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Zummorr's Insect Emporium

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Zummorr
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Re: Zummorr's Insect Emporium

Postby Zummorr » 11 months ago

Coryman wrote:Funny, we've got a scotch broom problem up here in coastal BC... Just burned a bunch actually, heh heh
plenty of scotch broom here as well. not sure if fires burning the stuff is good treatment or not.

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Re: Zummorr's Insect Emporium

Postby Zummorr » 11 months ago

Today with net in hand I marched to the fields once again!

Dragon flies and butterflies are still proving evasive, I should go earlier in the morning as to avoid UV radiation and the lower temperatures will slow down most of the insects.

Although I did not find any Dragonflies I still caught a a member of the same order Odonata, a damselfly.
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Odonata means "tooth" and refers the mouthparts of dragonflies. It's actually a pretty weird order name because it refers to their mouth parts rather than their wings because this order was one of the first to really take advantage of flight and they are really good at it. Then again Odonata have pretty notable mouthparts, they shred their food so well biologists can have trouble determining what prey they are chowing on. Odonata are pretty ancient in design dating back to the lower half of the permian (These bugs were around when pangea was a thing.)
Sometimes they are called Hawk-flies because of how they swoop down and capture other insects mid-flight with their hairy raptorial legs.
Image Image Imageseems he found a piece of dead insect he was fond of in my jar.
The major difference between a damselfly and dragonfly is that damsel flies hold their wings above and together above their body when at rest where dragon flies have their wings spread outwards when at rest. Dragonflies tend to be bigger and their compound eyes go around their whole head.

I have a tendency to be very "unscientific" with my identifications, because the proper way to identify the insects is by looking at key distinguishing features, like wing veination. Old school taxonomic biology runs into this problem alot as they relate everything to some "key specimen" that they put in a box. Lucky for us DNA sequencing is a thing and getting cheaper everyday!

Up next is a Carpenter Bee and this fellow did not like the bottle at all.
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Carpenter Bees, not to be confused with bumble bees, are in the same family as honey bees (Apidae) and are notable for making their homes in small colonies and in wood.
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The bee did alot of struggling in the bottle, I don't know if the wing damage was there before or not. Wing damage is actually one of the big things limiting most bee lives, They tend to be clumsy fliers and bump into things. The small pieces of wing that chafe off aren't grown back
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A Carpenter bee is almost never going to settle on the ground, but I sorta poisoned the poor fellow. The jar I had was used as an insect killing jar and was treated with ethyl acetate to stun and kill insects. Seems that it still had some potency. I can assure you though that the bee did fly away after a while.

Have you ever seen a "giant mosquito?" or a "spider fly" an obnoxious bug that is quite large with really long legs, nothing is quite as scary as a spider with wings after all.
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Those are called Crane-flies they are part of the Diptera(two-wings houseflies) order. And the good news is that as bothersome as craneflies are, they are 100% guarrenteed harmless! If you see one in your house, cup in your hands or grab it by the wing (not the leg those are meant to break off like lizard tails) and then just pitch it out the front door. Crane-flies spend most of their lives as larvae in the soil, and the adults don't eat much and don't live long. Some adult crane flies feed on nectar.

Our mustachioed insect here really has a poor constitution with the killing jar.
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Diptera are an order that radiated alongside mammals and flowering plants, their defining characteristics are the loss of mandibles and the lose of back wings. In diptera the backwings have shrunk down to those stalks with the round part just under the crane-fly wings. These structures are super easy to see in crane-flies but most flies have similar structures. These are thought to be used in aiding flight balance.

Feel free to ask any questions.

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Re: Zummorr's Insect Emporium

Postby Telamon » 11 months ago

I had a friend who once told me that those big mosquito-looking things are actually big mosquitoes that get their blood by eating other mosquitoes. The conclusion from this was that you actually wanted them in your house to control the biters. Any idea if such an insect actually exists?
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Re: Zummorr's Insect Emporium

Postby Zummorr » 11 months ago

Telamon wrote:I had a friend who once told me that those big mosquito-looking things are actually big mosquitoes that get their blood by eating other mosquitoes. The conclusion from this was that you actually wanted them in your house to control the biters. Any idea if such an insect actually exists?


Totally forgot to mention that. No, they feed on flowers, if anything at all in their adult life. Craneflies and the whole mosquito eating myth is completely false. As far as an insect that controls mosquito population. robber flies, dragonflies, spiders, mostly fish and amphibians keep them in check.

TBH though the biggest thing that controls or atleast controlled mosquito populations. Is not building/living near wetlands and pesticides. iirc historically DDT and other pesticides were used in about a 100 years ago(1908) because of the fear of malaria, now it's hardly even a concern.

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Re: Zummorr's Insect Emporium

Postby HamsterZerg » 11 months ago

Is Ohio part of the natural range of craneflies?

Wasn't Meganeura from the Carboniferous period?

I know this isn't about insects, but do spiders really have the ability to move stuff heavier than themselves with relative ease?
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Re: Zummorr's Insect Emporium

Postby Coryman » 11 months ago

I was always told crane flies were called mosquito eaters... I've been lied to all my life!
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Re: Zummorr's Insect Emporium

Postby Zummorr » 11 months ago

HamsterZerg wrote:Is Ohio part of the natural range of craneflies?

Wasn't Meganeura from the Carboniferous period?

I know this isn't about insects, but do spiders really have the ability to move stuff heavier than themselves with relative ease?
-I would think that Ohio is part of the natural range of Craneflies. They like to bumble into houses and lay their eggs in grass turf.
-Meganuera is indeed earlier than Odanata and the physiology is similar. However the order of Meganuera is Meganisoptera which is a seperate order from Odanata.
I do not know what specific differences the ancient species would have that would distinguish it from Odonata. Possibly it's wing veination and if they were living, their respiratory system.
-Generally small ecdysozoa tend to be really strong when you compare their size to lifting strength. Quick google searches lead me to think that they are pretty good at lifting things heavier than them. The book "Physics of the impossible." dealt with this topic early on, talking about King Kong. I need to go find that book.

Anyways! Have you ever heard of Herps? perhaps a meme somewhere? Herpatology refers to a old classification that lumped together reptiles and amphibians.
small ones tend to major predators of insects.
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I believe this is an Aligator Lizard. And unlike Western Fence Lizards they bite. So I'm not going to pick it up. if you are interested I do have older pictures of one that was found in our garage.

How does that meme go again? Here's Dah Boi!
Image It's some species of tree frog. I think due to the large pads on the feet. These guys were everywhere as of late and their tadpoles are plentiful in nearby streams. As note if you are handling wild reptiles or amphibians wash your hands due to the fact that they can carry a strain of salmonella on their skin.


One bottled Butterfly!
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A grasshopper nymph
Image ImageImageThe reason it's specifically a nymph is because of it's lack of wings. Only adult insects have wings. Some young insects hatch as small versions of the adults like Grasshoppers and Hemiptera. Others go through a worm-like larval stage like maggots or caterpillars. Whether an insect goes through a complete metamorphosis or simply grows larger through repeated shedding.


There are three forms of Holometabolous (complete metamorphisis) larvae.
Oligopod (some-legs) larvae, which look like the ladybird beetle larvae from earlier.
Apodal (no-legs) Larvae. They are oftenlegless grubs (often in flies)
Polypodal (many-legs) larvae which have psuedopods. (think caterpillar) Psuedopods are not true limbs and are actually extensions of the body wall which the larvae uses to hang onto plants.

Earlier today I noticed that there were many chewed holes in our lettuce plants. and upon investigation found a large polypodal larvae. https://youtu.be/-BKJUy402wA

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Re: Zummorr's Insect Emporium

Postby Telamon » 11 months ago

Man, that's a lot of adorable in that post.
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Re: Zummorr's Insect Emporium

Postby Learning-Timebuster » 11 months ago

especially the grasshopper nymph, yes
"some anime quote goes here"
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t t

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Re: Zummorr's Insect Emporium

Postby HamsterZerg » 11 months ago

Zummorr wrote:
HamsterZerg wrote:I know this isn't about insects, but do spiders really have the ability to move stuff heavier than themselves with relative ease?
-Generally small ecdysozoa tend to be really strong when you compare their size to lifting strength. Quick google searches lead me to think that they are pretty good at lifting things heavier than them. The book "Physics of the impossible." dealt with this topic early on, talking about King Kong. I need to go find that book.
Well, I guess that's something that the Spider-Man creators got right.
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[ispoiler]Somebody should make an animation where the knife slash at the end of the Genocide run is Frisk killing Chara, who is shocked, then scared, and finally sad, apologizing to Asriel and asking him for forgiveness.[/ispoiler]


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Re: Zummorr's Insect Emporium

Postby Zummorr » 11 months ago

HamsterZerg wrote: Well, I guess that's something that the Spider-Man creators got right.
Egh not really. iirc their strength has to do with their muscle fiber cross section in comparison to body size. Volume will increase at a much faster rate than the cross section of muscle when you increase the size of the organism. Like if you think about tarantula's I don't think they are notable for their strength.

Spiders are notable for producing pretty much the strongest tensile strength fibers we know of. The main problem with factorizing spiders for use is that spiders are cannibals and eat each other, unlike silkworms. Spiderman being able to shoot one of the strongest substances on earth is still pretty neat.

Today I finally found my nemesis, the hunter of hunters, the one who greedily grips and suckles on any passing red humours to eek out it's meager life.
Image Image This is a Deer Tick, they are Chelicerates and are closely related to spiders, note the eight legs. While having a tick burrow into one is unpleasant, their real danger is that 50-70% of them in northern california carry lyme disease a nasty bacteria that causes a variety of symptoms.


Next we have another Bee, I don't want to call it a bumble bee, but it's quite hairy. I've been trying to get a good picture of Ocelli but it's quite difficult.
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Last time I showed you a nice white butterfly, but I realized that I never showed you the inner wings of it. So here you go.
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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JLx0QNt ... e=youtu.be

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Re: Zummorr's Insect Emporium

Postby Telamon » 11 months ago

That's presumably a Western Tailed-Blue, though looking at my book I couldn't have told you if it were an Eastern or Western without knowing where it was caught. Confusingly, the Eastern Tailed-Blue is found in various parts of the west, but it's rarer, and not found south of the San Fransico Bay area.
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Re: Zummorr's Insect Emporium

Postby Zummorr » 11 months ago

Telamon wrote:That's presumably a Western Tailed-Blue, though looking at my book I couldn't have told you if it were an Eastern or Western without knowing where it was caught. Confusingly, the Eastern Tailed-Blue is found in various parts of the west, but it's rarer, and not found south of the San Fransico Bay area.
Well I found it north of San-fran Specifically Butte County. Not sure if thats far enough "east" for the eastern.

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Re: Zummorr's Insect Emporium

Postby Telamon » 11 months ago

Well, whoops for assuming! Makes it sound like it could in fact be an eastern, but Western is still more likely. Anyway, my guide describes them as 'nearly identical,' so...
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Re: Zummorr's Insect Emporium

Postby Zummorr » 11 months ago

Telamon wrote:Well, whoops for assuming! Makes it sound like it could in fact be an eastern, but Western is still more likely. Anyway, my guide describes them as 'nearly identical,' so...
Googling some sites shows me that the Eastern-tail has small orange spots on the bottom edge of the hindwings. They are confused pretty often though, and neither of us are experts. When phenotypic differences like this are occurring you never know If they might actually be the same species or not. Be a neat grad school research program I guess.

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Re: Zummorr's Insect Emporium

Postby Telamon » 11 months ago

Woah, check out this weird bug!

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I saw this lil buddy perched on a sign while out birding on Sunday. I remember seeing similar things before in the past and thinking 'that looks cool' but I have no idea what it is. Any idea? Of course, apologies for the kinda butt photo, but it actually came out better than expected from my butt phone.
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Re: Zummorr's Insect Emporium

Postby Zummorr » 11 months ago

Telamon wrote:Woah, check out this weird bug!
Hard to tell what it is. I'm fairly certain it's a Diptera, but I could be wrong. If it had specifically 2 wings and it's not hiding a second pair under those then it is diptera.

It seems like it might be a picture wing fly (Ulidiidae). The angle makes it tough to tell. It might be a Moth fly ( psychodidae) or a Bee fly (Bombyliidae) if it had a distinct "beak" then it's bombyliidae, if it had filamentous antennae then it's likely a moth fly. If it had short typical fly antennae then likely a picture wing fly.

Still these are just my guesses at a glance.

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Re: Zummorr's Insect Emporium

Postby Telamon » 11 months ago

Picture wing fly it is! Google image search confirms, that's definitely what I saw. I love the wings, they're so neat!
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Re: Zummorr's Insect Emporium

Postby HamsterZerg » 11 months ago

Japanese honeybees have a special method of killing wasps that invade their nests. Would you like to share what this method is?
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[ispoiler]Somebody should make an animation where the knife slash at the end of the Genocide run is Frisk killing Chara, who is shocked, then scared, and finally sad, apologizing to Asriel and asking him for forgiveness.[/ispoiler]


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Re: Zummorr's Insect Emporium

Postby Zummorr » 11 months ago

HamsterZerg wrote:Japanese honeybees have a special method of killing wasps that invade their nests. Would you like to share what this method is?
Of course, I saw that TV special, those honeybees smother the hornets and kill them by overheating them.

Oh man we got a Mantis nymph!
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Mantidae are actually closely related to cockroaches and termites.

Next up! a Soldier beetle!
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They get their name from their distinct red coloration, similar to british soldiers back in the day. They tend to eat other insects that they find. Sometimes they are called Leather wings due to their softer fore-wings.

And now we have a Shield bug, Pentatomoidea.
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They are sometimes called stink-bugs and have scent glands in between their middle and back legs. Well I didn't smell anything foul. But then again, I didn't stick my nose too close either.
You can see a good view of Order Hemiptera's beak in this insect. The mouthpart of this bug runs down parallel almost half-way down it's body.

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Re: Zummorr's Insect Emporium: What?! Bees Have Five Eyes?!

Postby Zummorr » 11 months ago

I've caught carpenter bees (Apidae) before but this is a different coloration. Pallete swaps count as new things right?
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As the clickbait title suggests. insects can have multiple eyes. Most insects have a pair of large compound eyes which have many lenses which each focus light onto a small number of retina cells.

Insects usually have both compound eyes and small simple eyes called ocelli in between their compound eyes. Ocelli are primarily used for detecting light as their image resolution isn't good enough to form images.

We and other other organisms (like spiders) only have "simple" eyes which only have one lens which focuses light onto a bunch of retina. Simple only refers to the fact that there is a single lens, as eyes are actually complex structures.

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Re: Zummorr's Insect Emporium Weevil?! is that a pokemon?

Postby Zummorr » 11 months ago

On my walking path, I saw a nice little beetle. This beetle is a weevil(family Curculionidae) and while not all weevils have snouts only beetles that have those extended snoutlike heads are called rostrums they are different from other beak like projections on hemiptera as weevils have the antannae on the beak itself.

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Curiously enough. Pikmin Dweevils and Pokemon Weavile bare no resemblance to these beetles.

Feels quite wrong to triple bump tbh. If there are objections to this behavior I will cease

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Re: Zummorr's Insect Emporium

Postby Telamon » 11 months ago

Nah, man, it's your thread. Bump away.

Anyway, just took an overnight trip to the Blue Ridge, where it was mostly too cold for there to be many insects visible (a significant amount of the trees at high altitude haven't even leafed out yet, which is pretty crazy for Virginia this time of year), but there sure were ticks and chiggers! One day I'll remember to consistently use repellent...
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Re: Zummorr's Insect Emporium

Postby Zummorr » 10 months ago

So today I decided to go out and attempt to catch a dragon fly (Odonata) ...well I caught zero dragon flies. but luckily one was sleeping right outside my door.
Hooray good dragon fly pictures!
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And from the front, they have pretty gross looking faces actually.
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Re: Zummorr's Insect Emporium

Postby Coryman » 10 months ago

Ah, insects. Somehow capable of being gross and cute at the same time.
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