Sunday, November 2, 2008

Indian Earwig Species

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All the images in this blog are copyrighted. You are free to use these images for non-commercial purposes, such as desktop wallpapers, etc. For commercial use contact us at deadmanswill@gmail.com.

Photographer: deadmanswill

Insect Scout: deadmanswill

Location: Miryalaguda, AP, India

Species Identifier(s): Suunto (http://davesgarden.com/community/forums/t/919217/)

Points to appreciate:
  • Notice its leathery skin.
  • The two appendages on its rear are called cerci. They are used as forceps by this insect.
  • Check out earwig nymph here and here.

Wikipedia Notes:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Earwig
  • Earwig is the common name given to the insect order Dermaptera characterized by membranous wings folded underneath short leathery forewings. The abdomen extends well beyond the wings, and frequently, though not always, ends in a pair of forceps-like structures termed cerci.
  • The forceps is used for a variety of purposes. In some species, the forceps has also been observed in use for holding prey, and in copulation. The forceps tends to be more curved in males than in females.
  • Earwigs are quite common globally. Earwigs are generally nocturnal and can be seen patrolling household walls and ceilings. Earwigs are also drawn to damp conditions. Earwigs tend to gather in shady cracks or openings or anywhere that they can remain concealed in daylight hours.
  • Most earwigs are elongated, flattened, and are dark brown. Lengths are mostly in the quarter- to half-inch range (10–14 mm), with the St. Helena earwig reaching three inches (80 mm).
  • Flight capability in Dermaptera is varied, as there are species with and without wings. Most species of winged earwigs are capable of flight, yet earwigs rarely fly around.
  • This species feeds on other insects, plants, ripe fruit, and garbage. Earwigs can be considered in some ways a beneficial part of the garden, especially when they prey on other insects, but they can become a nuisance because of their habit of positioning themselves within leaves and feeding on soft plant tissues.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Eressa Moth

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All the images in this blog are copyrighted. You are free to use these images for non-commercial purposes, such as desktop wallpapers, etc. For commercial use contact us at deadmanswill@gmail.com.

Photographer: deadmanswill

Insect Scout: deadmanswill

Location: Miryalaguda, AP, India

Species Identifier(s): claypa, suunto (http://davesgarden.com/community/forums/t/912378/)

Points to appreciate:
  • Observe the orange bands on the body of the moth. It is a predatory deterrent making the moth appear like a bee or a wasp.
  • This is the reason they are commonly called wasp moths.

Wikipedia Notes:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arctiidae
  • Eressa moths belong to the family Arctiidae.
  • Arctiidae is a large and diverse family of moths with around 11,000 species found all over the world.
  • The most distinctive feature of the family is a tymbal organ on the metathorax. This organ has membranes which are vibrated to produce ultrasonic sounds.
  • They also have thoracic tympanal organs for hearing.
  • The sounds are used in mating and defense against predators.
  • The insects advertise these defenses with aposematic bright coloration, unusual postures, odours, or, in adults, ultrasonic vibrations. Some mimic moths that are poisonous, or wasps that sting like the ones above.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Darkling Beetle - Tenebrionidae

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All the images in this blog are copyrighted. You are free to use these images for non-commercial purposes, such as desktop wallpapers, etc. For commercial use contact us at deadmanswill@gmail.com.

Photographer: deadmanswill

Insect Scout: Nanda

Location: Avantipuram, AP, India

Species Identifier(s): suunto (http://davesgarden.com/community/forums/t/910704/)

Points to appreciate:
  • Observe the finely segemented antennae of the beetle. If you count the segments, you will find there are 11 of them.
  • Also notice the vertical ridge running down the center of the lower body segment. The hard shell-like covering is a actually modified forewings called elytra. In some insects it acts as a protection for the hindwings while in some cases the elytra are fused together and the insect becomes flightless.
Wikipedia Notes:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Darkling_beetle


Darkling beetles (also known as Darkening beetles) are a family of beetles found worldwide, estimated at more than 20,000 species. This family of beetles may be identified by a combination of features, including :
  • An 11-segmented antenna which may be filiform, moniliform, or weakly clubbed.
  • First abdominal sternite entire and not divided by the hind coxae.
  • Eyes notched by a frontal ridge.
  • Tarsi have four segments in the hind pair and 5 in the fore and mid legs. The tarsal claws are simple.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Syrphid Fly

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All the images in this blog are copyrighted. You are free to use these images for non-commercial purposes, such as desktop wallpapers, etc. For commercial use contact us at deadmanswill@gmail.com.

Photographer: deadmanswill

Insect Scout: deadmanswill

Location: Miryalaguda, AP, India

Species Identifier(s): pford1854, wallaby1 (http://davesgarden.com/community/forums/t/906701/)

Points to appreciate:
  • Observe its thicker and stronger hindlegs. This is the reason this insect is also called Thick-legged Hoverfly.
  • Also observe the yellow and black stripes on its body. This insect mimics the appearance of bees and wasps to deceive predators.

Wikipedia Notes:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Syrphid_fly
  • Syritta pipiens is a very common species of European hover fly. Sometimes called the Thick-legged Hoverfly, from its distinctive broad hind femora.
  • As their common names suggest, they are often seen hovering or nectaring at flowers; the adults of many species feed mainly on nectar and pollen, while the larvae (maggots) eat a wide range of foods.
  • Because aphids cause tens of millions of dollars of damage to crops worldwide every year, aphid-feeding hoverflies are being recognized as important natural enemies of pests, and potential agents for use in biological control.
  • Some adult syrphid flies are important pollinators.
  • About 6,000 species in 200 genera have been described.
  • Hoverflies are common throughout the world and can be found on every continent except Antarctica.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Tawny Coster Caterpillar eating away (video)!

video

Look at this short video of the caterpillar eating a whole leaf in just a few seconds. Later it moves about and makes some sharp movements with its head reared like a snake, probably a defensive behavior.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Tawny Coster Caterpillar

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All the images in this blog are copyrighted. You are free to use these images for non-commercial purposes, such as desktop wallpapers, etc. For commercial use contact us at deadmanswill@gmail.com.

Photographer: deadmanswill

Insect Scout: deadmanswill

Location: Miryalaguda, AP, India

Species Identifier(s): wallaby1 (http://davesgarden.com/community/forums/t/906963/)

Points to appreciate:
  • Notice the fine spikes on its body are further branching off even finer needles. These are its predatory deterrents.
  • The bright color is probably is a warning of its toxins.
Tomorrow I will post a short video of this caterpillar.

Wikipedia Notes:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Acraea_violae
  • The butterfly breeds on plants of the family Loganiaceae and species of Passiflora many of which contain toxins that are sequestered by the caterpillars.
  • This is a butterfly of the hills as well as the plains. It is plentiful in the pre-monsoon and monsoon period and becomes scarce later on.
  • It belongs to the Nymphalidae or brush-footed butterfly family.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Lemon Pansy Butterfly

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All the images in this blog are copyrighted. You are free to use these images for non-commercial purposes, such as desktop wallpapers, etc. For commercial use contact us at deadmanswill@gmail.com.

Photographer: Neelima

Insect Scout: Neelima

Location: Miryalaguda, AP, India

Species Identifier(s): Wallby1 (http://davesgarden.com/community/forums/t/901966/)

Points to appreciate:
  • Observe the dark eye-like spots on its wing. They probably are predatory deterrents.
  • Also notice the dark color of its wing. During the dry season the colors go pale so that the butterfly can camouflage itself by appearing like a dry leaf.
  • Observe how even its eyes and body are similarly brown in color.
Wikipedia Notes:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Junonia_lemonias
  • Its scientific name is Junonia lemonias. It belongs to the family Nymphalidae.
  • These species are common to South Asia.
  • It is found in gardens, fallow land, and open wooded areas.
  • The wet and dry season forms differ considerably in coloration and even shape.
  • In the wet season form the markings are distinct and vivid and the wing shape is a little more rounded.
  • In the dry season form the markings are obscure and pale especially on the underside and the wing margin is more angular and jagged. This helps it camouflage in the dried leaf-litter.
  • The Lemon pansy is a very active butterfly and can be seen basking with its wings open facing the sun.
  • It sits very low to the ground and can be approached easily.