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Zummorr's Insect Emporium

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Zummorr
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Re: Zummorr's Insect Emporium

Postby Zummorr » 1 year ago

Coryman wrote:Ah, insects. Somehow capable of being gross and cute at the same time.
I think it's probably due to the strange placement of facial features, combined with the smooth yet slightly waxy, or glossy, heavily articulated skin.

Like we think of an insects antennae being on top of their head but they're actually slightly lower in between the eyes. At the same time their mouths aren't on the lower portion of their face and are these multi-part mandibles at the bottom of a smooth head.

At the same time their biology seems weird because we think of vertebrates all the time. Skeleton on the outside, ventral nerve cord, hexapodal, multifaceted eyes, morphological distinct larval forms. none of these exist in vertebrates.

Speaking of cute insects. better Mantis nymph pictures.
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Re: Zummorr's Insect Emporium

Postby Telamon » 1 year ago

Mantises are always a treat. They're just so chill, ya know?
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Re: Zummorr's Insect Emporium

Postby HamsterZerg » 1 year ago

Zummorr wrote:
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.
Wait, what?! I read it in a book! I didn't know there was a TV special on Japanese honeybees!
Zummorr wrote:At the same time their biology seems weird because we think of vertebrates all the time. Skeleton on the outside, ventral nerve cord, hexapodal, multifaceted eyes, morphological distinct larval forms. none of these exist in vertebrates.
For one thing, a turtle's shell is part of its skeleton. For another thing, have you ever seen a baby frog?
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Re: Zummorr's Insect Emporium

Postby Zummorr » 1 year ago

HamsterZerg wrote:
Zummorr wrote:At the same time their biology seems weird because we think of vertebrates all the time. Skeleton on the outside, ventral nerve cord, hexapodal, multifaceted eyes, morphological distinct larval forms. none of these exist in vertebrates.
For one thing, a turtle's shell is part of its skeleton. For another thing, have you ever seen a baby frog?
Doh! how foolish of me to forget those. should've said mammals. You're right.

Still I'd argue that a turtle shell is an endoskeleton that began to grow on the outside. You got me on tadpoles though.

Theres alot more to skeletons than I thought. I need to do some more reading on developmental biology. especially since I forgot that fish scales are derived from endoskeletal features and teeth (which are technically on the outside of the body) are also derived from endoskeletal features.

Not sure what that bee TV special was on. It was a bunch of slow capture footage of this group of like 30 hornets assaulting a honeybee hive with a narrator talking about what was going on. Don't recall the name though. The bees method of stopping the hornets involved smothering them and overheating them. I must've seen it like 8 or 10+ years ago...and yet I forget that tadpoles exist. for some reason I think it was a 90s nature documentary. not sure.

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Re: Zummorr's Insect Emporium

Postby Telamon » 1 year ago

Tadpole metamorphosis isn't nearly as extreme as (at least some) insect metamorphosis, though. Tadpoles just absorb some parts and grow some other parts and voila, but, as far as I know, the more extreme metamorphosing insects completely rearrange their entire anatomy.
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Re: Zummorr's Insect Emporium

Postby Zummorr » 1 year ago

Telamon wrote:Tadpole metamorphosis isn't nearly as extreme as (at least some) insect metamorphosis, though. Tadpoles just absorb some parts and grow some other parts and voila, but, as far as I know, the more extreme metamorphosing insects completely rearrange their entire anatomy.
Well it still involves growing entire new bones, muscle groups, nerves, and it involves the transition from gills to lungs, it's still quite extreme. but generally amphibian larval forms are more of a downside that insect specialized larvae. tadpole forms and shell-less eggs tie amphibians to the water even though toads and frogs can survive in dry environments.

Today we have an Earwig, also known as a pincher-bug. They are part of the family Dermaptera. Their "pinchers" can indeed pinch for defense and are called cerci. Earwigs typically hang out in cool damp soil eating anything from other insects to seeds and plant parts. Most earwig species have wings but these insects rarely fly and when they do they are poor fliers. Their wings are complexly folded up under those two square flaps in the middle of their back. You can tell the gender of an earwig by how curved the pinchers are. Males have curved pinchers like this fellow and females have straighter pinchers.
ImageImage


These insects get a bad reputation actually as folklore states that they crawled into peoples ears. They actually brood and take good care of their offspring, good job earwig parents.

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Re: Zummorr's Insect Emporium

Postby Telamon » 1 year ago

I remember reading something about a guy who actually had an insect of some sort start chewing on his eardrum, but it wasn't actually an earwig. I think it was some sort of beetle? Whatever it was, it sounded super awful. Which I guess is a pun?

Anyway, that earwig is actually kind of cute, which is not what I was expecting when I opened that spoiler!
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Re: Zummorr's Insect Emporium

Postby Ivy » 1 year ago

I was always so scared of earwigs and even silverfish as a child. Not so much today, but house centipedes can still go to hell.
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Re: Zummorr's Insect Emporium

Postby Coryman » 1 year ago

There's a beach not far from my house, and about twenty minutes down the beach is a cliff, infested with big earwigs... They come out of the sand when you don't expect it, it's terrifying...
One disappeared into my brother's shoe...
The last thing I needed to hear is that they can fly o.o
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Re: Zummorr's Insect Emporium

Postby Zummorr » 1 year ago

Telamon wrote: Anyway, that earwig is actually kind of cute, which is not what I was expecting when I opened that spoiler!
I will try to be consistent and tell you what is behind the spoiler before you click, in case there is some insect that you don't want to see. If someone were to only want to see butterflies and dragonflies I would want to support that.
Coryman wrote: The last thing I needed to hear is that they can fly o.o
Well unfortunately almost all insects can fly, or if they aren't then they are specialized for ground work. subclass Apterygota (not-wing)
is the exception and silverfish and bristlebacks cannot fly. Luckily it's pretty rare that Earwigs take flight. I've never personally seen it, their wings are pretty neat looking too.
Ivy wrote:I was always so scared of earwigs and even silverfish as a child. Not so much today, but house centipedes can still go to hell.
Earwigs I can see fear from, they got pinchers, silverfish are generally just looking for water. Centipedes are super fast and jerks with their venomous fangs.

When I was in college I found this caterpillar of what I think is a whitelined spinx moth. iirc they are actually kinda annoying pests in california. Heres the shakey camera work of past Zummorr poking a caterpillar. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9IIBqoz ... e=youtu.be

First up not an insect! a Wolf Spider!
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Wolf spiders have eyes that are single lens just like mammals...although they tend to have six of them. This guy was found underneath my hand weights, those black fingerless gloves you see sometimes in pictures.

Dragonfly finally caught! I believe this species is called a Flame Skimmer.
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unfortunately I damaged this guy's right hind wing in the capturing process. Insects do some really neat tricks to create color. In some cases they have specialized micro carapace structures which capture specific wavelengths of light and reflect back an exotic color. In our case we use pigment proteins, melanin, which absorb all but specific colors. the problem with pigment proteins is that sun exposure can degrade them, which is why our hair can lighten in the sunlight. by using complex microstructure to maintain their color some insects don't lose their color after they die.
Blue birds do similar things with their feathers. iirc

Next up a True bug! A Bordered Plant Bug.
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Next up a small millipede. Millipedes have two legs per segment and are typically detritivores. When provoked they curl-up and try to use their foul smell and taste to ward off predators.

hopefully nobody saw that.

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Re: Zummorr's Insect Emporium

Postby Telamon » 1 year ago

Zummorr wrote:Blue birds do similar things with their feathers. iirc
Correct. If you grind up a blue feather enough, all the color disappears, since it is all just a product of structure. I find that when viewing birds at low light levels you 'lose' the blues the most. So whereas something red like a tanager can still be pretty impressive in dark conditions, blue birds like indigo buntings tend to just look black. I assume this is a product of the fact that reds are pigment-created, but blues are structural.
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Re: Zummorr's Insect Emporium

Postby Zummorr » 1 year ago

Telamon wrote:
Zummorr wrote:Blue birds do similar things with their feathers. iirc
Correct. If you grind up a blue feather enough, all the color disappears, since it is all just a product of structure. I find that when viewing birds at low light levels you 'lose' the blues the most. So whereas something red like a tanager can still be pretty impressive in dark conditions, blue birds like indigo buntings tend to just look black. I assume this is a product of the fact that reds are pigment-created, but blues are structural.
How well do those colors hold up with time? like if you were to preserve feathers in a dry dark (beetleproof) boxes would those feathers hold their sharp colors? Some insect species like Morphos Butterflies hold their distinctive blues really well.

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Re: Zummorr's Insect Emporium

Postby Zummorr » 1 year ago

Well last time on Iso's streams he recommended you check out this thread. Since you are reading this, you are likely checking this thread, keep up the good work.

One particular reason that insects have so many species is because many insects specialize on specific plants. This is a Darwin's Orchis native to Madagascar.
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Although it was not discovered by Darwin he postulated that the flower was pollinated by some type of moth that had a long tongue specialized for this plant. Twenty one years after his postulation, the Darwin's Orchid Moth, was discovered http://i.imgur.com/khmyUxO.mp4
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Obviously I haven't been out in Madagascar, just something I found interesting.

White Butterfly.
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Next up a Mud Dauber Wasp.
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These insects demonstrate an extreme case of the waist constriction that occurs only in Hymenoptera(Wasps) These wasps are also notable for building muddy nests and for laying their eggs in spiders, kidnapping said spiders and then sealing them in their muddy homes.

Distinct black and yellow, orange, or red colors are typically used as insect warning labels. to let you know that the insect is either dangerous or bad tasting. Sometimes this isn't the case though, as mimics arise which are not toxic or dangerous as is the case with monarch butterfly mimics.

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Re: Zummorr's Insect Emporium

Postby Zummorr » 1 year ago

Lets contrast the mud dauber wasp's waist with another insect's. The Yellow Jacket! A wasp known for ruining countless barbecues, picnics, and other outdoors ventures with it's assertive personality diabolic nature and tendency to destroy everything you have ever loved!
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If you are bothered by yellow jackets, remain calm and try to minimize things that will attract them, like uncooked meat. if they land you try to gently brush them off. Alot of insects are sensitive to smell, and when you are nervous they are tuned to the nervousness and are more likely to get agitated. But still these guys are jerks so you might get stung and bitten anyways.

Next up a beetle! Check out the jaws on this guy!
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The beetle has small white fibers on it from my jar. Might need to clean it up a bit.

And another beetle! I need to go learn my beetle families better!
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And a dead Caddisfly adult, I think.
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This fellow didn't live in my uncharged kill jar It had some strange mandibles but it's overall size and shape make me think it's a caddisfly. It may look like a moth but those long filamentous antennae are caddisfly characteristics, at the same time, rubbing the wings didn't coat my fingers in the scales.

You know what we need more beetles!
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And for good measure a mystery Carabcoid oligopod larvae these larval forms are often seen in Beetles and in Neuroptera(snakeflies/lacewing flies)
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This guy is a little blurry because he was in a hurry.

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Re: Zummorr's Insect Emporium

Postby Coryman » 1 year ago

Do you get June bugs out there? They've just come out here, and my cat loves watching em land on the window. We've got the orange and white striped ones, really furry and friendly
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Re: Zummorr's Insect Emporium

Postby Telamon » 1 year ago

Got some pictures of a pretty cool beetle that I spotted on our screen door the other night:

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Full Gallery

Again, the camera and it's super-bright light mean they're not the best images, but still thought it was worth sharing.
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Re: Zummorr's Insect Emporium

Postby Zummorr » 1 year ago

Coryman wrote:Do you get June bugs out there? They've just come out here, and my cat loves watching em land on the window. We've got the orange and white striped ones, really furry and friendly
I had to google what a June bug looked like. June bugs are more like June beetles. If you meant the Ten-lined June beetle, I haven't seen any in northern california.
The orange (that is orange right?) beetle I found earlier
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is atleast what wikipedia has listed a june beetle. I'd think it'd be a safe bet to classify it as Scarabidae, but I'd have to consult my guidebook.
Telamon wrote:Got some pictures of a pretty cool beetle that I spotted on our screen door the other night
Again, the camera and it's super-bright light mean they're not the best images, but still thought it was worth sharing.
Thanks. Those are pretty good considering the circumstances. Anything past sundown and the photos I get are blurry and worthless at the magnification I'm trying to get, Since ideally I'd want photos that are good enough for classification. Which in the case of beetles requires that you get the number of limb joints down for each set of legs. That is me being picky though, and it's waaay overkill.

Today we have a cricket, I never managed to catch one of these before and one just happened to be found in the kitchen. Welp.
Image ImageIf you look closely you will see a white spot on the tibia of the front legs (think just past the "elbow joint") I believe that is the Tympani the cricket's auditory organ. Image Image

Crickets are neat, they generate their chirps by rubbing their wings across each other in a process called stridulation. Because of their specialization, I don't think many cricket species fly.
Cicadas also make noise, however their method is through a complex organs called tymbals in their abdomens.

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Re: Zummorr's Insect Emporium

Postby Telamon » 1 year ago

Yeah, I didn't imagine there was much hope of identification from those pictures. I tried googling 'beetles of virginia' but didn't get any matches on the site i found.

Those orange beetles tend to be all over the place here, though I haven't seen any so far this year. They tend to die in droves on window sills for some reason.
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Re: Zummorr's Insect Emporium

Postby Zummorr » 11 months ago

Telamon wrote:Yeah, I didn't imagine there was much hope of identification from those pictures. I tried googling 'beetles of virginia' but didn't get any matches on the site i found.

Those orange beetles tend to be all over the place here, though I haven't seen any so far this year. They tend to die in droves on window sills for some reason.
The picture is good enough if someone knows the local beetles well. I don't.
Those orange beetles, if they are Masked Chaffers, don't actually eat. They literally only turn into adults to mate and die. They spend most of their lives as grubs underground.

Oh man, bristletail! This is a super morphologically old form. Dating back to the Devonian.
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Bristletails are closely related to Silverfish, with three tails sticking out of their abdomen. Silverfish have their tails splayed out at an angle and lack the mouth appendages of bristle tails. Bristle tails can also spring around to make themselves harder to catch.

Evolutionary they're interesting because they really suck at a lot of things. their primitive exoskeleton flakes off (like moth scales) they dry out easy, they are tied to water, lack specialized larval forms. and most importantly Apterygota lack wings completely. But somehow, these little guys keep chugging along, doing well enough to represent the forever flightless insects.
Last edited by Zummorr on 02 Jul 2016, 03:52, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Zummorr's Insect Emporium

Postby Telamon » 11 months ago

Man, those things look straight out of the Devonian. It's hard for me place what exactly makes something look 'primitive,' but whatever it is, that lil guy has it in spades.
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Re: Zummorr's Insect Emporium

Postby Zummorr » 11 months ago

Telamon wrote:Man, those things look straight out of the Devonian. It's hard for me place what exactly makes something look 'primitive,' but whatever it is, that lil guy has it in spades.
Well "primitive" in evolution only means "less specialized and more like the base form." Like all organism lines are evolving.

The bristletails of old would still be genetically different than the ones today, it's just that modern bristletails didn't change their structure physical structure much over the course of evolutionary history. They still underwent alot of mutations and genetic changes, they just retained the original base form.

A more "evolved" form would be something like Darwin's Orchid Moth. Where the species evolved to specifically feed on 1 species of orchid. This specialization would be distinct from the primitive form (short beaked moths) and would show up later in the historic, or fossil record making them more modern.

Does that make sense?

They probably look primitive because of the shape resembling lobster or shrimp and the fact that they have funny grabby mouth appendages in the front.

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Re: Zummorr's Insect Emporium

Postby HamsterZerg » 11 months ago

So, I have a question.

Are insects the only animals native to Earth that pupate?
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Re: Zummorr's Insect Emporium

Postby Zummorr » 11 months ago

HamsterZerg wrote:So, I have a question.

Are insects the only animals native to Earth that pupate?
Are you implying that there are animals not native to earth that do pupate? I jest.

All ecdysozoa, grow by a series of molts. Only insects pupate, but not all insects pupate. Some insects like Silverfish, grasshopers, and Hemipterans have immature forms are simply small versions of the adults. What determines what the immature form will look like (larval or mini-adult) is determined by the family.


But Benthic Marine life have complex and long lived larval stages, Thorson (1950, 1966) estimated that 55-85% of all benthic marine invertebrate species produce long lived planktotrophic larvae (larvae that live carried by currents as and feeding on plankton.) That live weeks-months in the plankton.

Notably the larvae of things like barnacles, gastropods, polychete worms, ect,are morphologically distinct from their adult forms, and actually extremely difficult to tell apart from each other. Similarly to insects invertebrate larvae can feed on completely different organisms compared to the adults. Like the larvae of a Barnacle (a crustacean) is free floating and look nothing like the Sessile barnacle

Also amphibian larvae are a thing.

Source for the statistic. [On the advantages and disadvantages of larval stages in benthic marine invertebrate life cycles Jen A. Pechenik]

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Re: Zummorr's Insect Emporium

Postby Ivy » 11 months ago

Found a wee lil stag beetle earlier. Flew into the garage directly into a spider web like an idiot. Didn't know the dudes existed here.
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Re: Zummorr's Insect Emporium

Postby Zummorr » 11 months ago

Ivy wrote:Found a wee lil stag beetle earlier. Flew into the garage directly into a spider web like an idiot. Didn't know the dudes existed here.
Stag beetles are pretty neat. Reminds me of the Rhino beetles I found as a naturalist back in the day. If your beetle had prominent mandibles or horns it's probably the male.
Image (male is the one on the right.
Apologies for potato picture my old camera work was shoddy and I learned to take more than half a dozen pictures

Today we have the aforementioned Silverfish! More living fossil insects. You will probably see these guys in your bathroom looking for water. They can bite, and should be considered pests. Their prominent feature is the three "tails" you see on their rear end.This one was missing an antennae
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More damselfly.
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Zummorr you oaf! you broke the Damselfly! Oops!

Less broken Damseflfly
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Found this dragonfly on American explosion's day. resting on the exotic invasive plant Star thistle.
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http://imgur.com/a/jir58 Full Gallery.


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