Monday, November 21, 2011


Hello all.

You might be interested to see a few pictures I've taken over the last few weeks.  We've yet to have winter truly arrive here in Bloomington, and the first weeks of November have been quite pleasant.

Orchelimum vulgare, the common meadow katydid, on a rose blossom.
Note the large ovipositor and very long antenna.  These are what make katydids very easy to tell apart from grasshoppers.  Katydids are also often less drab than grasshoppers.  This photo was taken on November 8th, so you can see what I mean about it being mild this year.

Rather less glamorous, but no less important is this guy:

Probably Porcellio scaber, the common rough woodlouse, in my terrarium.
Could also be a member of the genus Armadillidium, though I don't recall if this one rolls up into a ball or not.  
Woodlice, pill-bugs, or sow-bugs (isopods) are ubiquitous little arthropods (indeed, a crustacean!) that live on detritus.  They eat organic matter, and are a useful part of my terrarium in this respect.  They are surprising long lived for being so small, and may live as long as three years.  There are many, many species of them.  If you scoop up a handful of moist leaf litter, you will almost certainly discover a few of these guys.  That's actually how I caught the two that are currently living in my terrarium.  Presumably two, anyway.  There is also an extremely secretive centipede, and it may have killed and eaten one of them, as I haven't seen it since I put it in there....