are vulnerable to bribery and treachery—even a dog that’s aggressive towards strangers can usually be thwarted with food or a familiar face. Spiders, on the other hand, are exceptionally low-maintenance, can go days or weeks without feeding, and can act as pest control. Allowing large, recognizable spiders to build webs over windows and door frames inside your home will serve as a strong deterrent to most intruders, and broken webs can act as warning clues that something is amiss.

-Quality over quantity. It’s fair cheaper to buy one pair of high-quality $300 shoes that will last you a decade than to buy thirty pairs of $30 shoes that fall apart after a few months.

-Make your own gifts to give to friends and family. Picking up an artistic craft or hobby may seem superficially worthless, but the social obligation to give expensive presents is a major money-suck. Your loved ones will appreciate the handcrafted, personal quality of your gifts—and customizing them will allow you to create secret compartments in which to hide listening devices, illicit materials, and/or coded messages.

-Only use ATMs affiliated with your own bank to cut withdrawal fees.

-Get a library card and USE it! You can rent books, movies, music, and more from your local library for a fraction of the cost of using other services.

-Grow your own garden. Getting down on your knees in the dirt is great for stress-relief, and being able to grow and manufacture your own poisons eliminates the difficulty and expense of finding a trustworthy supplier. 

are we not going to acknowledge the poison-tester part bc i dont think im a part of the people that worry about that kind of thing

Look, it’s great if you CAN afford a poison-tester for every single meal, but some of us have to make the budget stretch. I know “just eliminate your enemies” sounds like a good plan, but in practice it just begats more enemies. 

(Trade secret: poison-testers will occasionally work for free, provided they’re hungry enough.)

Are we going to ignore that they suggested just letting a spider live there, rent-free? I don’t know about you, but that won’t fly in my household.

It won’t fly in your household because the spider will catch it. There won’t be any flies in your household if you listen to my wisdom. 

You would say no to this face???


Pantropical jumping spider (male)


What’s this? A sexy lady? *he approaches seductively*

(she wasn’t interested)

August 16, 2019


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


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


Spittlebugs are fun to bother. They’re like opening Christmas presents–you never know what you’ll find wrapped in the mass of slimy bubbles. I just tried two in my yard–they may or may not be the same species (I definitely do not know much about these kids). The first one was kinda shy, but the second did a cool butt dance.

March 31, 2017

Diamond-backed Spittlebug nymphs (yes, same species!). They produce the foam by essentially “farting” into their “pee,” which is more or less just the plant’s juices with a little bit of the sugar removed. The little butt-dance the last one is doing is the accordion-like movement that they use to blow the bubbles. 

Reposted July 14, 2019


Oak galls in Travis Audubon’s Baker Sanctuary outside Austin, March 18, 2017. Galls are a new thing for me: they are growths composed of plant matter that grow around a larva, typically of a gall wasp. They do not harm the plant, and if you don’t know any better you would think they are dried berries or seeds.

This was my first time seeing fresh ones–before I had only seen the brown dried up ones the wasps had already emerged from (several are pictured above, look for the exit hole). The green galls seemed to be only on the saplings. I collected a couple to dissect at home (didn’t bring my knife!).

Turns out each gall has an individual wasp. The middle of the ball has a suspended encasement for the larva. You can see where the larva is in the photo of the dissected green gall–the larva is on the side I’m pointing to with a needle. I pulled out my trusty iPhone microscope, and amazingly was able to get (very shaky) video of the larva MOVING. Creeped me the hell out when I saw it.

Fun fact: when I first saw the wasp larva moving in the microscope, I actually screamed 👍

Amphibolips sp. – Wasp that produces galls on oak trees

Reposted July 14, 2019


Frogs at Lockhart State Park, Feb 25, 2017, Lockhart TX

Two green tree frogs and a northern cricket frog

Look at these fine boys. ID Update: That’s a Blanchard’s Cricket Frog!

Reposted July 12, 2019


Antlion larvae are well-known predators that inspire countless movie / video game monsters but then their adult form is just a damselfly with anxiety

This is funny cuz it’s true





although, to be fair…

BUTT SCOOT OF … uh… um… 

funny thing about the ferocious larvae, they can only move backwards. And in little short scoots. The second you dig them out of their little funnel, they freak out and just want to bury themselves, They are only powerful when they remain unseen.


Note: very few species actually make the funnels! But the ones that make the funnels, OH BOY DO THEY MAKE FUNNELS!

July 11, 2019

For first time in 45 years, endangered American burying beetle found in Ohio:




This federally endangered beetle hasn’t had a reproducing population in Ohio since 1974. For the last ten years, conservationists from the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium have released captive-reared beetles, but have been unable to find any surviving offspring after the released adults finish their short lifespan.

This last year conservationists released 472 captive-reared beetles from large, more cold-hardy stock and finally found new, overwintered beetles. Another participating institution, the Cincinnati Zoo, also found overwintered beetles for the first time this year.

Burying beetles are one of the few beetles to show monogamy and extended parental care. When it’s time to reproduce, a mated pair of burying beetles finds the carcass of a small bird or mammal, digs underneath it to submerge the carcass in the earth, and then raises their larva inside the carcass (larva even beg for food from their parents like baby birds).

While it may sound gross, burying beetles do important work cleaning up dead animals, recycling nutrients, and limiting the spread of disease.

It’s unclear what caused the American burying beetle to decline in the first place, but one theory is that the extinction of the passenger pigeon harmed them by removing a large source of appropriately-sized carcasses (though multiple factors were likely involved). 

“Our mission is to make sure that we’re looking out for all wildlife, not just the cute and fuzzy ones.”


July 10, 2019

Oh hey, I was involved in this!!

Incredible beetles, really. Larger than you’d think! The males have a large, orange rectangle on the head while the females have a small red-ish triangle.

This one on my hand is a female! It’s a bit hard to see, but there’s a small triangle below the large patch on the head.

Both a male and a female, along with a dead, were placed into a hole with the hopes that they would breed. I’m happy to report that recently they were checked on and lots of beetle larvae were found!

(This one is a male!)


Thanks for sharing! That’s so awesome!!!

July 10, 2019


Butterfly House at the Houston Museum of Natural Science. One of the better ones I’ve been in!

Visited the museum for this post December 2016, desperately need to go back (yes, I have been there again since, but still).

Fun fact: when I first started raising butterflies, I looked back to this post to see how they had hung their chrysalids to figure out how in the heck to do it myself. I couldn’t figure it out so I developed my own method. But now that I know what I’m doing, I can tell you: that cord the chrysalids are hanging off is probably silk, and they have probably wrapped the silk mats the caterpillars laid down around the cord. So simple! Either that, or they used a super secret butterfly glue I don’t know about because I’m not in the Butterfly Blood Brotherhood.

Reposting July 9, 2019