Little Transformers: This dung beetle has had enough of this bullshit

One of the things I have been focused on in the past two years, which is partially responsible for the long silence on this blog, is sorting through the backlog of photos in my archive. This is possibly the biggest curse of digital photography; you end up with hundreds of photos from each trip that eventually accumulate and often remain untouched for years. I made it a mission of mine to start going over this…

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Insect art: Eye makeup by Duran Jay (entomakeup)

You know, every once in a while I come across something original and unique that makes me fall in love with the art of adapting a reference to another medium. A great example for this is the world of fashion where designers draw their inspiration from just about anything you can (and cannot) imagine. Without doubt the natural world is used frequently as inspiration for flamboyant styles as well. However, occasionally I come across the…

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Maoristolus parvulus – extremely small and incredibly rare

These days I am going over my photo archives, doing some digital asset management. The work is mostly sorting images into folders and keywording, but make no mistake – it is a lot of work. Archive work is a great way to pass a cold winter, not that I’m complaining. We have been extremely spoiled this year with temperatures higher than the average for a Southern Ontario winter. And yet, winter is almost gone and…

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Bachia lizards – look, no hands!

Legend tells the story of Oedipus, who faced the sphinx guarding the gates to the city of Thebes. To enter, the monster presented him with a riddle: “Which creature has one voice and yet becomes four-footed and two-footed and three-footed?” Oedipus was able to solve the sphinx riddle, granting him entrance to the city. He later became the king of Thebes and married his own mother – but that’s another story. The answer to the…

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Farewell 2019, hola 2020’s!

I’ll open this post with my usual mantra – have you backed up your files this week? In case you have, pat yourself on the back. If not, stop reading and back up your stuff first. Thank you. Ah, 2019. What a strange year this was. Just as I thought, the previous year ended on such a high note, that it was difficult to shake off the sense of euphoria that came right after and…

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Insect art: Whip spider tattoo

Looking back at my posts about arthropod-inspired art, I’ve covered natural history illustration, monster and character design, animated media, sculptures, taxidermy, and even rubber stamps. I find it surprising that I have not written anything about tattoos so far. Not only are insects and arachnid tattoos fairly popular and commonplace, but on a more personal level my first exposure to arthropod tattoos takes me back to my teenage years – My brother showed up one…

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Schizomids, the unstoppable arachnids

What if I told you that right under your nose there is an entire group of arachnids that hardly ever receives any attention? It contains many species and has a worldwide distribution, but you will not hear about them in the news or see them presented on mainstream media. A couple of months ago I gave a talk about minor arachnid orders (any arachnid that is not a spider, scorpion, mite or tick) at Nerd…

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Insect art: Monsters and creepy crawlies by Jonathan Wojcik

Warning: This post contains monster art. If you are a squeamish person or suffer from trypophobia, you might want to skip this one.  From day one this website had a links page, and one of the first links to appear was for a website called “The Insidious bogleech”, an artistic platform for all-things-scary created by Jonathan Wojcik. The reason I initially included the link was his Pokemonology page that I wished more people would know about…

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Ending 2018 with a bang

Let’s go straight to the punchline: 2018 was a successful year for me. This is important because I am posting this late into 2019, so I had the time to reflect on the passing year’s events. I was debating if I should write a summary post for 2018 at all. These things get old quickly, especially around the last two weeks of December, when such posts pop up everywhere. Even though I know I am…

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Little Transformers: Deinopis, the ogre-faced spider

Today’s Little Transformer is a little unusual. First off, it is a spider. This spider is so unique in its appearance and behavior that I am surprised it has not inspired any exaggerated depictions in popular culture. It spends most of its time hidden, posing as a harmless twig among the forest vegetation. It is so good at what it does, that unless it moves it would be very easily overlooked. However, when night falls…

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