Spiny back orb-weaver spider - Gasteracantha arcuata
This spider grows a pair of extremely long, curving spines from its abdomen. It is thought the long spines evolved as a deterrent against predators or to mimic spines and thorns.
Picture: Science Photo Library / Rex Features
source : Telegraph,
Fourmis en 3 D / Ants in 3-D
1. Ponera pennsylvanica
This one may look familiar — if you look through ants through a microscope, anyway. This ant is found throughout the American midwest and east, and it’s abundant wherever there is moist soil. It is found on lawns, gardens, fields, thickets and other grassy areas.
In grasslands, P. pennsylvanica nests in the root-zone of sedges or grasses. In woodland, it nests in soil, in soft, rotten wood, and often in old acorns.
2. Dorylus kohli
This shiny black ant is found throughout Africa, India, southeast Asia and Indonesia. This one came from Ivory Coast.
3. Cephalotes grandinosus
This ant is found in Costa Rica, Brazil and Bolivia and appears to be rare in Costa Rica. It is found in the rainforest canopy and understory.
4. Acanthomyrmex concavus
This species of ant is found on the island of Borneo and is polymorphous: there’s a large-headed “major” form, seen here, and a “minor” form.
Antennes de Culex / Culex (Mosquito) Antennae
The male mosquito has large bushy antennae, which he uses to listen for the buzz of a potential mate. He responds only to the humming frequency given by a female of the same species and will fly in the direction of the sound to mate with her. Male mosquitoes do not bite, but feed on plant juices and flower nectar. Only female mosquitoes bite animals and require a blood meal.
Ancolie et Sphinx du tabac / Columbine and hawkmoth - Aquilegia longissima
New research at Harvard and the University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB), helps to explain how columbines have achieved a rapid radiation of approximately 70 species, with flowers apparently tailored to the length of their pollinators’ tongues.
Bees, for example, enjoy the short spurs of Aquilegia vulgaris, whereas hawkmoths favor A. longissima, whose spurs can grow to up to 16 centimeters.
photographie de Scott A. Hodges/UCSB
source : Tailored to fit, Harvard Science November 2011
A micrograph of a peacock mite (Tuckerella sp.) on a tea stem, taken by a low-temperature scanning electron microscope at 260X magnification. The peacock mites, an important pest on citrus in the tropics, are so named because of the elaborate ornamentations adorning the dorsal surface of their bodies. They possess five to seven pairs of whip-like setae which are used to defend themselves against predators. They may also help in wind-borne dispersal.
photographie de Christopher Pooley, USDA-ARS