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Spiders & Insects

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Brains! Brains!... wait, it's not actually brains that are taken over? New study shows that the Ophiocordyceps fungus is actually directly controlling the ants muscles, making it a meat puppet rather than changing the brain to do its bidding. I think that makes Ophiocordyceps even weirder.

https://www.cnet.com/news/fungal-parasite-controls-ants-muscles-zombies-deep-learning/

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#MysteryMonday

Hey peeps, these are stinkbugs eggs that were parasitized by a parasitoid wasp. My mystery for today is those roundish things that remain inside the empty egg. Anyone able to tell me what they are?

My guess is that it might be leftover (extra?-)embryonic tissue of the developing stink bug, but I really don't know enough about how insects/bugs develop.

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A jumping spider that I spotted recently, relatively large (and maybe pregnant) Hentzia palmarum.

#BTPMacroPro+BTP Macro Pro . founded by +Rinus Bakker , owned by +Nancy Dempsey ,curated by +Kenny Jones
+Spider Sunday curated by +Kimberly Hosey +Lerato Majikfaerie #SpiderSunday

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Bad reception
 
 
This Nasonia wasp must be getting a bad signal. Go ahead waspy, maybe straightening your antenna will help!

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Sharing is caring
 
Only when I was processing this shot did I see what is going on. It appears that one of these ants is sharing a nice droplet with her sisters. Cute!

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This silly grasshopper looks like it just woke up and wonders why a scary photog is all in its face with a camera...

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Tasty
 
Caterpillars are a favoured prey for these wood ants, it appears!

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Return of the alien caterpillars
We found this massive caterpillar in the back yard. It's clearly trying to kill us.
Because #Australia #EverythingIsTryingToKillYou
#straya #wildlife #caterpillar

(Actually I have no idea what it is or what kind of cool moth it turns in to, but it looks very hungry. And awesome.)

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Pink monster
 
Although you can't tell scale from this macro, this is actually a pretty huge caterpillar. Maybe about the size of my pinky, though it'll get even bigger! It's the caterpillar of a Cossid moth - millers. These guys live in wood and can take several years to develop on that diet. In captivity then can be fed fruits, and they develop a lot faster that way.
During my WURtalk* last week, one of the people in the audience gave me a few of these beasts to rear. Pretty cool gift I must say.
 
*) check out my post in the Ants! Collection for more info, and a YouTube vid.

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Kvadratedderkop - Four-spotted Orb Weaver - Araneus quadratus
Øland - Sverige
#Spiders SØSchrøder
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