invertebrate-science

libutron:

Blue-rayed Metalmark - Lyropteryx apollonia

Lyropteryx apollonia (Riodinidae) is one of those butterflies that are equally striking whether they are seen from both the upperside (top photo) or the underside (bottom photo) of the wings.

In addition to its stunning look, these butterflies have a peculiar behavior. Males are occasionally seen visiting sewage seepages or urine-soaked ground. They drink using the “filter-feeding” method, whereby they imbibe almost continually, extracting salts from mineral-rich patches of ground, or from the edges of puddles. Periodically they squirt the demineralized water from their anus, curving their abdomen so as to aim the liquid at the ground beneath their feet. There it leaches more minerals from the ground, which are re-imbibed. This process is continuous and the butterflies often recycle the same fluid many times during a period of several minutes.

The Blue-rayed Metalmark is widely distributed throughout the tropical regions of South America including Colombia, western and southern Brazil, Peru, and Bolivia.

Reference: [1]

Photo credit: [Top: ©Jeffrey Glassberg | Locality: Apuya, Napo, Ecuador (2013)] - [Bottom: ©Andrew Neild | Locality: Apuya track off the main road from Tena to Puyo, Ecuador (2013)]

mycology
libutron:

Puffball Lycoperdon sp. releasing spores
Spore discharge from puff-balls of the Lycoperdon type (Agaricaceae) can be brought about by impact of water drops on the flattened papery top of the endoperidium (the inner of the two layers into which the sack that encloses a mass of spores is divided).
Raindrops of 1 mm. diameter or over, and rain-drip from trees are adequate to operate the mechanism. Analysis of the operation by ultra-high-speed photographs have shown that the puff reaches a height of a centimeter in approximately one-hundredth of a second after impact. The velocity of the puff on emerging from the ostiole (aperture) is of the order of 100 cm/sec.
The endoperidium (sack) is normally water-proof and ejection continues under humid conditions. Estimates, made from meteorological data, show that a fruit body must be operated many thousands of times in a season. 
Reference: [1]
Photo credit: ©Marco Bertolini | Locality: unknown

libutron:

Puffball Lycoperdon sp. releasing spores

Spore discharge from puff-balls of the Lycoperdon type (Agaricaceae) can be brought about by impact of water drops on the flattened papery top of the endoperidium (the inner of the two layers into which the sack that encloses a mass of spores is divided).

Raindrops of 1 mm. diameter or over, and rain-drip from trees are adequate to operate the mechanism. Analysis of the operation by ultra-high-speed photographs have shown that the puff reaches a height of a centimeter in approximately one-hundredth of a second after impact. The velocity of the puff on emerging from the ostiole (aperture) is of the order of 100 cm/sec.

The endoperidium (sack) is normally water-proof and ejection continues under humid conditions. Estimates, made from meteorological data, show that a fruit body must be operated many thousands of times in a season. 

Reference: [1]

Photo credit: ©Marco Bertolini | Locality: unknown

earthen-beauty

libutron:

A extremely rare land snail from Borneo - Vitrinula sp.

These photos show a rare species of land snails of the genus Vitrinula, probably Vitrinula muluensis (Stylommatophora - Ariophantidae), found on the climb up Gunung Api to the Pinnacles overlook, in Gunung Mulu National Park, Sarawak, Borneo.

The most interesting feature of these snails is that the animal has two mantle-lobes as metallic-colored tendrils covering part of front of shell, which continually lick the shell. Those tendrils are in fact a double penis which exceed the periphery of the shell and are a diagnostic feature of the genus.

Little is known about this rarely seen species, which is not surprising considering that they have a very restricted habitat in the karst area of Gunung Mulu, since as Clements et al. (2008) indicate, limestone karsts on tropical land masses are considered de facto habitat islands due to their isolation from one another by non-calcareous substrata; this spatial configuration limits gene flow and induces high levels of species endemism.

Photo credit: [Top: ©ccdoh1 | Locality: Gunung Api, Sarawak, Borneo, Malaysia (2009)] - [Bottom: ©Alan Cressler | Locality: Gunung Api, Gunung Mulu National Park, Sarawak, Borneo, Malaysia (2009)]

References: [1] - [2]

endangereduglythings
endangereduglythings:

This little gem is a Ruby-Tailed Wasp. There seem to be a number of species, but ARKive lists this one as Chrysis pseudobrevitarsis. In a very in-depth Facebook conversation, a friend studying Classical languages confirmed that this can be translated to Golden FakeShortFoot, and that biologists don’t know the difference between Latin and Greek.
All of the Ruby-Tailed Wasps seem to share a similar lifestyle, and that is one of brood parasitism. On other (bigger) wasps. The female will sneak into a wasp nest, and lay her eggs next to the host wasp’s eggs. Her larvae will proceed to eat the host’s larvae, and the circle of life continues.
They do have an absolutely adorable defense mechanism, though: the classic Roly-Poly curl!

endangereduglythings:

This little gem is a Ruby-Tailed Wasp. There seem to be a number of species, but ARKive lists this one as Chrysis pseudobrevitarsis. In a very in-depth Facebook conversation, a friend studying Classical languages confirmed that this can be translated to Golden FakeShortFoot, and that biologists don’t know the difference between Latin and Greek.

All of the Ruby-Tailed Wasps seem to share a similar lifestyle, and that is one of brood parasitism. On other (bigger) wasps. The female will sneak into a wasp nest, and lay her eggs next to the host wasp’s eggs. Her larvae will proceed to eat the host’s larvae, and the circle of life continues.

They do have an absolutely adorable defense mechanism, though: the classic Roly-Poly curl!

ichthyologist

rhamphotheca:

First Video of Living and Enormous Deep Sea Crustacean

Well, enormous for an Amphipod…

by Sandrine Ceurstemont

Living in one of the Earth’s deepest ocean trenches, the world’s largest species of amphipod has so far managed to avoid the videos of the paparazzi. But during an expedition to the Kermadec trench off the coast of New Zealand in April, Alan Jamieson from the University of Aberdeen, UK, and his colleagues filmed a living Alicella gigantean for the first time, more than 7 kilometres below the ocean surface.

The video captures a feeding frenzy of deep-sea snailfish, Notoliparis kermadecensis sociable fish that are well-adapted to the extreme pressure, total darkness and cold temperatures at such depths.

Cruising along the left-hand side of the video, the white shrimp-like creature is the newly spotted Alicella gigantea. It is between 20 and 25 centimetres long, 10 times larger than similar amphipods discovered in other deep-sea locations – although Jamieson previously snapped, but did not video, an even bigger one – a 34-centimetre giant…

(read more: New Scientist)

This is surely the weirdest sea cucumber in the world!

Pelagothuria natatrix is, as far as anyone knows, the world’s only fully pelagic echinoderm. That means they spend their entire lives swimming through the sea and need never descend to the sea floor.

They live in the deep sea and get around by pulsing their umbrella, much like a jellyfish.

In the middle of the umbrella is their mouth, facing straight upward, and surrounded by oral tentacles that capture food from the water.

The body meanwhile simply dangles beneath.

The entire internet has almost ZERO photos of this thing! Someone needs to start a petition…