The Phasmid: Lord Howe Island’s large stick insect.

lord_howe_island_stick_insect_dryococelus_australis_10june2011_palmnurseryThe Lord Howe Island phasmid (stick insect) is the world’s rarest insect and the entire population was limited to one bush on a remote sea stack.
Image Credit: Granitethighs/Wikimedia
by Becky Crew
FOR AN INSECT to be otherwise known as a ‘land lobster’, you know it’s got to be seriously big. The Lord Howe Island stick insect (Dryococelus australis) is a flightless, nocturnal insect that stretches up to 12cm long, and weighs 8-9g.
During the 19th century, this large insect prowled Lord Howe Island in such numbers that fishermen would use them as bait.
But then mice were introduced to the island, followed by black rats in 1918, and they made such a meal of these insect that by 1920 not a single one was recorded on the island.
By 1960 they were officially proclaimed extinct.
But in the late 1960s, sightings of stick insect remains were reported on Ball’s Pyramid – a volcanic remnant that sits 20km away.
Said to be the tallest volcanic stack in the world, Ball’s Pyramid is about 550m high, around 300m wide and 1 km long. It’s so narrow that there’s no way anyone can land a boat on it.
Instead, you have to anchor your boat in the ocean, launch yourself onto the vertical pyramid wall and climb your way up.
Many reckless explorers risked their lives to find a Lorde Howe Island stick insect here and bring the species back from the dead.
Read more via Lord Howe Island stick insect phasmid – Australian Geographic.

Tiger Butterflies, Colombo.

Colombo, Sri Lanka
Common Tiger butterflies (Danaus genutia) in the Dimah Conservation Butterfly Garden at Moratuwa.
The privately owned garden is maintained by the Dilmah Conservation Sustainable Agriculture Research Centre and is home to around 125 species of butterfly.
Image Credit: Photograph by M.a.pushpa Kumara/EPA.
Source: Bog snorkelling and butterflies: best photos of the day | News | The Guardian

The ‘puppy sized’ Goliath Birdeater Spider.

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Piotr Naskrecki was taking a nighttime walk in a rainforest in Guyana, when he heard rustling as if something were creeping underfoot.
When he turned on his flashlight, he expected to see a small mammal, such as a possum or a rat.
“When I turned on the light, I couldn’t quite understand what I was seeing,” said Naskrecki, an entomologist and photographer at Harvard University’s Museum of Comparative Zoology.
A moment later, he realized he was looking not at a brown, furry mammal, but an enormous, puppy-size spider.
Known as the South American Goliath birdeater (Theraphosa blondi), the colossal arachnid is the world’s largest spider, according to Guinness World Records.
Its leg span can reach up to a foot (30 centimeters), or about the size of “a child’s forearm,” with a body the size of “a large fist,” Naskrecki told Live Science.
And the spider can weigh more than 6 oz. (170 grams) — about as much as a young puppy, the scientist wrote on his blog. [See Photos of the Goliath Birdeater Spider]
Some sources say the giant huntsman spider, which has a larger leg span, is bigger than the birdeater.
But the huntsman is much more delicate than the hefty birdeater — comparing the two would be “like comparing a giraffe to an elephant,” Naskrecki said.
The birdeater’s enormous size is evident from the sounds it makes. “Its feet have hardened tips and claws that produce a very distinct, clicking sound, not unlike that of a horse’s hooves hitting the ground,” he wrote, but “not as loud.”
via Puppy-Sized Spider Surprises Scientist in Rainforest.

Li’l Spiders on Planet Earth by Jimmy Kong.

head-on-spider-4This is a small series of macro shots by photographer Jimmy Kong featuring little spiders staring directly at the camera.
See, they’re not so scary now, are they? The one creeping under your bed covers? That one, yes. I used to have a spider that lived in the corner of the ceiling above my shower.
I jokingly called him my roommate, we actually got along fine. Until the day he tried to touch me, then I bare-hand splattered his guts all over the wall. I still find legs in my shower caddy.
head-on-spider-8Keep going for a couple more, but be sure to check out Jimmy’s Flickr for a ton more spiders and insects staring directly at the camera.
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See more spiders via Cuties!: Lil’ Spiders Staring Directly At The Camera | Geekologie.

Steampunk Animal and Insect Sculptures by Igor Verniy.

igor-1by Christopher Jobson.
Steampunk Animal and Insect Sculptures by Igor Verniy steampunk sculpture assemblage animals
From heaps of scrap metal, old bike chains, and silverware, sculptor Igor Verniy creates birds, butterflies, and other unusual creations.
Many of his steampunk and cyberpunk sculptures are made to be fully articulated, with dozens of moving or adjustable parts enabling each piece to be posed in several lifelike positions.
These are some of my favourite pieces but you can see more over on his VK and Facebook pages.
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See more wonderful sculptures via Steampunk Animal and Insect Sculptures by Igor Verniy | Colossal.

Macro Pictures of Insects.

Ground-Beetle_Extreme-Macro-PhotographyToday I am sharing with you stunning extreme macro photography by AlHabshi.
Photography is an art that requires passion to capture the unapproachable.
This art of photography comes after a lot of practice.
My post will make you see at the beautiful earth wild.

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Metallic Jumping Spider Extreme Macro Photography 30+ Stunning Macro
Photography Shots by Gold Medalist AlHabshi
via 30+ Stunning Macro Photography Shots by Gold Medalist AlHabshi » Design You Trust.