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The thread for things with more/less than two legs (NSF ento/arachno/ophidiophobes)

BugBoyBugBoy boy.EXE has stopped functioning.only bugs remainRegistered User regular
Phidippus_audax_male.jpg

Hello there!

Welcome to the thread for everything that creeps, crawls, or slithers!

It's certainly the season for insects, spiders and snakes, but we can appreciate them year round too!

Even though they might be frightening to some, creatures like these can be stunningly beautiful, and really quite fascinating.

Let's take a look at some creepy-crawlies that might just change someone's mind on whether they're creepy after all!

That little fellow up there is a Bold Jumper, a beautiful little fellow with metallic blue mouthparts. Don't be afraid of him, because he isn't afraid of you! The bold jumper is an inquisitive little spider, and will happily jump up to a waiting hand to see what's going on. Like the vast majority of spiders, they're completely harmless and very charming! The Bold Jumper is a common species, so try taking a look for one sometime! You'll be glad you did.

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This is a personal favorite of mine:the Labyrinth Orbweaver
The Labyrinth Orbweaver gets its name from the unique web it builds. Like a tiny camper in the woods, this forest dwelling species builds itself a little tent out of a leaf, which it integrates into a tangled web, hence the labyrinth name. They hide inside the tent as they wait for prey to come flying by, emerging to drag captured bugs back or to make additions to the web. I've been lucky enough to find one of these lovely spiders nearby, and I've been visiting her often. She laid eggs recently, and although this unfortunately means she doesn't have long left to live, I'm excited to see her offspring hatch and balloon away on little silk strands to find their own spot for a web.

Spiders are pretty cool, no?



As resident bugboy, I'd be remiss not to include some six-legged friends too!



the fine specimen seen in this video is a dobsonfly, a nocturnal insect attracted to bright lights as so many bugs are. He's brandishing some incredible mouthparts, which look quite dangerous. However, you have nothing to fear from him-they're far too unwieldy to bite down on human skin! Instead, he uses them to grasp a female during mating. Speaking of females-they can bite with their smaller mouthparts, so don't bother them too much! (It's almost a universal rule of the invertebrates that the female is bigger and more dangerous, so do as the males bugs do and appease them with little gifts of food. You might avoid having your head bitten off post coitus!)

It's a personal life goal of mine to encounter one of these, but I haven't managed it just yet. My closest encounter was with a fishfly, a close relative. If you live near water, keep an eye out for me! The larvae are aquatic and the adults don't stray far from a lake or pond. You might also find them if you like fishing, as the larvae, called hellgrammites, are often sold as bait!

Speaking of bugs with impressive appendages, check this guy out!

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This one, again a male, is a scorpionfly! You can see why he has that name, with that impressive stinger and all. But trust me, he's harmless and definitely not interested in stinging you. He can't-even though it happens to resemble a scorpion's tail, it's actually his genitals! That's right, scorpionflies let it hang out and they don't even care. The lady scorpionflies are presumably very impressed. What's really cool-and I didn't even know this until I started putting this OP together-is that the scorpionflies are closely related to fleas! Talk about diversity of form!

there's so much to talk about when it comes to invertebrates! After all, they outnumber us mammals far both in number of species and biomass! We could probably fill a thread just talking about beetles, if we wanted to. There are a lot of beetles.

I'll finish up by linking to some cool things, in case you've been inspired to learn more!

If you're interested in identifying a bug, or just looking at some great pictures, my favorite resources are whatsthatbug.com/ and bugguide.net. They're both great ways to figure out what species you've just seen in your yard. And then, if you're like me, it's also a good way to get consumed entirely for an afternoon.


Everyone loves cordyceps, the fungus that literally turns ants and other insects into brainwashed zombies. This video gets linked a lot, but I'd figured I'd put it in anyway in case you haven't seen it yet. Insect parasites are really fascinating-crickets in particular are hosts to another mind-controlling parasite that forces them to commit suicide by jumping into water, at which point the parasite emerges as a very, very long worm and reproduces. I'll spare you videos of that, but they're all over youtube, if you're interested.


Finally, everyone should read this. It's a thrilling tale involving a species of giant stick insects that once were thought to be extinct, but had one remaining tiny population on what once was a volcano in the middle of the ocean. Surrounded by sharks. I'm not making this up.

So come into the parlor, as the spider said to the fly, pull up a seat, and talk about your favorite creepy-crawlies, whether they be spider, insect, snake, or something else entirely!

You see lots of things, out there in the swamp at night. Some of them might even be real. But the Bugboy? That's just plain impossible.
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Posts

  • DruhimDruhim Registered User, ClubPA regular
    Yes! This thread was made for me!

    belruelotterav-1.jpg
  • BugBoyBugBoy boy.EXE has stopped functioning. only bugs remainRegistered User regular
    special thanks to dru, a fellow lover of creatures such as these, for getting approval for the thread and sending it my way

    now we can all share in the joy of many/no legged creatures

    You see lots of things, out there in the swamp at night. Some of them might even be real. But the Bugboy? That's just plain impossible.
  • DruhimDruhim Registered User, ClubPA regular
    I will totally post something myself, but I'm tired and I've been playing borderlands so my head's not really in the right space to come up with anything good right now. Tomorrow!

    belruelotterav-1.jpg
  • KadithKadith Registered User regular
    I love all bugs and macro-photography is basically made for bugs.

    zkHcp.jpg
    Druhim
  • Crimson KingCrimson King Registered User regular
    81O5w.jpg

    here is a carpet python i found on my back verandah last year

    we used to see these around a fair bit when i lived in the suburbs. this one i think came up to live on our roof for a while after the floods

    DruhimSkylarkLord_Asmodeus
  • WeedLordVegetaWeedLordVegeta Registered User regular
    so this is the thread for

    creepy-crawlers.jpg

    right?

    25Mj5br.png
    Druhim
  • Cilla BlackCilla Black Priscilla!!! Registered User regular
    I'd be all about this thread

    but someone will inevitably post a cockroach picture

    can't fucking stand roaches. closest thing I have to legitimate phobia

    That aside, spiders and beetles and most non-roach insects are awesome

  • DruhimDruhim Registered User, ClubPA regular
    This is kind of creepy crawly. Slime mold and how it navigates without a brain!
    http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/notrocketscience/2012/10/08/brainless-creature-solves-problems-with-memories-of-slime/

    Slime-mould.jpg
    Physarum moves by extending a network of tendrils called ‘pseudopods’ from a central mass, creating a pulsating yellow network that searches the forest floor for bacteria and fungi to eat. This entire network, known as the ‘plasmodium’ is actually a single cell. And yet, it behaves like a colony, where each individual segment “votes” with pressure. As I wrote in the Guardian in 2010:
    Every part rhythmically expands and contracts, pushing around the fluid inside. If one part of the plasmodium touches something attractive, like food, it pulses more quickly and widens. If another part meets something repulsive, like light, it pulses more slowly and shrinks. By adding up all of these effects, the plasmodium flows in the best possible direction without a single conscious thought. It is the ultimate in crowdsourcing.
    The moving plasmodium leaves behind a trail of translucent slime, consisting of proteins and sugars. Together with Audrey Dussutour from the CNRS in France, Reid found that Physarum strongly avoids ground that it has already laced with slime. “We have been researching the problem-solving abilities of the slime mould for a few years, and we had noticed that it seemed to avoid areas it had been before,” says Reid.

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    WeedLordVegetaGnome-Interruptus
  • nevilleneville The Worst Gay (Seriously. The Worst!)Registered User regular
    I have killed @Neville and taken his body cavity.
    My name is Mervin and I am a fungus.
    Hello.

    nevillexmassig1.png
    chromdomMetroidZoidKaplarEncLord_AsmodeusPLA
  • Binary SquidBinary Squid We all make choices Registered User regular
    While there's nothing really creepy about cephalopods other than Japan's insistance on molesting them at every turn, no discussion about multilimbed creatures is complete without their presence. It's not entirely the fault of the Japanese though. Europeans were wetting their pants in fear of Krakens long before this.

    It says something about how terrified they were when even Vikings were telling each other stories about these creatures, and that's the same culture who turned going naked and biting your shield into a means of fighting.

    So to begin with, snails, slugs, clams and a whole bunch of other creatures not normally thought of as intelligent are related to cephalopods, much like the common Juggalo is related to everyone else. Unlike their relatives, however, cephalopods are quite intelligent and can communicate with each other, solve complex problems and are even thought to be capable of tool use (though the extent is debated).

    Early forms were much like these Nautiloids. In fact, the ones left are known as living fossils. Odds are they'll all be dead in a hundred years or less due to ocean acidity, overfishing and global temperature changes, but they had a pretty good run.

    Nautilus-JB-01.jpg


    Among modern cephalopods, one of the most well known is the Giant Squid, probably because it resembles those old tales of the Kraken and some people have a crazy unnatural fear of bus sized animals. Paris has one that has been plastified with a length around 9 meters.

    Architeuthissanctipauli.JPG


    They also make up a substantial portion of the diet of sperm whales, who make up pretty much their only predator. They put up a good fight against the whales before going down, though, and there are even reports of possible attacks by squids against whales themselves where the whales are killed. Colossal Squids are less well known but may be the source of a portion of these attacks since they're larger and even better equipped for hunting.

    Whale%26Squid~11-29-08.JPG


    Another squid that has a fierce reputation is the Humboldt Squid, or red devil as the fishermen of the area call them. Large, voracious hunters who are thought to exhibit pack behaviors, they are definitely dangerous, but are not the monsters they are made out to be. The problem that all cephalopods have is probably one of the reasons why they are so aggressive. Their lifespan is measured in a handful of years, and their growth rate is incredible, so they need food to supply that growth.


    One of the best variety of cephalopods in my opinion is the Cuttlefish, a shy, highly intelligent animal who is also the source for cuttlebones that bird owners use as calcium supplements.

    Cuttlefish_%40_Ocean%C3%A1rio_de_Lisboa.jpg

    42-EastTimor-Dive_1_Tasi-Tolu_41_%28Cuttle-Fish%29-APiazza.JPG


    Some people call them the cuddlefish because when they're not stressed out, they can be pretty friendly.

    Georgia_Aquarium_-_Cuttlefish_Jan_2006.jpg


    As well as needy. This one's asking for food by moving its tentacles to show what it wants.




    And they can be inquisitive too. But they don't take shit from nobody even though they are shy.



    Though this one's white in the picture, all cephalopods to a lesser or greater degree have specialized pigment cells, which allow them the change their color according to mood or for use as camoflauge. They can also be used in a form of communication by rippling patterns along their body, but it's still pretty much a mystery as to whether they can transmit substantially more complex information to each other.


    Sepia_latimanus_%28Reef_cuttlefish%29_all_white.jpg




    Their relatives, the Octopusses, are also known for a variety of interesting and unique behaviors.

    Out of all the cephalopods they are the only ones to master bipedal locomotion.

    http://www.berkeley.edu/news/media/releases/2005/03/24_octopus.shtml

    And they are simply the best at petty theft.



    As well as opening locks. Basically, if cephalopods formed an adventuring group, Octopusses would be rogues.

    #pipeSatanic JesusUsagiRaijin QuickfootWeedLordVegetaSkylarkTaskmanintropFutoreMetzger MeisterBlurblLord_AsmodeusForarDark Raven XGnome-InterruptusPLA
  • IloveslimesIloveslimes Everett, WARegistered User regular
    At the Seattle Aquarium they have some pygmy (or some similar name) cuttlefish. I got to see one use its flashing color display to hypnotize a shrimp long enough to get close and make the shrimp into dinner. I wish I had videotaped it, but when I realized what was happening, it was too late. It was the highlight of the visit.

    Gnome-Interruptus
  • DruhimDruhim Registered User, ClubPA regular
    Triangular spider, aka Arkys lancearius. A pretty spider found in Australia!

    FuCwV.jpg

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    KadithShazkar Shadowstorm
  • JoeUserJoeUser Registered User regular
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/picturegalleries/picturesoftheday/9640357/Pictures-of-the-day-29-October-2012.html

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    If prizes for Halloween costumes were handed out in the world of nature, this scary skull-faced creepy-crawly would surely win. The extraordinary specimen is the larvae of the pink underwing moth, an endangered species only found in the Australian rainforest. Ecologist Lui Weber photographed the rare caterpillar, which is characterised by a set of teeth-like markings set between spots that look like eyes with large pupils.

    PSN: JoeUser80 Steam
    DruhimShabootyfightinfilipinoKaplarJusticeforPlutoAngelinaLord_Asmodeus
  • TurambarTurambar Avocado at law Registered User regular
    http://www.wimp.com/darwinsbeetle/

    This is the best video of all time

    I can't resist commentating whenever I see it
    Females are found near the top, and trees in this part of the world are very tall
    "I feel you buddy"
    And here she is at last... but she doesn't seem to be in the mood
    "Tell me about it!"

    And the finale!
    "Wooooo!"

    Steam: turamb | Origin: Turamb | 3DS: 3411-1109-4537 | NNID: Turambar
    DruhimDronus86
  • #pipe#pipe Cocky Stride, Musky odours Pope of Chili TownRegistered User regular
  • #pipe#pipe Cocky Stride, Musky odours Pope of Chili TownRegistered User regular
    Here is how jumping spiders show other jumping spiders they're DTF

    FutoreMetzger MeisterKaplar
  • XehalusXehalus lofi Registered User regular
    Cuttlefish or Old God

  • TefTef Registered User regular
    At the Seattle Aquarium they have some pygmy (or some similar name) cuttlefish. I got to see one use its flashing color display to hypnotize a shrimp long enough to get close and make the shrimp into dinner. I wish I had videotaped it, but when I realized what was happening, it was too late. It was the highlight of the visit.

    I hope you never run into a cuttlefish in the wild :P

    I Win SwordfightsKaplar
  • ShabootyShabooty Registered User regular
    Dear Professor BugBoy

    why are bugs attracted to light?

  • unintentionalunintentional smelly Registered User regular
    today in my animal behaviour class we learned that there's a spider in australia that exhibits the following behaviour:

    during sex, the male will snap his dick off in the lady's lady bit, and then somersault into her mouth

    this feeds her (giving her more energy) and also prevents her from having sex with other males (because of the dick lodged in her hoo-ha)

  • unintentionalunintentional smelly Registered User regular


    this vid doesn't mention the snapping of parts or the somersaults that my professor emphasized

  • BugBoyBugBoy boy.EXE has stopped functioning. only bugs remainRegistered User regular
    that is amazing

    the genital snapping technique I've heard of before in invertebrates

    but I've never heard of anything actually volunteering to be cannibalized

    You see lots of things, out there in the swamp at night. Some of them might even be real. But the Bugboy? That's just plain impossible.
  • BugBoyBugBoy boy.EXE has stopped functioning. only bugs remainRegistered User regular
    Shabooty wrote: »
    Dear Professor BugBoy

    why are bugs attracted to light?

    light is a good way of telling where you are, if you are a bug, so they naturally gravitate towards it

    human lights are big and flashy and confuse nocturnal insects

    and then their insect brains tell them to check it out so they do

    this works really well for collecting bugs

    I found that fishfly because it was drawn to my porch

    You see lots of things, out there in the swamp at night. Some of them might even be real. But the Bugboy? That's just plain impossible.
  • BugBoyBugBoy boy.EXE has stopped functioning. only bugs remainRegistered User regular
    edited October 2012
    also speaking of the redback!

    it's related to the famed black widow

    which is related to the slightly less famed brown widow

    I found a brown widow egg sac recently

    waiting on that to hatch and release a few hundred venomous spiders onto the path I walk every day

    I am excited

    BugBoy on
    You see lots of things, out there in the swamp at night. Some of them might even be real. But the Bugboy? That's just plain impossible.
    DruhimMetzger MeisterLucedes
  • MetroidZoidMetroidZoid Registered User regular
    So glad the cordyceps video is in the OP. Good job dude.

    There was a really interesting study done in the 80's about spiders and psychoactive drugs effects:

    9UsHUfk.jpgSteam
    3DS FC: 4699-5714-8940 Playing Pokemon, add me! Ho, SATAN!
    Metzger MeisterKaplarDark Raven X
  • IloveslimesIloveslimes Everett, WARegistered User regular
    edited October 2012
    I love that stupid spiders on drugs way more than I should.

    I watch it almost every time it gets posted.

    Iloveslimes on
    darunia106
  • MetaHybridMetaHybrid Taste defeat!Registered User regular
    The only creepy small thing I hate is the House centipede. I know they're harmless, but they're just so repulsive.

    3DS: 3265-5577-2211 NNID: Metahybrid
  • StarcrossStarcross Registered User regular
    Bed bugs are the worst. This is because:

    A) They sometimes live in human beds and drink your blood while you sleep

    and (more interestingly)

    B) They practice traumatic insemination, which means that the male inseminates the female by stabbing his penis through her like it was a weapon and leaving a nasty wound. Female bed bugs have bug-ginas, the males just choose not to use them.

  • BugBoyBugBoy boy.EXE has stopped functioning. only bugs remainRegistered User regular
    bug sex is weird

    usually someone dies

    You see lots of things, out there in the swamp at night. Some of them might even be real. But the Bugboy? That's just plain impossible.
  • Binary SquidBinary Squid We all make choices Registered User regular
    edited October 2012
    BugBoy wrote: »
    bug sex is weird

    usually someone dies

    And sometimes it's someone from another species.

    The Emerald Cockroach Wasp, a beautiful wasp that mind rapes it's victims and uses them as living incubators.

    When the wasp finds an appropriate victim, she uses her stinger like a surgeon to penetrate the head and destroy part of the hapless roaches brain. Once this is done, it bites part of each antenna off the roach and uses what's left to steer the now enslaved roach back home.

    The wasp lays an egg on the roach and seals up the burrow. A few days later it hatches, and a larva burrows into the roach where it begins to eat the insides. But it makes sure the roach stays alive as long as possible by going for non vital organs and tissues first. The roach, with part of it's brain destroyed, can only silently scream as the larva slowly chews through it.

    And because the larva is careful to keep it's meal from dying, the victim is even denied the sweet release of death until the very end.

    Ampulex_compressa.jpg

    Binary Squid on
  • DruhimDruhim Registered User, ClubPA regular
    That's actually very common among wasps. Different species of wasps target different prey to lay their eggs in, but it's a widespread tactic among the Hymenoptera.

    belruelotterav-1.jpg
  • Binary SquidBinary Squid We all make choices Registered User regular
    Yeah, but the brain surgery and roach riding behavior is unique to that particular species, isn't it?

    Are there others that do it too?

  • StarcrossStarcross Registered User regular
    I'd like to change my vote. I now think that the emerald cockroach wasp is the worst bug.

    Did you know that Charles Darwin though the very existence of the Ichneumonidae was a strong argument against that of a loving God?

    He was right.

  • DruhimDruhim Registered User, ClubPA regular
    Different species of wasps target different prey to lay their eggs in, so it varies somewhat. But typically the prey is left alive but paralyzed.

    belruelotterav-1.jpg
  • Binary SquidBinary Squid We all make choices Registered User regular
    edited October 2012
    Druhim wrote: »
    Different species of wasps target different prey to lay their eggs in, so it varies somewhat. But typically the prey is left alive but paralyzed.

    Oh definitely, like the tarantula hawks.

    But are there any other species that use that particular method of incredibly precise brain damage and then riding their crippled victim back to the burrow?

    Binary Squid on
  • Raijin QuickfootRaijin Quickfoot I'm your Huckleberry YOU'RE NO DAISYRegistered User, ClubPA regular
    Wasps are assholes.

    HEY SATAN! HERE'S MY WISHLIST! GO NUTS YOU DEVIL!

    https://www.amazon.com/gp/registry/wishlist/1JI9WWSRW1YJI
  • BugBoyBugBoy boy.EXE has stopped functioning. only bugs remainRegistered User regular
    edited October 2012
    I'm glad tarantula hawks came up

    the spider wasps are some of my favorite bugs

    I encountered an organ pipe mud dauber back in August, but it flew away after I spotted it

    not a spider wasp, technically, but it also collects spiders to feed larvae

    when those brown widows hatch they'll have to be careful about that

    BugBoy on
    You see lots of things, out there in the swamp at night. Some of them might even be real. But the Bugboy? That's just plain impossible.
  • DruhimDruhim Registered User, ClubPA regular
    Druhim wrote: »
    Different species of wasps target different prey to lay their eggs in, so it varies somewhat. But typically the prey is left alive but paralyzed.

    Oh definitely, like the tarantula hawks.

    But are there any other species that use that particular method of incredibly precise brain damage and then riding their crippled victim back to the burrow?

    Again, varies by species. But my point is that the general idea of a parasite driving the behavior of a host through either chemical means or physically attacking particular parts of the nervous system isn't unique to this particular species of wasp.

    belruelotterav-1.jpg
  • BugBoyBugBoy boy.EXE has stopped functioning. only bugs remainRegistered User regular
    It's been a great year for bugs and spiders so far

    I've found a lot of nice things

    unfortunately there have also been some failures

    like that time someone punted a cool bug away before I could ID it

    or that time I spotted a carrion beetle on a glass panel way above my head

    and I couldn't get up to it

    alas

    You see lots of things, out there in the swamp at night. Some of them might even be real. But the Bugboy? That's just plain impossible.
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