Thursday, February 28, 2008

Carnival of the Spineless

Twelve-spotted SkimmerTwelve-spotted skimmer, originally uploaded by Mean and Pinchy.

Welcome of the 30th edition of Circus of the Spineless!

As a bird blogger I write about invertebrates only infrequently, and usually only in relation to the birds I love - usually as food. However, I find that I have become drawn to some of the more colorful insects. Butterflies and dragonflies in particular hold my attention during the dog days of summer when few birds are to be seen or heard. (The photo above is one of my favorites.) Hosting Circus of the Spineless gives me a chance to learn more about invertebrates that I see frequently in warmer months.


The Urban Dragon Hunters take a break from their city haunts to search for dry season odonates in Panama.

Tim's Backyard Arthropod Project includes a visit from a Snow Fly (Chionea valga), which breeds only when snow is on the ground. (I sometimes wonder what insectivorous birds find to eat during the coldest parts of winter; perhaps here is an answer.)

Bug Girl writes how sex pheromones can control insects and why using sex pheromones is safe.

For my own contribution, I discovered that the USDA has a weevil plan to eradicate garlic mustard.


Duncan at Ben Cruachan Blog watches a Quicksilver Spider eating insects caught in a web built by a Leaf-curling Spider and observes that "you never stop learning."

Patrick at The Hawk Owl's Nest found a venomous spider lurking in his bathroom.

The annotated budak brings us photographs of a beautiful elegant jumping spider and a crab spider.

Catalogue of Organisms offers a post on tarantulas, the well-known family of spiders, and another on psocids, a group of tiny insects related to lice.


Henry's Webiocosm Blog has photos of Triops longicaudatus, a small crustacean whose appearance has not changed since the Triassic.

GrrlScientist announced that the Oxford Museum of Natural History recently released digital photographs of the crustaceans Charles Darwin collected in South America. She also photographed adult and larval Monarch butterflies (in mosaic versions) on the walls of a New York subway station, which is enjoyable for me since invertebrates can be difficult to find in the northeasten U.S. in the middle of winter.

Deep Sea News jumps on the "I Can Haz Cheezburger" bandwagon with LOLRhizocephalans, strange creatures that take over over animals' reproductive systems.


Aydin at Snail's Tales presents some Valentine's Day slug sex, courtesy of a pair of Limax maximus.

A Snail's Eye View shows many colorful shell patterns and discusses why they have so much variation.


At The Other 95%, you can find a CNN story on using earthworms to clean up toxic waste in India and invertebrate drawings created from Dreamlines software.


Wanderin' Weeta introduces us to springtails, including a springtail fight video.

That brings this edition of Circus of the Spineless to a close. Thanks to everyone who contributed! The next edition will be at Archaea to Zeaxanthol. Please submit posts to jim.lemire AT gmail DOT com by March 30th.