Friday, 10 October 2008

A very insecty day

I treated myself to a new knitting bag today- I've been oggling these in the museum shop for a few days now and finally decided that seeing as I have been so good with getting myself organised for Christmas this year that it was time I bought something for myself. They are being sold as wash bags or pencil cases but it turns out that they are perfect for a set of dpns and a skein of sock yarn. I took a shot of the inside of the bag with a smaller ball of yarn in for y'all to see but I reckon a big 100g ball of Opal or something similar would fit perfectly in there.

NOTE: I have now tried this out and I can get a 100g ball in as well as the one in this photo which is a skein of Rowan cotton 4 ply (it fits in sideways at the end) which means I now love this bag even more than I did before.

I was so pleased with it being covered in insects that I then got a bit carried away taking pictures of some of the things that I have been working on today- as well as some of my favourite beetles . So attached for pleasure below are a couple of shots of the bugs that I re-curated this afternoon (all go aaah, pretty...!) along with my favourite beetle from this week.

The two photos above are species belonging to the Hemiptera (true bugs that includes things like shield bugs, cicadas and leaf hoppers) family Scutellaridae. All members of this family have an enlarged scutellarum that has evolved to form a hard waterproof covering for their wings. They still have two pairs of wings which differentiates them from beetles along with different mouth parts. Scutellarids tend to be well camouflaged with spots and camo patterns but there are some that go for the metallic shiny version as well. The species in the second photo range in colour from green through blue/purple and onto hot pink. The ones in the above photo are green/purple/blue as their colour changes as you move them in the light. They are much prettier in real life than the picture would have you believe.

The beastie above belongs to the beetle family Erotylidae which is the one that I have chosen to study. They come in all sorts of glorious patterns and colours as well as having interesting biology. Nearly all of the members of this family are nocturnal fungus feeders which makes them fun to hunt out at night. The ones that I am particularly interested in live in tropical rain forests of central and south America.

1 comment:

  1. The bag is great! Thank you so much for the bug lesson. So interesting! Who know beetles could be so beautiful.