The Dalceridae family is full of dozens of moths who start out life as colourful caterpillars that look like slugs covered in gooey, gelatinous spines that sparkle in the light.
The adults are ridiculously fluffy and like to rest with their legs splayed forward as if they’re clinging for dear life!
Put on your Ear Guards, the Department of Incredible Insects just learned about an awesome and terrifying discovery recently made in China. This monstrous creature is a member of the Megaloptera order and may be the world’s largest aquatic insect.
The specimen seen here was discovered in a mountain in Chengdu in China’s Sichuan province. Its wingspan measures 8.3 inches (21 cm) and it features a savage pair of mandibles.
Bec Crew from Scientific American explains more:
"Just as this new find is so far pretty mysterious, members of Megaloptera are also fairly poorly known. As larvae, they spend all of their time in the water, only venturing out once it’s time to pupate and become adults. While they’re usually found in clean, clear streams, rivers, swamps, ponds and lakes, they’re also perfectly capable of sustaining themselves in muddy and polluted water, which makes them extra hard to spot."
Family Salticidae- The Jumping Spiders
The family Salticidae earned its common name, the jumping spiders, because of the ability of these spiders to leap long distances to tackle their prey. This is the largest of the spider families with about 5000 currently known species. Unlike many other spider species jumping spiders do not build elaborate webs to catch prey. Instead they use their excellent eyesight to find prey which they will then stalk until they are close enough to pounce. Many salticid spiders mimic insects in order to get close to their prey.
Mantisfly (Entanoneura sinica, Mantispidae, Neuroptera)
These extraordinary, seemingly prehistoric insects belong to the same order of insects as lacewings and owlflies. They get their name from their mantis-like appearance, as their spiny “raptorial” front legs are modified to catch small insect prey and are very similar to the front legs of mantids. The adults are predatory insects that are often nocturnal.
The larvae of the subfamily Mantispinae (to which this individual belongs) seek out female spiders or their egg sacs which they then enter; the scarabaeiform larvae then feed on the spider eggs, draining egg contents through a piercing/sucking tube formed by modified mandibles and maxillae, pupating in the egg sac.
First-instar mantispids use two strategies to locate spider eggs: larvae may burrow directly through the silk of egg sacs they find, or they may board and be carried by female spiders prior to sac production, entering the sac as it is being constructed.
(attracted to MV night light)
by Sinobug (itchydogimages) on Flickr.
Pu’er, Yunnan, China
See more Chinese insects and spiders on my Flickr site HERE……
© Josef Gelernter
There are several generations of Acherontia atropos per year, with continuous broods in Africa. In the northern parts of its range the species overwinters in the pupal stage. Eggs are laid singly under old leaves of Solanaceae: potato especially, but also Physalis and other nightshades. However it also has been recorded on members of the Verbenaceae, e.g. Lantana, and on members of the families Cannabaceae, Oleaceae, and others. The larvae are stout with a posterior horn, as is typical of larvae of the Sphingidae. Most sphingid larvae however, have fairly smooth posterior horns, possibly with a simple curve, either upward or downward. In contrast, Acherontia species and certain relatives bear a posterior horn embossed with round projections about the thicker part. The horn itself bends downwards near the base, but curls upwards towards the tip.
A bee extends its proboscis in response to flower scent. It’s part of the bee’s ‘memory test’ in experiments to determine if pesticides are harming them.
Video: Geraldine Wright.
The study is part of the Insect Pollinators Initiative, joint-funded by the BBSRC and other partners.