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Field and Swamp: Animals and Their Habitats

(Mostly) Insect Insights

These ideas may seem strange in our hard-thinking, perfectionistic, conformist, authoritarian age.  But I invite you to share one of my few guilty pleasures: playing with purely anecdotal evidence and other forms of derangement to look at objective reality's "glorious behind."

       
The surface area on this Rough Stink Bug (Brochymena arborea) should illustrate why it's so much harder to conquer a mountainous country.  It's even harder to conquer one that's strange to us and on the other side of cultural and linguistic barriers.  Examples: Afghanistan and the northern British Isles.        

 

   
I've always had the sneaking suspicion that women invented cloth, and if they'd had the equipment, they could have seen how a bunch of disorganized fuzz can turn into what looks suspiciously like fabric on one intriguing insect.  The white material on the head of this Flatid Planthopper Nymph (see the two eyes covered) looks knitted while the material on the sides and below looks like raw material.  How this happens, though, is an interesting mystery.    

 

 
This Noctuid moth (Paectes abrostoloides) makes the transition from Victorian design to Art Deco entirely logical to me.   It no longer seems like a puzzling swing from tradition to modernism, but maybe just taking the same old patterns and blowing them up, e.g., from lampshades to floor-length curtains.

 

How might gargoyles have been different if medieval people had access to microscopes?  This fruit fly would have given them a fright leaning off the edge of a towering building rather than that of a leaf.



 
Male Brackish-water Fiddler Crab.  On Ocracoke Island, Hyde County, NC, these crabs believe in their power to intimidate people.  On the mainland, on the other hand, they maintain a more realistic perspective and scramble to the nearest communal hole in the ground.  How did the Ocracoke crabs develop their exceptionalistic thinking?  

 

       
Robber Fly with prey, but it doesn't really look so much as an attack as a rescue.  The demon lover theme in literature resonates here.  In a funny way, the drooping antennae just add to the effect.        



 
Straight-snouted Weevil (Arrhenodes minutus), looks like some exotic doll thrown together with an ear of corn, some beads, this and that.  

 

 
Garden Spider (Argiope aurantia), but could pass as something out of mythology

 

 
Great Blue Skimmer which landed in a rain-filled marsh by accident and might have drowned had I not retrieved it.  Insects make mistakes, too.

 

The Diamond-backed Froghopper, which, in all its wedgelike glory, needs no introduction.

 

Copyright © 2011 by Dorothy E. Pugh.  All rights reserved.