The Scorpionfly (Panorpa communis) may look like the offspring of a scorpion and a wasp, but they are in fact completely harmless, living off dead insects that they sometimes take from spiderwebs. What looks like a stinger is actually the male’s genitals.
Scorpionflies have been around since the Mesozoic age (250-66 million years ago) and are believed to be the forerunners of most modern moths and butterflies.
Classification: Animalia - Arthropoda - Insecta - Mecoptera - Panorpidae - Panorpa
Rainbow Jumping Spider, Maratus robinsoni.
This is an ant-mimic crab spider with its prey. The spider uses its camouflage to hang out near ant colonies and snatch up unsuspecting individuals that pass nearby.
Image credit: Kurt G
Portraits of Bees
Meet the red-eyed gaper, Chaunax sp., more commonly known as “by-catch” in commercial fishery operations. Gapers are Lophiformes, in the anglerfish group, with big heads, a network of open sensory canals,
and a lateral canal extending posteriorly along a compressed trunk and tail. They are sit-and-wait, ambush predators. These red-eyed gapers and their ilk can be found as deep as 2000 m around the world.
- Credit: Anne Richards, NEFSC/NOAA