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What is this stick-like creature?

What is this stick-like creature?



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My wife noticed this on her trousers immediately after coming home - probably acquired after brushing past a bush. It's about one inch long, and does not move much - but when poked it will flex and appear to try to roll.

It looks for all the world like a stick - but I've googled "stick insect", and this doesn't seem to have enough (or the right kind of) legs.

We live in England, in a suburban setting. We both work in offices and don't have a lot of contact with nature.

Could it be a thorn moth larva?

Apologies for the quality of the photo; I can try to take a better one if it would help to get another angle.


This appears to be an inch-worm, the larval caterpillar stage of a moth (order Lepidoptera) in the Geometridae family. According to Bugguide (my emphasis):

Larva - generally have only two pairs of prolegs (at the hind end) rather than the usual five pairs in most lepidoptera; the lack of prolegs in the middle of the body necessitates the peculiar method of locomotion, drawing the hind end up to the thoracic legs to form a loop, and then extending the body forward.

The systematics/taxonomy of this group is unclear, debated, and in flux. However, the majority of stick-like larval forms I could find seemed to be associated with the current Ennominae subfamily, which is also the largest of subfamilies in this family of moths.

Müller et al. (2019) just published the 6th volume of "The Geometrid Moths of Europe", which might be a good starting point for IDing this specimen more precisely. A book description from NHBS:

More than half of the European Ennominae, a total of 181 species, plus 21 new species for the European fauna are covered in two hardback parts (with text and plates in separate volumes), including difficult genera…

You could also keep an eye on or alternatively submit an ID request over at Wildlife Insight's Illustrated Guide to British Caterpillars.


Limpet

Limpets are a group of aquatic snails that exhibit a conical shell shape (patelliform) and a strong, muscular foot. Limpets are members of the class Gastropoda, but are polyphyletic, meaning the various groups called "limpets" descended independently from different ancestral gastropods. This general category of conical shell is known as "patelliform" (dish-shaped). [1] All members of the large and ancient marine clade Patellogastropoda are limpets. Within that clade, the members of the Patellidae family in particular are often referred to as "true limpets".

Other groups, not in the same family, are also called limpets of one type or another, due to the similarity of their shells' shape. Examples include the Fissurellidae ("keyhole limpet") family, which is part of the Vetigastropoda clade (many other members of the Vetigastropoda do not have the morphology of limpets) and the Siphonariidae ("false limpets"), which use a siphon to pump water over their gills.

Some species of limpet live in fresh water, [2] [3] but these are the exception.

Many species of limpets have historically been used, or are still used, by humans and other animals for food. [4] [5]


Found predominantly in the tropics and subtropics—although several species live in temperate regions—stick insects thrive in forests and grasslands, where they feed on leaves. Mainly nocturnal creatures, they spend much of their day motionless, hidden under plants.

Many stick insects feign death to thwart predators, and some will shed the occasional limb to escape an enemy’s grasp. Others swipe at predators with their spine-covered legs, while one North American species, Anisomorpha buprestoides, emits a putrid-smelling fluid.


The Truly Bizarre World of Encounters with Real Stick Figures

In the paranormal world it is rare to have a whole new type of entity that doesn’t fit into anything known or cataloged before. Aliens are aliens, ghosts are ghosts, mystery animals are cryptids, and so on. Yet on occasion there will be accounts that are so off the beaten path and deep into uncharted weirdness that they deserve their own category. Such can be said of the absurd, yet increasingly prevalent presence of reports of people encountering what can only be described as Stick Figures, and so here we will take a little detour into the wilds of the very bizarre, where strange things lurk and Stick Men walk about in the murk.

The phenomenon of the Black Stick Men is rather recent, mostly said to have really taken off in the late 2000s when across Internet forums there began to circulate a growing number of accounts of people seeing a totally new type of anomalous entity, usually described as very tall, impossibly thin black figures typically devoid of any noticeably features, almost as if, as their name implies, they were crudely drawn stick men come to life and stepped off the page. In some cases they are even described as being actually 2-dimensional, becoming almost invisible when viewed from a certain angle, or even morphing between 2 and 3-dimensions, and their movements are at times said to be disjointed and odd, but in other reports very smooth yet unnatural. Reports of feeling dizzy or tired in their presence are also not uncommon, as well as the distinct sense of a sort of static charge in the air and sometimes a sense of malevolence, although the entities are not known to be aggressive. Indeed, they are usually described as being rather skittish and acting almost surprised that they have been seen, usually escaping by creeping off into the night or simply vanishing into thin air. It all seems completely absurd, but there is actually quite a large number of supposed sightings of whatever these entities are, and they are every bit as bizarre as you might think.

Some accounts even go far back through the decades, only recently cropping up from witnesses online, and one of these was related on a forum for Fortean Times, where a witness only known as “Simon” claims that he had an encounter with a Stick Man in Kent, England, way back in 1978. He says of his experience:

A group of about ten of us were sitting chatting in the Loose Valley at about midnight. After about 45 minutes Will leapt to his feet slapping his head saying there was a bee in his hair he looked absolutely terrified. Both Dorothy and I saw the outline of a tall, thin figure wearing a hat dancing behind him. Will said later it was if a terrifically loud buzzing was coming-up through the top of his head. However only Rachel heard any buzzing.

We partially satisfied ourselves that it must have been a bees’ nest, and so we moved a little distance away. As we moved away Dorothy and I saw a ring outlined in the grass which enclosed where we had been sitting. Eventually it started raining so we headed for Rachel’s house. As we left I turned around and saw the same thin black figure walk across the opening between the trees to where we had been sitting.

In another comment on the site Listverse, there is an encounter that supposedly happened back in 1982, in Essex, England. The witness claims to have been a nurse at the time, and to have had her brush with the outlandish entity as it crept about the shadows of the hospital grounds at night. She says:

In 1982, when I was a student nurse at Warley Hospital, Brentwood in Essex, England, I encountered a ‘stick person’ in the grounds of the Hospital as I was walking home one night. It lopped across the roadway having been, seemingly, pressed up against a wall. It stopped when it saw me and raised it’s arms in fright and quickly walked off into the undergrowth. It was very tall with very thin, extremely long arms and legs and a very small oval head. Totally black and no obvious clothing. I saw no face even though it emerged very near a street lamp and so was well illuminated. I was terrified and to this day, no-one believes me.

In quite a few cases the witnesses describe having seen these creatures when they were children, yet the memory has remained etched into their minds as clear as day. One such report comes from Reddit, with a witness who says he has a visitation from a Stick Man when he was just a very young boy. He says that one evening he woke up to a heavy feeling of dread, and got out of bed to go sleep with his parents down the hall, but he wasn’t alone. He says:

When I got out of bed and opened the door, about 5 feet away from me in the hallway was a tall black slender figure that was very thin, all black, no facial feature, a circled head, the arms and legs were really thin and the fingers looked sharp, it made no sound and was gliding as it walked. The way it walked was the most scary part for me. I only saw it for 2 seconds then slammed the door and started whaling and crying. Minutes pass until my mom shows up to my door and calms me down. I don’t remember mentioning it to her, so she just thought I had a bad dream. She then got a role of blankets and put them on the hallway floor for us to sleep together. (For some reason, my mom likes to sleep on the floor because she grew up that way.) My feet ended up being scratched very badly, it couldn’t have been my mom nails and i remembered it left a burning sensation. I’m 18 now and it’s one of the few earliest memories I had. I still live in the same house in Connecticut.

This report is interesting in that it gives a relatively rare glimpse into the possibly malicious nature of these entities, as they are most typically described as having a menacing air about them, but being for the most part harmless. Another report comes from a witness called “Amalthea,” who posted her story on both Reddit and on the site True Ghost Stories Archive. She says that this happened to her as she was growing up in California between about 1997 and 2004, and that her strange encounter would happen as she was hanging out with her best friend, Jenny. The witness says she had kept to herself out of fear of being ridiculed until she realized that others had seen the same thing. This particular account seems rather sinister in nature, and she says of her own sighting:

When I was growing up I had a best friend who lived down the street. We lived in a quiet, small town where her dad was always working. I would walk to her house everyday after school and we would often take walks, walk to the liquor store to buy candy etc. I would often see a stick man following us, peeking out from behind her couch etc. He was all black and changed sizes. Sometimes the size of a small cat, other times taller than a normal size man. I felt very scared of him and felt he was mischievous at best, perhaps evil, I finally got the courage up to tell my best friend and she admitted to seeing him too. I always got the feeling he was the same one every time, not different stick men. One time he appeared in the shape of a stick figure horse (like a bad child’s drawing.) I always believed him to be somehow following me and watching me. Until, when my best friend passed away suddenly our senior year of high school. She had a genetic heart condition that nobody (including herself) had known about. I’ve never seen what we called “stick man” ever since. I believe now perhaps he was some form of grim reaper awaiting his time to take my friend. I don’t know if that’s really the case, but it seems odd the sightings of him disappeared after she passed. I never saw who we dubbed “stick man” again. I’m researching him now that I’m in my late 20s because I recently confided in my husband about these weird experiences.

Another witness who was a child at the time says that her and her parents witnessed a Stick Man from their moving vehicle as they drove home one night. The whole encounter is dripping with a certain sense of dread, although the thing in question did nothing to really threaten them in any way. She says:

I noticed something moving very quickly in front of the car. Here’s where it gets difficult to describe: what appeared to be two, black, stick-like legs, as if the bottom half of a “stick man”, ran quickly past the car. Everything in that moment seemed to slow down, and I entirely lost my train of thought. The area around the “legs” even almost seemed static-like and blurry. Neither my mom or dad said anything immediately, so I shrugged it off as looking out in the night at a moving road for too long. But as I started my sentence again, my mom interrupted me.

“What was that?” She genuinely sounded terrified. And I knew immediately what she was talking about. I basically screamed back, “the stick man?” And my mom began panicking. My dad seemed very confused and pulled over and we looked around the area where we saw it “run”. My mom said that she saw an entire “stick man” run from one side of the road to another. Tall, lanky, almost 2D, just like a kids’ drawing. When she calmed down, she started describing everything about what she saw, including how it walked. This was only about half a mile from their house so we drove back, my dad still in a state of confusion and my mom and I nearly shaking.

Ultimately, we all came to the conclusion that everything in that moment was very hazy, as if time slowed down and we were seeing into another dimension (?). Why my mom and I saw it and my dad didn’t, I still have no idea. Both of my parents are religious people and typically try to debunk stuff like this, but they both agree that there is no way what we saw wasn’t other-worldly. We began researching, and found that we weren’t the only people to ever see the “stick man”. When my mom read one post about the way it moved, I saw her heart drop. The post said something about claims of the thing “galloping”, which is exactly how she had described it right after it happened. Normally I am very interested in stuff like this, but I was so terrified I just wanted to forget it happened. For some reason, something about the situation felt menacing.

Of course it is not only children who have seen these things, and many of the more remarkable sightings are made by adults during their sightings and are rather recent. One very interesting report comes from a forum on Fortean Times with an anonymous poster who saw one in England in 2010. He claims that the encountered occurred at a suburb called Brockley, in South-east London, which has a rather park-like atmosphere and plenty of trees. At the time he had been walking along a leafy street with a friend back towards his apartment at around dawn when they noticed something very surreal coming down the street towards them. He says:

The word we coined later to describe its movement was ‘lolloping’ – a kind of up-down bouncy walk. It took a few seconds for the two of us to realise this was no human being. I asked my friend: “See that man?” “Yes,” was the reply. “It’s not a man, though, is it?” I found myself asking. “No,’ said my friend, sounding scared. “It isn’t.” The creature was entirely black and like a cardboard cut-out, flat and one-dimensional. It had no features at all, and it had arms that hung down to its knees. It seemed to be ignoring us, then it seemed to realise we could see it and it began to ‘lollop’ faster towards us.

We ran to my front door and hid in the hallway as quiet and unmoving as possible when we saw the thing – we felt it was male – approach the front door and appear to look through the glass from the way its head moved up and down and around. It then turned away. We didn’t sleep for some time after that, discussing what we saw. It was shaped like many descriptions of ‘greys’ but both myself and my friend came away with the impression that what we saw was either of this world or from another parallel dimension. To all intents and purposes, it appeared to be sauntering along the road enjoying the walk before it became shocked to see us staring at it in horror. We instinctively felt this was not a creature to try and communicate with, this was not something that it was good to be near. We might have been wrong but neither myself nor my friend would ever like to see this creature or others like it again, though I’d love to get some ideas on what it was.

An even more recent report comes from 2015, with a Reddit commenter who says he was with a couple of friends on the night of this strange experience at around 10 PM, taking a shortcut home through a dark alley, that had the creepy detail that it also happened to be right up against a cemetery. He says of what happened next:

This alley is pitch dark and pretty cold too, the only lights were all the way down at the end of the alley with some other lights as well. So we halfway down this alley, so then I started getting a weird feeling like I was being watched, but it was a different feeling because it’s my instincts telling me I was for real being watched but I thought I was being paranoid. So we make our way down the alley into the light so then I stopped and turned around awhile my friends were looking at me. Right at that moment that’s when I saw it.

Just coming now coming into the light a very tall, 8 or 9 feet very dark and very very skinny like well a stick figure. And it was walking at us. I couldn’t believe it at all. 1 number saying “what the fu” when he was saying that I ran as fast as I can. my friends ran behind me as well thank god. We all make it out of the alley so I turn around for the last time, it was were I first saw it standing and theirs no way because I ran really really fast and nobody can be that fast at all, and the funny or worse thing was that it was still walking at us. We ran all the way home right after that. We talked about it in group chat not knowing what we saw at all.

These things are seen all over the place, and another report comes from up in the Rocky Mountains, out in the middle of nowhere a witness was out setting up fish traps at a remote mountain stream at approximately 2 AM in the morning. There were apparently 5 of them out in the dark going about their work, or maybe six if you count the strange abomination lurking about in the gloom nearby. The witness says:

After a buddy and I finished lowering a trap into the water the atmosphere around us got real heavy. It felt like it was humid but without the presence of moisture in the air. On top of that our muscles suddenly felt real weak as if we had just run a few miles with weights strapped to our back. My visions, and the vision of my friends went blurry for a moment or two. When it all cleared up we all noticed that something was not right. Off in the distance, no more that twenty yards away from us was this tall, slender, pitch black figure. It looked to be about ten feet tall and it’s limbs were real skinny looking.

It just stood there for a moment, it’s limbs just movin’ around real slow like as it looked at us. The creature had a head but no real torso. It’s body was as thick as its arms were its legs and it had a real skinny lookin head with two bright white eyes. It just stared at us for the longest time. It didn’t even make a noise. After a moment or so the thing walked off to the side and as it got farther away from us it got easier to breathe and we were able to move once more. Naturally we packed our shit an high-tailed it back home. To this day we don’t speak of what had happened and we never did go back for our traps.

These sorts of encounters with Stick Men can be extremely unsettling for those who experience them, and can really cause people to reassess what they thought they knew. One good example of this is a commenter on True Ghost Stories Archives who is a self-proclaimed skeptic and seems to be having a hard time reconciling his own brush with a Stick Figure, of which he explains:

I honestly thought I was crazy. I’m 33, level headed, and while I won’t rule anything out I generally don’t think much of the paranormal. The other night (morning maybe, I keep odd hours) I went outside for a smoke. My lawn has a low retaining wall, about bench-height, and a long, sloping road down to the creek, noted for its malfunctioning street lights. I saw something walking down the middle of the road. I have a neighbor who walks at all hours day or night, I didn’t think much of it. As it got closer, it looked like a pencil drawn picture of a man done by a kid. It wasn’t black, so much as it was nebulous, like the static on a TV channel. Grey and black moving in a blur, in the shape of the sign that lets guys know which door to go in. The street lights flicked on and it stopped, “looked” around (I assume as much, all I saw was its head move) and saw me. As soon as it did, it took off down the road faster than my eyes could follow. I didn’t tell anyone for a few days, then did the “promise you won’t think I’m crazy” with my girlfriend. She said she had heard of similar stories, and asked it I’d googled it. I did, and here I am. At least if I’m crazy I’ll have company.

These are just a few of the numerous reports of these Stick Figures foating around out there, and they are each almost stranger than the last. We are left with an array of accounts outlining these encounters with something that doesn’t really seem to fit anywhere else in the world of the paranormal or cryptozoology. Just what is it we are supposed to be looking at here? There are lots of ideas on what these things might be, such as aliens, ghosts, demons, inter-dimensional interlopers, something more akin to the Black Eyed Kids, or simply just tricks of the light or even a flat-out Internet urban legend in the making such as Slenderman, the Hat Man, and Momo. Yet the reports seem to be given with just as much earnestness as reports of any other paranormal phenomena and we are left wondering whether they really did see something, and if so what it was. Absurd? Maybe. Ridiculous obvious drivel? Quite possibly. Very weird? Definitely. No matter what one may think of this Stick Figure phenomenon, the reports continue to come in of these mysterious phantoms, and it seems like a new feature of the landscape of the paranormal that is here to stay.


10 Things That Sciences Still Can’t Explain

Science is one way we make sense of the world around us. Some might even say it’s the most rational way to figure out how things work in an otherwise inscrutable universe. But even science doesn’t have all the answers all the time. While researchers dedicate themselves to coming up with explanations, the rest of us get the chance to conjecture wildly and come up with our own likely false, yet largely fun hypotheses. Here are phenomena that have science stumped at the moment.

1. Immediately after the Kuiper belt beyond Neptune, there’s a sudden unexpected drop in the density of icy rocks. Scientists think it might be a mystery 9th planet that caused the density of rocks in this region to fall so suddenly, but they haven’t been able to find it.

Image Source: theplanets.org

The Kuiper Belt is a disc of icy rocks beyond the eight planets in our solar system. According to theoretical models, the density of the icy rocks beyond 50 astronomical units should increase. But the opposite is true. The Kuiper Belt ends suddenly, so the region beyond it is known as the Kuiper Cliff. Scientists have yet to come up with a reason for why the region containing these icy rocks ends so suddenly. One explanation that has been proposed is that a 9th planet approximately the size of the Earth existed in the region scattering the icy rocks we expect to find there with its gravitational force. However, astronomers have yet to find anything that resembles this hypothetical 9th planet.( source )

2. The Brule river in Minnesota splits into two waterfalls as a result of an outcrop of rhyolite rocks. One waterfall feeds Lake Superior. Geologists aren’t sure where the water in the other waterfall ends up.

Image source: The Eclectic Mind on YouTube

It’s called “Devil’s Kettle Falls,” and some might say the Devil’s at work here, but geologists continue to employ science in their search for the other half of the waterfall. The reason we can’t just observe where the water goes is that it descends into a large cavernous depth called the “Devil’s Kettle.” The obvious guess is that the water joins Lake Superior at some point. However, scientists haven’t been able to prove it. They’ve tried pouring dye and throwing logs into Devil’s Kettle, but no signs of these things have later been seen in Lake Superior. Scientists plan on using a dye trace method to follow the water trail during low-volume periods to figure out what’s really going on. An alternate theory suggests that the water siphons off into an ancient subterranean lava tube.( source )

3. During thunderstorms, spheres of light with a lifetime of under five seconds have been observed floating around. Ball lightning, as it’s called, has been denied by some scientists, but the frequency of sightings and other evidence forces them to come up with an explanation for the phenomenon.

Image source: nautil.us

Ball lightning is an electrical phenomenon that is recorded as far back as Argentinian mythology. Eyewitness accounts of ball lightning run the gamut from bizarre to eerie. Some describe it as ephemeral balls of lightning that move up and down or sideways while hovering. Others claim the spheres move like they have some sort of intelligence guiding their movement since they’ve been seen entering houses through doors and traversing hallways. These recollections could easily be faulty or embellished, but scientists haven’t reached a consensus on what causes the most fundamental behaviors of ball lightning, such as its short lifespan and the odor that often accompanies it. The explanations that have been put forward include the hypotheses that ball lightning is burning vaporized silicon and that it’s microwave radiation interacting with ionized air.( source )

4. A massive object called “The Great Attractor” is pulling the Milky Way towards itself with as much gravitational force as a million billion Suns. Scientists have no explanation for the immense gravitational pull which is able to attract objects at 14 million miles per hour.

Image source: theconversation.com

The Great Attractor is a massive heavenly object located in the Laniakea Supercluster. There aren’t a lot of bodies in its vicinity on which the Great Attractor doesn’t have an effect. Our very own Milky Way galaxy isn’t immune to its effects. The galaxy is moving towards this mysterious object in space as if it were under the effect of a million billion suns. Because of the position of the Milky Way galaxy’s disk, scientists haven’t been able to clearly observe the Great Attractor. What they are sure of is that it isn’t a black hole because even the most massive kind wouldn’t have this effect on a galaxy. What we do know is that the Milky Way is definitely hurtling towards the Great Attractor at 14 million miles per hour, so we’re destined to meet it at some point in our future even if we don’t know a whole lot about it.( source )

5. What is the size of the largest sofa you can get around a tight corner of unit width? Even mathematicians remain puzzled by the question.

Image source: @BakuHashimoto on Medium.com

It seems like a simple enough problem to grasp which isn’t the case with a lot of the big questions in mathematics today. The original question was posed by Leo Moser in 1966 using rather drab mathematical terminology: “what is the shape of the largest area in the plane that can be moved around a right-angled corner in a two-dimensional hallway of width 1?” Assume that the shape in question is a sofa, and all of a sudden math unexpectedly has real-world consequences. Many have been able to come up with large shapes that would fit the requirements, but nobody who could conclusively prove that they had come up with the largest one. The largest shape that currently fits the bill is called “Gerver’s Sofa,” and it looks something like two lemons connected to each other.( source )

6. In July 1976, the Viking landers detected carbon 14-bearing gas in the soil on Mars which is evidence of organic life. However, other instruments built to detect organic molecules found nothing. The source of the carbon-14 detected by the landers remains a mystery.

Image credit: Wikimedia

Data collected from more recent expeditions shows that Mars had a wet surface sometime in its past, so it’s likely that it was hospitable to life at some point. When the Viking landers detected methane containing carbon-14 in Martian soil, NASA scientists were elated because it was a sure sign of life on the planet. But the festivities were short-lived because another instrument with sensors to detect organic molecules did not discover any positive signs itself. Some have been quick to call the landers’ findings a false positive, but the evidence suggests otherwise. A USC researcher found that the emissions contain data pointing towards a circadian rhythm, which is a strong sign of life. However, scientists are still not sure what caused the contradictory pieces of information collected on Mars in 1976.( source )

7. Moving bicycles are stable even if there’s nobody riding them. There are various hypotheses on why this happens, but no widely accepted theory.

Image credit: Richard Drdul via flickr

Bicycles in motion are a mystery until you figure out how to ride them. From there on in, you never forget how to steer one. But what is a mystery is how bicycles manage to remain stable when in motion even if there’s nobody riding them. What propels the bicycle, in this case, is a push. After you provide that initial momentum, bicycles are able to correct for any wobbling and self-stabilize to steer themselves smoothly. They eventually slow down and fall, of course, but for the duration that the energy from the initial push is available, bicycles seem to be able to keep themselves stable. Scientists have competing theories on why this happens, and invisible hands holding bicycles up isn’t one of them.( source )

8. The water in three crater lakes at Mount Kelimutu in Indonesia has changed color a few times. Geologists aren’t sure how or why.

Image credit: NeilsPhotography via Flickr

What makes the observation all the more fascinating is that they are all located on the crest of the same volcanic formation. Yet, the water in each of the three lakes can be three different colors at any given time. Not just that, those colors seem to change very quickly for no apparent reason. Kelimutu is an active volcano, so geologists seem to think that the minerals in the rocks have something to do with the capricious, color-changing behavior. These chemical reactions turn the water into every hue from brown to green to black. However, none of the researchers have been able to come up with an acceptable explanation of what causes this. Locals believe that the spirits of the dead congregate at one of the three lakes depending on their age.( source)

9. NASA has released a paper on how the revolutionary EM Drive works, but scientists still can’t explain how it defies Newton’s Third Law of Motion.

Image source: geek.com

Unlike traditional engines, the electromagnetic drive or, EM Drive, relies on microwaves rather than propellants. That makes it a fuelless propulsion method, meaning that there is no fuel ejected from the engine in order create propulsion. The issue with the EM Drive is more theoretical than it is practical. NASA itself has released a peer-reviewed paper on its functioning, but scientists have been left baffled by how it seems to defy Newton’s Third Law of Motion: “Every action has an equal and opposite reaction”. In the case of the EM Drive, there’s the action of the rocket taking off, but no opposite reaction. The existence of such a mode of transport has led scientists to question the very foundations of modern science.( source )

10. Scientists can’t seem to agree on how to classify an ancient animal called the “Tully monster.” The creature appears to possess various features that could make it either a vertebrate or an invertebrate.

Image source: Nobu Tamura/Wikipedia

The Tully monster belongs to a genus called Tullimonstrum and is believed to have inhabited parts of present-day USA about 300 million years ago. Hundreds of fossils of the animal have been discovered. Despite the large numbers of samples available to scientists for study, they have been unable to classify the Tully monster as either vertebrate or invertebrate. The reason for this is that the Tully monster’s body was a juxtaposition of features observed in both vertebrates and invertebrates. The animal had fins, eyestalks, and a jaw at the end of a stick-like appendage. Different teams of researchers have come to different conclusions based on their study of the fossils. The man after whom the animal is named, Francis Tully, called his inability to classify the curious creature a “serious and embarrassing matter.” ( source )


Contents

Over 2,400 species of mantis in about 430 genera are recognized. [1] They are predominantly found in tropical regions, but some live in temperate areas. [2] [3] The systematics of mantises have long been disputed. Mantises, along with stick insects (Phasmatodea), were once placed in the order Orthoptera with the cockroaches (now Blattodea) and rock crawlers (now Grylloblattodea). Kristensen (1991) combined the Mantodea with the cockroaches and termites into the order Dictyoptera, suborder Mantodea. [4] [5] The name mantodea is formed from the Ancient Greek words μάντις (mantis) meaning "prophet", and εἶδος (eidos) meaning "form" or "type". It was coined in 1838 by the German entomologist Hermann Burmeister. [6] [7] The order is occasionally called the mantes, using a Latinized plural of Greek mantis. The name mantid properly refers only to members of the family Mantidae, which was, historically, the only family in the order. The other common name, praying mantis, applied to any species in the order [8] (though in Europe mainly to Mantis religiosa), comes from the typical "prayer-like" posture with folded forelimbs. [9] [10] The vernacular plural "mantises" (used in this article) was confined largely to the US, with "mantids" predominantly used as the plural in the UK and elsewhere, until the family Mantidae was further split in 2002. [11] [12]

One of the earliest classifications splitting an all-inclusive Mantidae into multiple families was that proposed by Beier in 1968, recognizing eight families, [13] though it was not until Ehrmann's reclassification into 15 families in 2002 [12] that a multiple-family classification became universally adopted. Klass, in 1997, studied the external male genitalia and postulated that the families Chaeteessidae and Metallyticidae diverged from the other families at an early date. [14] However, as previously configured, the Mantidae and Thespidae especially were considered polyphyletic, [15] so the Mantodea have been revised substantially as of 2019 and now includes 29 families. [16]

Fossil mantises Edit

The earliest mantis fossils are about 140 million years old, from Siberia. [15] Fossils of the group are rare: by 2007, only about 25 fossil species were known. [15] Fossil mantises, including one from Japan with spines on the front legs as in modern mantises, have been found in Cretaceous amber. [18] Most fossils in amber are nymphs compression fossils (in rock) include adults. Fossil mantises from the Crato Formation in Brazil include the 10 mm (0.39 in) long Santanmantis axelrodi, described in 2003 as in modern mantises, the front legs were adapted for catching prey. Well-preserved specimens yield details as small as 5 μm through X-ray computed tomography. [15] Extinct families and genera include:

  • †Baissomantidae
  • †Gryllomantidae
  • †Cretomantidae
  • †Santanmantidae
  • Incertae sedis:
    • Jersimantis
    • Chaeteessites
    • Cretophotina
    • Ambermantis

    Similar insects in the Neuroptera Edit

    Because of the superficially similar raptorial forelegs, mantidflies may be confused with mantises, though they are unrelated. Their similarity is an example of convergent evolution mantidflies do not have tegmina (leathery forewings) like mantises, their antennae are shorter and less thread-like, and the raptorial tibia is more muscular than that of a similar-sized mantis and bends back further in preparation for shooting out to grasp prey. [19]

    Anatomy Edit

    Mantises have large, triangular heads with a beak-like snout and mandibles. They have two bulbous compound eyes, three small simple eyes, and a pair of antennae. The articulation of the neck is also remarkably flexible some species of mantis can rotate their heads nearly 180°. [10] The mantis thorax consists of a prothorax, a mesothorax, and a metathorax. In all species apart from the genus Mantoida, the prothorax, which bears the head and forelegs, is much longer than the other two thoracic segments. The prothorax is also flexibly articulated, allowing for a wide range of movements of the head and fore limbs while the remainder of the body remains more or less immobile. [20] [21] Mantises also are unique to the Dictyoptera in that they have tympanate hearing, with two tympana in an auditory chamber in their metathorax. Most mantises can only hear ultrasound. [22]

    Mantises have two spiked, grasping forelegs ("raptorial legs") in which prey items are caught and held securely. In most insect legs, including the posterior four legs of a mantis, the coxa and trochanter combine as an inconspicuous base of the leg in the raptorial legs, however, the coxa and trochanter combine to form a segment about as long as the femur, which is a spiky part of the grasping apparatus (see illustration). Located at the base of the femur is a set of discoidal spines, usually four in number, but ranging from none to as many as five depending on the species. These spines are preceded by a number of tooth-like tubercles, which, along with a similar series of tubercles along the tibia and the apical claw near its tip, give the foreleg of the mantis its grasp on its prey. The foreleg ends in a delicate tarsus used as a walking appendage, made of four or five segments and ending in a two-toed claw with no arolium. [20] [23]

    Mantises can be loosely categorized as being macropterous (long-winged), brachypterous (short-winged), micropterous (vestigial-winged), or apterous (wingless). If not wingless, a mantis has two sets of wings: the outer wings, or tegmina, are usually narrow and leathery. They function as camouflage and as a shield for the hindwings, which are clearer and more delicate. [20] [24] The abdomen of all mantises consists of 10 tergites, with a corresponding set of nine sternites visible in males and seven visible in females. The abdomen tends to be slimmer in males than females, but ends in a pair of cerci in both sexes. [20]

    Vision Edit

    Mantises have stereo vision. [25] [26] [27] They locate their prey by sight their compound eyes contain up to 10,000 ommatidia. A small area at the front called the fovea has greater visual acuity than the rest of the eye, and can produce the high resolution necessary to examine potential prey. The peripheral ommatidia are concerned with perceiving motion when a moving object is noticed, the head is rapidly rotated to bring the object into the visual field of the fovea. Further motions of the prey are then tracked by movements of the mantis's head so as to keep the image centered on the fovea. [23] [28] The eyes are widely spaced and laterally situated, affording a wide binocular field of vision and precise stereoscopic vision at close range. [29] The dark spot on each eye that moves as it rotates its head is a pseudopupil. This occurs because the ommatidia that are viewed "head-on" absorb the incident light, while those to the side reflect it. [30]

    As their hunting relies heavily on vision, mantises are primarily diurnal. Many species, however, fly at night, and then may be attracted to artificial lights. Mantises in the family Liturgusidae collected at night have been shown to be predominately males [31] this is probably true for most mantises. Nocturnal flight is especially important to males in locating less-mobile females by detecting their pheromones. Flying at night exposes mantises to fewer bird predators than diurnal flight would. Many mantises also have an auditory thoracic organ that helps them avoid bats by detecting their echolocation calls and responding evasively. [32] [33]

    Diet and hunting Edit

    Mantises are generalist predators of arthropods. [2] The majority of mantises are ambush predators that only feed upon live prey within their reach. They either camouflage themselves and remain stationary, waiting for prey to approach, or stalk their prey with slow, stealthy movements. [34] Larger mantises sometimes eat smaller individuals of their own species, [35] as well as small vertebrates such as lizards, frogs, fish, and particularly small birds. [36] [37] [38]

    Most mantises stalk tempting prey if it strays close enough, and will go further when they are especially hungry. [39] Once within reach, mantises strike rapidly to grasp the prey with their spiked raptorial forelegs. [40] Some ground and bark species pursue their prey in a more active way. For example, members of a few genera such as the ground mantises, Entella, Ligaria, and Ligariella run over dry ground seeking prey, much as tiger beetles do. [20]

    The fore gut of some species extends the whole length of the insect and can be used to store prey for digestion later. This may be advantageous in an insect that feeds intermittently. [41] Chinese mantises live longer, grow faster, and produce more young when they are able to eat pollen. [42]

    Antipredator adaptations Edit

    Mantises are preyed on by vertebrates such as frogs, lizards, and birds, and by invertebrates such as spiders, large species of hornets, and ants. [43] Some hunting wasps, such as some species of Tachytes also paralyse some species of mantis to feed their young. [44] Generally, mantises protect themselves by camouflage, most species being cryptically colored to resemble foliage or other backgrounds, both to avoid predators and to better snare their prey. [45] Those that live on uniformly colored surfaces such as bare earth or tree bark are dorsoventrally flattened so as to eliminate shadows that might reveal their presence. [46] The species from different families called flower mantises are aggressive mimics: they resemble flowers convincingly enough to attract prey that come to collect pollen and nectar. [47] [48] [49] Some species in Africa and Australia are able to turn black after a molt towards the end of the dry season at this time of year, bush fires occur and this coloration enables them to blend in with the fire-ravaged landscape (fire melanism). [46]

    When directly threatened, many mantis species stand tall and spread their forelegs, with their wings fanning out wide. The fanning of the wings makes the mantis seem larger and more threatening, with some species enhancing this effect with bright colors and patterns on their hindwings and inner surfaces of their front legs. If harassment persists, a mantis may strike with its forelegs and attempt to pinch or bite. As part of the bluffing (deimatic) threat display, some species may also produce a hissing sound by expelling air from the abdominal spiracles. Mantises lack chemical protection, so their displays are largely bluff. When flying at night, at least some mantises are able to detect the echolocation sounds produced by bats when the frequency begins to increase rapidly, indicating an approaching bat, they stop flying horizontally and begin a descending spiral toward the safety of the ground, often preceded by an aerial loop or spin. If caught, they may slash captors with their raptorial legs. [46] [50] [51]

    Mantises, like stick insects, show rocking behavior in which the insect makes rhythmic, repetitive side-to-side movements. Functions proposed for this behavior include the enhancement of crypsis by means of the resemblance to vegetation moving in the wind. However, the repetitive swaying movements may be most important in allowing the insects to discriminate objects from the background by their relative movement, a visual mechanism typical of animals with simpler sight systems. Rocking movements by these generally sedentary insects may replace flying or running as a source of relative motion of objects in the visual field. [52] As ants may be predators of mantises, genera such as Loxomantis, Orthodera, and Statilia, like many other arthropods, avoid attacking them. Exploiting this behavior, a variety of arthropods, including some early-instar mantises, mimic ants to evade their predators. [53]

    Leaf mimicry: Choeradodis has leaf-like forewings and a widened green thorax.

    Adult female Iris oratoria performs a bluffing threat display, rearing back with the forelegs and wings spread and mouth opened.

    The jeweled flower mantis, Creobroter gemmatus: the brightly colored wings are opened suddenly in a deimatic display to startle predators.

    Reproduction and life history Edit

    The mating season in temperate climates typically takes place in autumn, [54] [55] while in tropical areas, mating can occur at any time of the year. [55] To mate following courtship, the male usually leaps onto the female's back, clasping her thorax and wing bases with his forelegs. He then arches his abdomen to deposit and store sperm in a special chamber near the tip of the female's abdomen. The female lays between 10 and 400 eggs, depending on the species. Eggs are typically deposited in a froth mass-produced by glands in the abdomen. This froth hardens, creating a protective capsule, which together with the egg mass is called an ootheca. Depending on the species, the ootheca can be attached to a flat surface, wrapped around a plant, or even deposited in the ground. [54] Despite the versatility and durability of the eggs, they are often preyed on, especially by several species of parasitoid wasps. In a few species, mostly ground and bark mantises in the family Tarachodidae, the mother guards the eggs. [54] The cryptic Tarachodes maurus positions herself on bark with her abdomen covering her egg capsule, ambushing passing prey and moving very little until the eggs hatch. [4] An unusual reproductive strategy is adopted by Brunner's stick mantis from the southern United States no males have ever been found in this species, and the females breed parthenogenetically. [2] The ability to reproduce by parthenogenesis has been recorded in at least two other species, Sphodromantis viridis and Miomantis sp., although these species usually reproduce sexually. [56] [57] [58] In temperate climates, adults do not survive the winter and the eggs undergo a diapause, hatching in the spring. [5]

    As in closely related insect groups in the superorder Dictyoptera, mantises go through three life stages: egg, nymph, and adult (mantises are among the hemimetabolous insects). For smaller species, the eggs may hatch in 3–4 weeks as opposed to 4–6 weeks for larger species. The nymphs may be colored differently from the adult, and the early stages are often mimics of ants. A mantis nymph grows bigger as it molts its exoskeleton. Molting can happen five to 10 times before the adult stage is reached, depending on the species. After the final molt, most species have wings, though some species remain wingless or brachypterous ("short-winged"), particularly in the female sex. The lifespan of a mantis depends on the species smaller ones may live 4–8 weeks, while larger species may live 4–6 months. [2] [21]

    Mantis religiosa mating (brown male, green female)

    Recently laid M. religiosa ootheca

    Hatching from the ootheca

    Sexual cannibalism Edit

    Sexual cannibalism is common among most predatory species of mantises in captivity. It has sometimes been observed in natural populations, where about a quarter of male-female encounters result in the male being eaten by the female. [59] [60] [61] Around 90% of the predatory species of mantises exhibit sexual cannibalism. [62] Adult males typically outnumber females at first, but their numbers may be fairly equivalent later in the adult stage, [5] possibly because females selectively eat the smaller males. [63] In Tenodera sinensis, 83% of males escape cannibalism after an encounter with a female, but since multiple matings occur, the probability of a male's being eaten increases cumulatively. [60]

    The female may begin feeding by biting off the male's head (as they do with regular prey), and if mating has begun, the male's movements may become even more vigorous in its delivery of sperm. Early researchers thought that because copulatory movement is controlled by a ganglion in the abdomen, not the head, removal of the male's head was a reproductive strategy by females to enhance fertilization while obtaining sustenance. Later, this behavior appeared to be an artifact of intrusive laboratory observation. Whether the behavior is natural in the field or also the result of distractions caused by the human observer remains controversial. Mantises are highly visual organisms and notice any disturbance in the laboratory or field, such as bright lights or moving scientists. Chinese mantises that had been fed ad libitum (so that they were not hungry) actually displayed elaborate courtship behavior when left undisturbed. The male engages the female in a courtship dance, to change her interest from feeding to mating. [64] Under such circumstances, the female has been known to respond with a defensive deimatic display by flashing the colored eyespots on the inside of her front legs. [65]

    The reason for sexual cannibalism has been debated experiments show that females on poor diets are likelier to engage in sexual cannibalism than those on good diets. [66] Some hypothesize that submissive males gain a selective advantage by producing offspring this is supported by a quantifiable increase in the duration of copulation among males which are cannibalized, in some cases doubling both the duration and the chance of fertilization. This is contrasted by a study where males were seen to approach hungry females with more caution, and were shown to remain mounted on hungry females for a longer time, indicating that males that actively avoid cannibalism may mate with multiple females. The same study also found that hungry females generally attracted fewer males than those that were well fed. [67] The act of dismounting after copulation is dangerous for males, for at this time, females most frequently cannibalize their mates. An increase in mounting duration appears to indicate that males wait for an opportune time to dismount a hungry female, who would be likely to cannibalize her mate. [65] Experiments have revealed that the sex ratio in an environment determines male copulatory behavior of Mantis religiosa which in turn affects the cannibalistic tendencies of the female and support the sperm competition hypothesis because the polyandrous treatment recorded the highest copulation duration time and lowest cannibalism. This further suggests that dismounting the female can make males susceptible to cannibalism. [68]

    In literature and art Edit

    One of the earliest mantis references is in the ancient Chinese dictionary Erya, which gives its attributes in poetry, where it represents courage and fearlessness, and a brief description. A later text, the Jingshi Zhenglei Daguan Bencao ("Great History of Medical Material Annotated and Arranged by Types, Based upon the Classics and Historical Works") from 1108, gives accurate details of the construction of the egg packages, the development cycle, anatomy, and the function of the antennae. Although mantises are rarely mentioned in Ancient Greek sources, a female mantis in threat posture is accurately illustrated on a series of fifth-century BC silver coins, including didrachms, from Metapontum in Lucania. [69] In the 10th century AD, Byzantine era Adages, Suidas describes an insect resembling a slow-moving green locust with long front legs. [70] He translates Zenobius 2.94 with the words seriphos (maybe a mantis) and graus, an old woman, implying a thin, dried-up stick of a body. [71]

    Mantises are a common motif in Luna Polychrome ceramics of pre-Columbian Nicaragua, and are believed to represent a deity or spirit called "Madre Culebra". [72]

    Western descriptions of the biology and morphology of the mantises became more accurate in the 18th century. Roesel von Rosenhof illustrated and described mantises and their cannibalistic behavior in the Insekten-Belustigungen (Insect Entertainments). [73]

    Aldous Huxley made philosophical observations about the nature of death while two mantises mated in the sight of two characters in his 1962 novel Island (the species was Gongylus gongylodes). The naturalist Gerald Durrell's humorously autobiographical 1956 book My Family and Other Animals includes a four-page account of an almost evenly matched battle between a mantis and a gecko. Shortly before the fatal dénouement, Durrell narrates:

    he [Geronimo the gecko] crashed into the mantis and made her reel, and grabbed the underside of her thorax in his jaws. Cicely [the mantis] retaliated by snapping both her front legs shut on Geronimo's hindlegs. They rustled and staggered across the ceiling and down the wall, each seeking to gain some advantage. [74]

    M. C. Escher's woodcut Dream depicts a human-sized mantis standing on a sleeping bishop. [75] The 1957 film The Deadly Mantis features a mantis as a giant monster. In the 1967 film Son of Godzilla and other related films, the kaiju called "Kamacuras" are giant mantis monsters.

    A cultural trope imagines the female mantis as a femme fatale. The idea is propagated in cartoons by Cable, Guy and Rodd, LeLievre, T. McCracken, and Mark Parisi, among others. [76] [77] [78] [79] It ends Isabella Rossellini's short film about the life of a praying mantis in her 2008 Green Porno season for the Sundance Channel. [80] [81]

    Martial arts Edit

    Two martial arts separately developed in China have movements and fighting strategies based on those of the mantis. [82] [83] As one of these arts was developed in northern China, and the other in southern parts of the country, the arts are today referred to (both in English and Chinese) as 'Northern Praying Mantis' [84] and 'Southern Praying Mantis'. [83] Both are very popular in China, and have also been exported to the West in recent decades. [83] [84] [85] [86]

    In mythology and religion Edit

    The mantis was revered by the southern African Khoi and San in whose cultures man and nature were intertwined for its praying posture, the mantis was even named Hottentotsgot ("god of the Hottentots") in the Afrikaans language that had developed among the first European settlers. [87] However, at least for the San, the mantis was only one of the manifestations of a trickster-deity, ǀKaggen, who could assume many other forms, such as a snake, hare or vulture. [88] Several ancient civilizations did consider the insect to have supernatural powers for the Greeks, it had the ability to show lost travelers the way home in the Ancient Egyptian Book of the Dead, the "bird-fly" is a minor god that leads the souls of the dead to the underworld in a list of 9th-century BC Nineveh grasshoppers (buru), the mantis is named necromancer (buru-enmeli) and soothsayer (buru-enmeli-ashaga). [73] [89] Some pre-Columbian cultures in western Nicaragua have preserved oral traditions of the mantis as "Madre Culebra", a powerful predator and symbol of female symbolic authority. [72]

    As pets Edit

    Mantises are among the insects most widely kept as pets. [90] [91] Because the lifespan of a mantis is only about a year, people who want to keep mantises often breed them. In 2013 at least 31 species were kept and bred in the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, and the United States. [92] In 1996 at least 50 species were known to be kept in captivity by members of the Mantis Study Group. [93] The Independent described the "giant Asian praying mantis" as "part stick insect with a touch of Buddhist monk", [94] and stated that they needed a vivarium around 30 cm (12 in) on each side. [94] The Daily South argued that a pet insect was no weirder than a pet rat or ferret, and that while a pet mantis was unusual, it would not "bark, shed, [or] need shots or a litter box". [95]

    For pest control Edit

    Gardeners who prefer to avoid pesticides may encourage mantises in the hope of controlling insect pests. [96] However, mantises do not have key attributes of biological pest control agents they do not specialize in a single pest insect, and do not multiply rapidly in response to an increase in such a prey species, but are general predators. [96] They eat whatever they can catch, including both harmful and beneficial insects. [95] They therefore have "negligible value" in biological control. [96]

    Two species, the Chinese mantis and the European mantis, were deliberately introduced to North America in the hope that they would serve as pest controls for agriculture they have spread widely in both the United States and Canada. [97]

    Mantis-like robot Edit

    A prototype robot inspired by the forelegs of the praying mantis has front legs that allow the robot to walk, climb steps, and grasp objects. The multi-jointed leg provides dexterity via a rotatable joint. Future models may include a more spiked foreleg to improve the grip and ability to support more weight. [98]


    How Are Skin Parasites Spread?

    Despite what many believe, people do not get skin parasites because of poor hygiene. Instead, skin parasites tend to spread in situations where they can walk or fall from one person to another (or in the case of chiggers, from vegetation to human skin). The parasites often require relatively prolonged and close contact to move between people, and they spread most easily in crowded conditions, from sharing personal items, and from skin-to-skin contact.

    Head lice in particular fall easily onto their next victims in close quarters. They also can infest hairbrushes, barrettes, hats, and sometimes clothes or bed linens. If other people use these items, they can become infested as well. Pubic lice spread mostly through sexual contact, but people also can get them from bed linens and clothes.

    Scabies spreads quickly in crowded living conditions or in places with lots of skin-to-skin contact (such as daycare centers and nursing homes). Like lice, scabies can be passed through sexual contact and by sharing clothes, towels, and bed linens.


    1 Answer 1

    Short answer

    These are the three redundant temperature sensors for the windscreen anti icing and defogging system. The design is similar to what is found on the A330 and A340, and most large aircraft. The sensors are used to control the electric current in the heating film(s) sandwiched in the windscreen ply. Usually three temperatures are monitored:

    • Outer windscreen layer must be above freezing point, e.g. 1.8°C.
    • Film mustn't overheat, depends on film used.
    • Inner layer must be below some threshold, e.g. 50°C.

    This video shows how windscreen heating works on an ATR42. Extract related to the sensors:


    ATR42 windscreen temperature sensors and film bus bars

    The heating film(s) is/are used both to prevent icing and failure of the outer panel (air temperature can be as low as -60°C) and fogging on the inner panel. This can be obtain using a single film, but sometimes there are two distinct films:


    Structure of the windscreen on a Boeing 787. Source

    On the A350

    Windows Anti Icing/Defogging Function, Description and Interfaces

    The windows anti icing/defogging system is divided into two sub-systems (F/O and CAPT). Each sub-system is comprised of one windshield, one FWD lateral window, one AFT lateral window and a Window Heat Computer (WHC). [. ]

    The anti icing and defogging function of the cockpit windshields is ensured by the heating of one resistive/heating film. Each windshield's resistive heating film is powered by 230 VAC, provided by the WHC.

    There are three temperature sensors near the heating film that continually send information to the WHC for the heating regulation and the overheat protection functions. [. ]

    The WHC regulates the temperature of the cockpit windows (35 degrees C to 42 degrees C) based on the temperature value it receives from one of the three temperature sensors. The other two temperature sensors are in standby mode. [. ]

    If the temperature of the cockpit windows reaches a specific temperature level (+60 degrees C), the WHC will stop supplying the specific window. [. ] For each window, the WHC uses temperature values from the three temperature sensors to detect an overheat.

    The WHCs interface and exchange data via CRDCs with the AFDX network.The two WHCs are located in the cockpit: WHC1 is located next to the fourth occupant console behind the Captain. WHC2 is located next to the coat stowage behind the First Officer.

    • Sensors are larger than usual.
    • They may be stuck on the glass instead of being built-in.

    This setting might be specific for flight test purposes. Someone may bring additional elements.


    Pilatus PC12-NG temperature sensors and bus bars on the windscreen


    Is this a dragonfly or a damselfly?

    In August of 2015, my husband and I were out for a walk at the Wachusett Reservoir, in Central Massachusetts. It was the same walk, including day and time, as in this question.

    We stopped at the water's edge. It's the same water I referenced in this question, although the reservoir is large, and we were quite a distance from that spot.

    A lovely delicate-looking creature flew in and landed gently on the top of a broken twig of marsh grass, only a few inches from where we were standing. It had a narrow, stick-like orange and white body a red head with large black eyes (which for some reason came out white in the photograph) four lacy orange/red wings edged in white and very thin long gray legs. We stayed very still and it remained resting there for at least five minutes. Then another landed nearby and "ours" flew towards it, and they took off together.

    From past experience, I assumed it was a dragonfly. However, for the first time, I recently heard of something called a damselfly. I thought that meant a female dragonfly, mostly because a damsel is a female. (According to Oxford and other dictionaries, a damsel is technically "a young unmarried woman" but that has no bearing on this question!) However, I've been told by a friend that, although they're in the same family, they're two different entities with similar, but unique, characteristics and behavior.

    The first picture is the original taken by my husband. The others are the same picture, just cropped and zoomed in, so you can see more details, like the fur. As I said above, the white eyes in the picture were actually black. Unfortunately, we didn't get a side view, and you can only see the end of one wing, but I'm hoping there's enough to make a correct identification.

    Is this a dragonfly or a damselfly? How can I tell? (Of course it's possible that it's neither, but I don't think that's the case.)


    Selected References

    Bates, S. T., G. W. Cropsey, J. G. Caporaso, R. Knight, and N. Fierer. 2011. "Bacterial Communities Associated with the Lichen Symbiosis." Applied and Environmental Microbiology 77 (4): 1309&ndash1314.

    Brodo, I. M., S. D. Sharnoff, and S. Sharnoff. 2001. Lichens of North America. Yale University Press.

    Byron, M. A., and J. L. Gillett-Kaufman. 2016. "Rustic sphinx, Manduca rustica (Fabricius) (Insecta: Lepidoptera: Sphingidae)." EENY 652. Gainesville: University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences. http://entnemdept.ufl.edu/creatures/ORN/Manduca_rustica.htm

    Honegger, R., and S. Scherrer. 2008. Sexual Reproduction in Lichen-Forming Ascomycetes. Cambridge University Press.

    Purvis, W. 2000. Lichens, Smithsonian's Natural World Series. Smithsonian Books.

    Rankovic, B. R. 2015. Lichen Secondary Metabolites: Bioactive Properties and Pharmaceutical Potential. Springer International Publishing.

    Ray, H. A., and J. L. Gillett-Kaufman. 2017. "Grizzled mantid, Gonatista grisea (Fabricius) (Mantodea: Mantidae)." EENY 688. Gainesville: University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences. http://entnemdept.ufl.edu/creatures/misc/grizzled_mantid.html

    Richardson, D. H. S. 1992. Pollution Monitoring with Lichens. Pelagic Publishing.

    Stephenson, S. L. 2010. The Kingdom Fungi: The Biology of Mushrooms, Molds, and Lichens. Timber Press.


    Watch the video: How a Stick Insect Walks. ScienceTake (August 2022).