Insects or Hexapoda, those generally winged, armored, little things, They are responsible for carrying our crops, our plague's, and for that universally chilling fear of tiny legs tingling across your skin.
Well it turns out that insects are the most diverse,most numerous and often, most misunderstood animals in the animal kingdom.
Since I am a hobbyist, and an official naturalist, I would like to share what I know using pictures taken on my many hikes.
Bug Catcher Zummorr would like to battle!
This first insect is a California Ringlet Butterfly
Ain't it fuzzy? This fellow was found in house and home on the sliding glass door.
Moth's and Butterflies (it's a little more complicated than that) are both part of the same order of insects, Lepidoptera. But there are ways to distinguish between the two.
The easiest way to distinguish between a moth and butterfly is to look at the antennae, only butterflies have clubbed antennae like this butterfly here. Moth's have much more variety in their antennae and their antennae are very rarely clubbed.
If I were fiercely categorizing an insect, like one would in class, I'd have to closely examine the wing veination that you see here. I'd have to count the number of veins and where they first or part, it's quite a bother really, color and size are usually not really significant in terms of classifying insects, it's the weird small details like number of joints near the end of it's legs which are important.
You might notice that the butterfly's eye is rather peculiar as it looks like it has an eyespot, a black portion on it's eye that looks similar to an iris. This is literally a trick of the light. Compound eyes, like the ones this butterfly has are composed of arrangements of ommatidia. the best way to think of an insect eye is that it is shaped like a colander or golf ball, it's a round eye that has many small holes that are each focused in a different direction.
When a picture is taken the unfocused portions of the eye reflect light while the focused portion (The portions of the eye that are looking at the camera) are deep and don't reflect any light back.
For comparison on how this insect "Psuedopupil" works here is a grass hopper's eye taken at different angles.
and when we turn it around, he is still looking at the camera
It's surprising how prickly looking a grass hopper is.
Tomorrow I will talk about Bees, look at this! a "Bee" eating a bee!
If you have any questions about what I talked about here or insects in general, I'll do my best to answer them.