4

Pudú (Pudu)

The pudús are two subspecies of South American deer from the genus Pudu, and are the world’s smallest deer. The two species of pudús are the northern pudú (Pudu mephistophiles) from Colombia, Ecuador, and Peru, and the southern pudú (Pudu puda) from southern Chile and southwestern Argentina. Pudús range in size from 32 to 44 cm tall, and up to 85 cm long. As of 2009, both species are classified as “Endangered" in the IUCN Red List. The pudú is a solitary animal whose behavior in the wild is largely unknown because of its secretive nature. Pudús are crepuscular, most active in the morning, late afternoon, and evening. Each pudú has its own home range, or territory. Pudús do not interact socially, other than to mate. An easily frightened animal, the deer barks when in fear. The pudús are herbivorous, consuming vines, leaves from low trees, shrubs, succulent sprouts, herbs, ferns, blossoms, buds, tree bark, and fallen fruit. They can survive without drinking water for long periods due to the high water content of the succulent foliage in their diets.

photo credits: wiki, wiki, wiki, petitecurie

5

Mind-blowing and staggering photographs from the Socotra islands of Yemen. The archipelago is very isolated and about a third of its fauna is endemic to the islands, meaning that it can not be found anywhere else. The islands are considered a profoundly well-preserved jewel of biodiversity with over 700 documented endemic species of plants and animals and has been described as “the most alien-looking place on earth”.

7

PORCELAIN CRABS FROM CHILE

Porcelanids are decapod (with 10 legs) crustaceans in the widespread family Porcellanidae, which superficially resemble true crabs. They have flattened bodies as an adaptation for living in rock crevices. They are delicate, readily losing limbs when attacked, and use their large claws for maintaining territories.

Photograph by Arthur Anker

  • Allopetrolisthes spinifrons
  • Allopetrolisthes angulosus
  • Petrolisthes laevigatus
  • Lipetrolisthes mitra
  • Alopetrolisthes punctatus
  • Petrolisthes violaceus
  • Petrolisthes tuberculatus
3

Wasp mantidfly (Climaciella brunnea)

The wasp mantidfly is a species in the huge family of Mantispidae (Mantidflies), which is a family of small to moderate-sized insects in the order Neuroptera (net-winged insects). Although the wasp mantidfly has grasping mantid-like raptorial front legs it is not closely related to mantids (praying mantises). Their front legs are used in the same way as a mantid’s, however, in catching small insect prey for food. C. brunnea has a very interesting life cycle. During their 3-4 week adult life stage, inch-long females may lay as many as several thousand short-stalked eggs, grouped on the underside of plant leaves. The eggs hatch and each tiny larva waits for a passing spider. The larva then boards the spider and rides around on it until the spider lays eggs. At this time the tiny mantispid larva crawls off the spider and into the egg sac, where it feeds on the spider eggs in the security of the silken spider egg sac.

photo credits: C. Hedstrom, Cheryl Johnson

Red-bearded Bee-eater 

The Red-bearded Bee-eater is a beautiful Asian bee-eater up to 34 cm long, scientifically named Nyctyornis amictus (Coraciiformes - Meropidae), and found in Brunei Darussalam, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar and Thailand.

This species, along with the other which comprises the genus (Nyctyornis athertoni), are the most primitive extant forms in the Meropidae Family, probably originated in southeast Asian forest.

References: [1] - [2] - [3]

Photo credit: ©Henry Koh

Locality: Kaeng Krachan National Park, Thailand

4

Indian giant squirrel (Ratufa indica)

The Indian giant squirrel is a large tree squirrel species genus Ratufa native to India. It is a large-bodied diurnal, arboreal, and herbivorous squirrel found in South Asia. The Indian giant squirrel is an upper-canopy dwelling species, which rarely leaves the trees, and requires tall profusely branched trees for the construction of nests. It travels from tree to tree with jumps of up to 6 m. When in danger, the Ratufa indica often freezes or flattens itself against the tree trunk, instead of fleeing. The Giant Squirrel is mostly active in the early hours of the morning and in the evening, resting in the midday. The species is endemic to deciduous, mixed deciduous, and moist evergreen forests of peninsular India. There is some disagreement between biologists regarding how many subspecies belong to the Ratufa indica lineage. It is generally acknowledged that there are either four or five subspecies, depending on the source. The Indian Giant Squirrel lives alone or in pairs.

photo credits: wiki, wiki, Rakesh Kumar Dogra, adityajoshi

2

So Many Spiders So Little Time: Welcome to Arachnoland!

Spiders and their relatives, to me at least, are hard work. Not that I don’t like them…I do, and think them wondrous creatures. So what do I mean by ‘hard work’. Well, as someone who can deal with beetles and classify most on sight and when necessary key out less-often-seen-beasts, I find spiders tricky.

First, they rudely hatch out as tiny little versions of their adult self and undergo a series of molts until adulthood. This means that within a single species there are spiderlings at various stages of development. Second, and to confound this, spiders are significantly externally sexually dimorphic. Often you need a adult or even adult male for identification. Finally, is the terminology. When you enter arachnoland from insectland you surely are in a different world…unsurprisingly. I find arachnoland intimidating. I wonder if spider people think the same of beetles or other insect groups?

Here we have spiders from pitfall traps in the Southern Grampians region of Victoria, Australia. Such a diversity from a three day survey by Deakin University students as part of SLE226 Team-based Environmental Research - and this ain’t all of them. They range from the sweet little microspiders in the first image, adult males the first two and less than several millimetres long, to larger ‘furry’ wolf spiders (several in the second image).

Many Little Things with eight legs.

This is an image I made for the petition to stop the wolf massacre in Spain. Done digitally, rather quickly. I was quite inspired when I did this and even though it is a sad image I’m rather proud of it.

We still need 30 000 signatures to take this to the next level!

Help us reach that goal! Sign this petition

https://www.change.org/p/prevent-the-massacre-of-190-wolves-in-castilla-y-le%C3%B3n-and-asturias

If you wish to use this picture for your profile pic feel free. Actually we encourage it, as it will help us raise awareness!!!

Thank you all for the support! Everyone has been great so far with all the sharing, and signing the petition! We GREATLY APPRECIATE IT!!!

4

Splendid fairywren (Malurus splendens)

The splendid fairywren is a passerine bird of the Maluridae family. It is found across much of the Australian continent from central-western New South Wales and southwestern Queensland over to coastal Western Australia. It inhabits predominantly arid and semi-arid regions. Exhibiting a high degree of sexual dimorphism, the male in breeding plumage is a small, long-tailed bird of predominantly bright blue and black colouration. Non-breeding males, females and juveniles are predominantly grey-brown in colour. These birds are socially monogamous and sexually promiscuous, meaning that although they form pairs between one male and one female, each partner will mate with other individuals and even assist in raising the young from such trysts. Male wrens pluck pink or purple petals and display them to females as part of a courtship display. The splendid fairywren mainly eats insects and supplements its diet with seeds. There are four subspecies.

photo credits: tumblr, Nevil Lazarus, Aviceda, Nationstates

4

Punch Junk: a Zebraplatys Jumping Spider (Salticidae)

I came across this little beauty yesterday in Langi Ghiran State Park in western Victoria, Australia. He was under the loose bark of a River Red-gum (Eucalyptus camaldulensis) minding his own business. The under bark ‘subcortical’ habitat of eucalypts is an important one for Australian invertebrates (and many reptiles too), yet we know remarkably little about the ecology and broader significance of this distinctively Australian habitat.

Zebraplatys are apparently uncommon with fewer than a 30 records from Australia, mostly from western Australia, and only around five from the east. The eastern records are all of the species Zebraplatys harveyi Zabka, which this one may be - it is very similar to the drawn image in Zabka’s 1992 revision of the genus. The related genus Holoplatys is much more numerous, both in terms of number of species and of records. Zebraplatys can be distinguished from Holoplatys by the occurrence of distinctive zebra stripes on the abdomen of Zebraplatys.

A number of related salticid genera in the Australian region have adapted to this habitat and like other groups that are important here - Ground Beetles (ironically) for example - have distinctive adaptations to living in a tight space. The most obvious character of these subcortical adapted taxa is the distinctive  fattened body. In this case short little chelicerae (mouth parts) and strong front legs are probably also adaptations to the narrow space under-bark place.

This specimen in clearly a male (hence the ‘he’ above) because of his well-advertised palps. He is one of the Many Little Things with boxing glove palps!