Salticidae

DSC_0047

Not sure specifically what kind of jumping spider this is — the list of possibilities is long. I’m in Southern Ontario at the moment, Platycryptus undatus are supposed to be common around here. I like jumping spiders. They’re quite charismatic as spiders go, always waving their silly little pedipalps around. How do you feel about spiders?

Crown wasp

27142882104_8e7773f539_z

This wasp, Megischus bicolor, parasitizes wood-boring beetle larvae by injecting eggs with her impressive ovipositor. This family of wasps, Stephanidae, is infrequently encountered but this particular species can be found throughout the eastern US, Mexico, and Central America. At first glance they can be easily mistaken for the more common Ichneumonids, but can be distinguished by their elongated neck and the …

Graphocephala coccinea

DSC_0087 - Copy

Known as the red-striped leafhopper or the candy-striped leafhopper, these colourful creatures are common garden pests. They are also kind of adorable. I noticed a handful of them in the garden outside the place I’m renting in Salt Lake City, and having never seen them before, snapped some photos for later identification. Turns out that they’re responsible for spreading Pierce’s …

Parasitic Fungus in Bullet Ants

Bullet Ant with Cordyceps Fungus -- Public Domain image by James Marchment via Insects Unlocked

This specimen, collected by J.C. Abbott in the Refugio Bartola of Nicaragua, shows a bullet ant (Paraponera clavata) in the later stages of Ophiocordyceps infection. Members of this genus of parasitic fungi, thought until 2007 to be part of the genus Cordyceps, are frequently referred to as the “zombie fungus” for their unique and gruesome life cycles.