3linesabout8legs: a spidery digression

 

the jumping spider Phidippus looks amazed and amazing, amused and amusing

i think that if all spiders looked like Phidippus

arachnophobia would just                  disappear

 

Advertisements

kafertannenbaum

 

what if on a warm winter day a thousand brightly coloured beetles

crawled up through the snow and up a fir tree to sit in the sun on its branches

while the fireflies flashed on and off?

 

diagnostic characters

 

to give a newly discovered species its identity and immortal name

we tear out its distinctive genitalia to macerate and draw them

you have to be cruel to be kind

distraction

 

we were on our way to a celebratory lab lunch on a hot day

but the girls saw ladybird larvae on a spiraea bush

so we stopped in the sun and watched them hunt

 

backlogs of discovery

 

if i never go in the field again i could spend the rest of my career

describing new species that are already sitting in drawers in the museum

that, i think, is the definition of biodiversity

 

habits of phorid flies

 

emerging from buried corpses six feet under, or heads of decapitated ants

from specimens kept in formalin, termite mounds, shoe polish and emulsion paint

the world is their oyster, preferably a dead one

 

butterfly wings

 

 

the colour and pattern of butterfly wings are made up of thousands of tiny scales

those scales are worn off and lost over the life of the butterfly

where do they go? and what would the earth look like if they all just piled up?

 

Previous Older Entries

%d bloggers like this: