This Giant Weta Loves Carrots.

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The Giant Weta, photo by Mark Moffett/Corbis
You know that scene in the newish King Kong where those folks get eaten alive in a pit of giant insects? It’s a damn character assassination, through and through.
The huge cricket-like bugs among them are based on the giant weta, the heaviest reliably reported insect on Earth, at 2.5 ounces.
And really, the movie bugs could have been even bigger for all I care—it’s that their crummy attitude is all wrong. Giant weta, for their monstrous size, are actually quite sweet.
Not like cuddly sweet, though you’re welcome to try, but sweet nonetheless.
They demand an apology. Or else…they’ll…just kinda just sit there and eat carrots.
Weta are New Zealand’s most iconic bugs, around 70 known species that range from the big ones like the giant weta to other smaller varieties: the “tree,” “tusked,” “ground,” and “cave” weta, all equally excellent in their own unique ways.
They all differ in size and features, but all are products of the strange evolutionary history of New Zealand, an island that’s enjoyed relative isolation. That is, until humans arrived and started making a mess of things.
via Absurd Creature of the Week: This Bug Is Big as a Gerbil. Fortunately It Loves Carrots | WIRED.

The Saddleback Trapdoor Spider.

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A newly discovered species of saddleback trapdoor spider found. Photograph: Suppki/AAP
Thirteen new species of spider have been discovered on Queensland’s Cape York peninsula – adding to the thousands of known species that give Australian wildlife its fearsome reputation.
The new species were found by scientists, teachers and Indigenous rangers during a 10-day journey to the largely unsurveyed area.
The survey is called the Bush Blitz and is a combined project of the Australian government, BHP Billiton Sustainable Communities and Earthwatch Australia.
Maribyrnong primary school teacher Leslie Carr says she signed up to search the Olkola people’s traditional lands so she could relay her adventures to her students.
“It was a lot of digging, I was amazed,” Carr told reporters.
“I thought I’d get up there and they’d be crawling around. But they go down 20 to 30cm.”
Seven new species of Australian spider discovered including unique tarantula
The team used abalone knives to dig into the hard earth before swapping them for pen knives when they got closer to a silk-lined burrow.
The hard work paid off, with the discovery of the 13 new spider species which include a brush-footed trapdoor spider and the newly christened mouse spider, which lives in a stocking-shaped web.
Then there were the tarantulas. “There were ones as big as your hand, about 20 of them,” Carr said.
Now back home, the science teacher says the savannah-like environment was dotted with termite mounds and very dry.
“I’ve had kids coming up saying, ‘Oh, how could you let a spider crawl all over you?’” she says. “I tell them it was scary, but if you don’t threaten the spider, he’s not going to bite you.”
via As if Australia didn’t have enough spiders – 13 new species found in Queensland | Environment | The Guardian.

The Bioluminescent looking Planthopper.

Author: Su
By theinsectdiary ·  · From Pic of the Week
Almost bioluminescent looking planthopper! planthopper is any insect in the infraorder Fulgoromorpha, exceeding 12,500 described species worldwide.
The name comes from their remarkable resemblance to leaves and other plants of their environment and from the fact that they often “hop” for quick transportation in a similar way to that of grasshoppers. However, planthoppers generally walk very slowly so as not to attract attention.
Distributed worldwide, all members of this group are plant-feeders, though surprisingly few are considered pests..
Bunbury WA 6230
via ABC OPEN: Almost bioluminescent looking planthopper || From Project: Pic of the Week

Ant Bridge, Panama.

Living-architecture-copyUnlike most ants, army ants do not build permanent mound-like nests for their colonies.
Rather, the worker ants build a living nest with their bodies to protect the queen, young ants, and food.
In this picture, taken on Barro Colordo Island, Panama, workers of the army ant species Eciton hamatum form a bridge with their bodies.
This bridge could become the start of a complicated structure with many chambers, all formed from living ants.
Read on via The Art of Science | DiscoverMagazine.com.