Hiding in plain sight

Red cricket or grasshopper hiding in the moving shadows of a windy Arkansas Sunday afternoon.

4-23-2017 Red Cricket Best-Side Cropped.jpg

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Seven-legged spider-UPDATE

A not so itsy-bitsy-spider was climbing the walls of the house yesterday and later found exploring the front porch. Not yet sure what he is, but have a query in to the Arthropod Museum curator at the University of Arkansas. Toe-to-toe, this fellow was about the size of a quarter. He was also missing a leg, which made his climb harder. During one of his slow climbs, he fell off the wall, but got back up again.

Thanks to the entomologists at the U of Arkansas campus in Fayetteville, we have an ID for our mystery man:

“That is an adult male Myrmekiaphila, the only eastern genus of Euctenizidae, the ‘wafer-lid trapdoor spiders.’ The name ‘Myrmekiaphila’, meaning “ant-loving” refers to fact that early authors found burrows near ant nests … although there is no actual association with these spiders and ants. Males reach adulthood in the fall and early winter, when they leave their burrows and wander in search of females (which remain in their burrows). The strange modification of the first leg (metatarsus) seen in these photos is used to grip the females forelegs and push her backwards awkwardly, which prevents her from eating him during mating.”
Red spider on concrete brick.Red spider on tan bricks looking at front of spider.

12-27 Mystery Spider9

Weekly photo challenge: Big 2

Of course, “big” is relative. This spiny fellow seems disproportionately large for his hangout.  UPDATE: Thanks to Dr. Kelly Loftin of the U of Arkansas for ID’ing this fellow. It’s a wheel bug.

AM I TOO BIG? — Bug seems to be a little outsized for his perch.

More big:

And of course, the big pot of big:

My, what big eyes you have!

Don’t know what this fellow is, but he is eye-catching! Will update the post if we get an ID on him.  We found him walking around on some landscape fabric on the way to get closer to the coachwhip from an earlier post.

UPDATE: Thanks to U of Arkansas entomologist Kelly Loftin for identifying this fellow as an eyed click beetle.

BUG EYED -- This guy's coloration is probably meant to fool predators into thinking he's something bigger than he really is.

Blue wasp

Wasps, and their stingers, are to be respected. This one should be admired not for its ferocity, but for its cobalt coloring and delicate details, such as its curved antennae. It should also be respected for its work — it is, after all, a tarantula hawk. No small prey that.

Blue wasp
Blue wasp.
Blue wasp, right face
Blue wasp 2