-by Ptera Hunter Among the best responses that I have seen to date about the recent mashugana decision by the Tennessee School Board to ban a book about the holocaust (because a cartoon mouse shows a breast) comes from graphic artist Ruben Bolling (a.k.a., Tom the Dancing Bug.) One of Mr. Bolling’s most recent parodies,Continue reading “Kudos to a Great Graphic Artist Rubin Bolling: Alternative MAUS Hits Home”
Category Archives: A Totally, Unabashedly Incomplete Book About Bugs (by P. Hunter)
Snake in the Hole, Harding Co., SD.
Camouflaged racer snake peers outward to the world. It tries to blend into its surroundings—mimicking its background rather than a dangerous predator.
Dinner and a Date with a Twist
Organisms lie, exaggerate, and scam their way to food, to territory and to sex. In one species of firefly, females can dine on the males of another species if they send a phony mating signal. The duped male becomes dinner rather than a date. Because of this threat, males will approach females with caution. SometimesContinue reading “Dinner and a Date with a Twist”
The Lying Fiddler
Everything lies. For virtually every species, lying and lie detection are essential survival skills. Fiddler crabs that have lost a claw will re-grow a bigger but weaker claw. When challenged by a smaller crab, the weak-clawed fiddler will bluff. It will display a fighting stance that tells the smaller crab that a confrontation would beContinue reading “The Lying Fiddler”
The Braggart Goldenrod
Golden Rod and Vespid wasps (Ptera Hunter, Salem IL, 2006). Yellow attracts many pollinating insects, including these vespid wasps. Bees and wasps have trichromatic vision (three pigments), but they are not the same visual pigments (opsins) that we have. They can see farther into the ultraviolet but less well in the reds. Their clue toContinue reading “The Braggart Goldenrod”
Mimicry in Insects: A Victorian Print signed H. Morin
Mimicry in Insects (19th century; restoration by Ptera Hunter, 2020). This plate contains different mimicking insects. Plates like these challenged the 19th century reader to find as many of the creatures as possible, thus discovering their various deceptions. Check it out and see how many you see before scrolling down to the key. challenged theContinue reading “Mimicry in Insects: A Victorian Print signed H. Morin”
The Deceptive Western Hognose
The Deceptive Western Hognose
On Track for a Societal Collapse Soon
One of the things we look for in good science is the ability to make predictions. In 1972, an MIT team modeled twelve different possible scenarios for the future based upon different responses to the environment. Since then, we have followed the BAU2 (Business as Usual) scenario. Based upon our desire for continued economic growth,Continue reading “On Track for a Societal Collapse Soon”
An Intelligent Spider?
When we think about animal geniuses, arthropods don’t usually top the list of usual suspects. However, one genus of jumping spiders, Portia, includes spiders who have a gift: they can devise hunting strategies and make decisions. Portia makes their livings by hunting other spiders. These eight-legged geniuses do not simply attack; they appear to makeContinue reading “An Intelligent Spider?”
Most of us have an innate suspicion that wasps are ill-tempered beasts that hunt you down like a dog. Not true. Most wasps will not wasp harm you. Many are helpful creatures, and most are beautiful. Many attack crop pests. Only a fraction of wasps are the social wasps that defend themselves with venom. MostContinue reading “Wasps!”
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