Frog Beetle (Sagra buqueti) male, family Chrysomelidae, Surat Thani, Thailand
- males reach a length of 5 cm, native to SE Asia
(photo by PhilanderShand on Flickr)
Blue whale by Mike Johnson
Now announcing: #EarthFacts, every Monday and Wednesday!
The Death’s-head Hawkmoth, Acherontia atropos (Sphingidae), is a quite distinctive moth, both in their larval stages, and as adult.
The caterpillar (top) starts being pale green becoming vivid yellow. However, the adult moth (bottom) is very different and is readily identified by its large size, the skull-like marking on the thorax, its yellow-striped abdomen, and the cloak-like wings, producing an ominous image.
Acherontia atropos is an Afrotropical species, but the moth is a great wanderer and has been found throughout Europe, as far north as Iceland and Scandinavia.
The Death’s-head Hawkmoth parasitizes colonies of the honeybee (Apis mellifera) by entering the hive and feeding on nectar and honey. In spite of a highly efficient honeybee colony defense system, A. atropos is only rarely attacked by the bees. The thick cuticle of the moth may protect it from bee stings. Furthermore, the moth seems to be only weakly affected by bee venom, even more, workers inside the nest ignore the presence of the moth and do not behave aggressive toward the intruder. It has been proved that these moths use chemical signals to camouflage in the honeybee colony.
Frilled-neck Lizard (Frilled lizard, Frilled dragon)
Frilled-neck lizards, Chlamydosaurus kingii (Agamidae), are famous and impressive by deter possible predators through the display of their ‘frill’ around the neck. When they are in a vulnerable position they frill out gape and charge at predators before running up a tree and adopting camouflage.
Chlamydosaurus kingii is found across northern Australia and southern New Guinea.
Photo credit: ©Stephen Mahony | Locality: Southern Kimberley, Western Australia
Every year, tens of thousands of icebergs are spawned by Greenland’s glaciers, and their number is steadily increasing as the climate continues to warm. The breakup of the bergs fills the bays of the Arctic with exquisite ice sculptures.
Fear and Trembling.
This gorgeous American contra luz opal, sold last May for $20,000 amazingly looks like it has an entire nebula trapped inside of it.
Sphaerodactylus nicholsi, one of the smallest geckos in the planet. (x)
Central Netted Dragon (Ctenophorus nuchalis) neonate as it appears in the egg.