Thursday, September 11, 2014

Rhinoceros Beetles and Such

I was inspired by a Rhinoceros Beetle 
to look through some of my random summer bug pictures.  
(I’m not being too scientific here – “bug” meaning
 things that are sort-of-buglike.)

Here is a Robber Fly who found himself trapped
 in our Jeep where I was able to get a picture of him.
  (Google is my best friend for insect identification. 
Much easier than the field guides!)

He is slightly adorable and frightening at the same time.  
Like Uncle Si.  
And he’s not a tiny fly.  
He’s over an inch long!
Instead of thinking “squish it” when you see a bug,
 why not actually take time to notice 
the amazing features that make them unique?  
Each little detail on each little bug shows 
something beyond our own humanness.

Ants are always fun to watch.  
Unless they are biting you of course.  
This little guy was dragging this monstrous grub
 across our front porch. 
Talk about vision and determination! 

An Eastern Buckmoth with its beautifully 
furry underside.

The Willow Oak in our front yard had quite a few
 Yellowstriped Oakworm caterpillars on it.  
We finally figured out why some had shiny bulging
 bodies and some had a more matte skin 
with stripes that didn’t look so stretched.  
They molt!  
Here's one coming out of his skin.
Here are a cluster of the caterpillars growing fat 
on the oak leaves.  
See the ones who are about to molt?  
Their skins are glossy black from being stretched to the max.  
The one with the yellow head is in the process of leaving his skin behind.  
Apparently the heads turn back to black when they dry.
I like bugs.  But this many crawling around on my hand?  
Ummm… maybe not!  
My kids are cooler than I am.

With their bulgy alien eyes on the sides of their heads 
and their clear wings, 
they’re pretty awesome.  
A few weeks ago we heard a Cicada buzzing in our back yard.  
Not their normal raspy song, but the distressed buzzing sound they make.  
Kadence went to find it.   
Sure enough, it had been attacked by a Giant European Hornet.  
Very interesting to watch.  
I didn’t get any great photos though, 
cause I didn’t want to disturb the hornet.  
If you read on the internet that these hornets rarely sting, don’t believe it.  
I was stung by one that flew to the light on 
our front porch one night, landed on me, and stung me instantly.  
Some of the worst pain ever!!!

On a happier note, I saw a picture online of a 
Robber Fly (at the top of this post) 
eating one of these ginormous hornets.  
That Robber Fly is getting cuter all the time.

What I think is a Walnut Sphinx Moth that 
flew to our front door at night.

And the best is saved for last – the Rhinoceros Beetle 
that my dad brought to church last Sunday!  
He found it on his shoe when he got in the car, 
so he brought it along and had some fun.  
To the dismay of some of the ladies at church.  
Good times! J
This big  guy is over two inches long!  
I don’t believe everything I read online, 
but “they” say that these males don’t hurt 
when they pinch with their horns. 
I didn’t bother sticking my finger in to check if “they” are correct! 

Speaking of details, look at his hooks that are feet.  Pretty cool.

Sitting on my foot for size perspective.
I told you my kids are cool.  
And he is alive and crawling up her shirt 
(in case you’re wondering)! J

"For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities
--His eternal power and divine nature--
have been clearly seen, 
being understood from what has been made,
so that people are without excuse."
Romans 1:20


  1. Your bug photos are incredible! I'm curious how you search for their identification on google when you have no idea what it is? I think Adam would enjoy that. He loves his bird and reptile field guides.

    1. Thanks, Michelle! I'd love to have a macro lens someday! ;) As far as the google searching, I just type in a bunch of what I do know -- color, size, anything unusual. For instance with the Robber Fly I just typed "large hairy fly". ("Fly" was my best guess on what it was.) I search google's images and just scan through what they've got there. If I see what I'm looking for I click on it and see how it's identified. But I always google again whatever name is given and find a legit site -- not all photos floating on the internet have the correct ID! And letting your son search like this might not be so great. I looked for "bearded fly" and saw way more than I wanted to. The word "bearded" was a mistake!
      Here's a nice moth and butterfly identification site. But you do have to look through a lot of pictures.
      Happy bug looking! :)


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