In this week's Natural World, columnist Jim Anderson shares some of his favorite photos from his years as a naturalist, educator and all-around critter-loving life.
: Those tiny garden pests that suck the life out of landscaping and veggie plants can be a beautiful sight if you happen to be at the right place, in the right light, when they are giving birth to their live progeny — no metamorphysis for these insects.
wait in ambush for their prey by hiding in flowers, but you're in the wrong colored flower this time, honey!
often wait in ambush for their prey. With their agile ability they can run down a mouse or a louse to get what they're after. Their eyesight is faultless too.
Yes, dear, the adult, female black widow spider does have an hour glass-shaped warning for us to see on the ventral side of its abdomen, but the juvenile doesn't; she's just all black and still deadly. And yes, they use their ultra-strong silken web (which is the strongest substance on Earth) to trap mice and other delectable creatures, which they kill and turn to a liquid with venom, sucking it into their stomachs. Ugh! What a way to go.
Now, if you were a female jumping spider
, how could you not fall for that handsome, big-eyed guy?
Everyone has to have a way of making a living, that's a female robber fly
(with her ovipositor sticking out her back-end; not a stinger) sucking the life out of a baby grasshopper she captured.
No one gets off scott free. Even though the robber fly is a powerful insect predator, that tiny mite
is out to get her share as well, sucking the life out of the insect killer.