Tag Archives: red

Variable oakleaf caterpillar

This is a newly-molted variable oakleaf caterpillar (Lochmaeus manteo), with old head capsule still attached. I initially thought the capsule was the head and that the thorax had eyespots, but John and Jane Balaban on Bugguide.net pointed out the obvious to me.

This species sprays formic acid, apparently.

Colin Purrington Photography: Insects &emdash; Lochmaeus caterpillar

Close-up of Lochmaeus caterpillar

FYI, Al Denelsbeck posted an almost identical image here, complete with close-up of the eyes.

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Eastern boxelder bugs

Below are some photographs of Eastern boxelder bugs (Boisea trivittata) I took recently at the John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge in Tinicum, Pennsylvania. These true bugs are fun to watch — richly colored, morphologically variable (they go through numerous instars), and often shockingly gregarious. They move a lot, too, so rather annoying to get a decent photograph.

Colin Purrington Photography: Insects &emdash; Eastern boxelder bug (Boisea trivittata) nymph

Colin Purrington Photography: Insects &emdash; Eastern boxelder bugs (Boisea trivittata) on lichen

Colin Purrington Photography: Insects &emdash; Eastern boxelder bugs (Boisea trivittata) on seeds

Colin Purrington Photography: Insects &emdash; Eastern boxelder bugs (Boisea trivittata) congregating on plant

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Red milkweed beetles

Mating pairs of red milkweed beetles (Tetraopes tetrophthalmus) are not rare (they can couple for hours at a time), but I thought this couple looked cute, in a worried sort of way. The half-lidded expression is because their compound eyes are bisected by their antennae. Beautiful beetles.

Colin Purrington Photography: Insects &emdash; Red milkweed beetles (Tetraopes tetrophthalmus)

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Brown anole dewlap

Brown anole displaying its dewlap. Not sure whether this was a male or female, though I’m sure anyone familiar with brown anoles would know instantly. Males supposedly have bigger dewlaps and display them longer … but I only saw this one individual. My guess is that it’s a he.  For a great overview of dewlaps, please see Anole Annals. Photograph from Key Largo, Florida, March 2014.

Brown anole displaying dewlap

Also, sure wish more science fiction movies would equip aliens with these. Missed opportunity for surprise and hilarity.

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Gratuitous suggestions for car brake lights

I don’t know anyone in the automobile design industry, but just in case someone stumbles onto this post in that position, I have two suggestions that I think would dramatically reduce rear-ending:

1.  Tapping the brakes should activate rear red “braking lights” (as they do now) but the other lights should not be red.  It’s truly stupid to have the running lights (they probably have a better name) the same color as the brake lights.  Application of breaks should “pop” to driver following you, and having “more red” simply doesn’t transmit that information.

2.  Brake lights should blink. Just like those blinking red traffic lights that are going up at  intersections–they really get your attention. I’m sure there are ways to mod your vehicle to display blinking lights, but it should be a basic car design law. It would be extra nice to vary the blink rate with the percentage of braking applied.  E.g, when brakes are fully depressed, the blink rate is super fast to indicate to followers that car is stopping really fast.  But when driver is gently slowing the blink rate is more subdued. I’m sure drivers with epilepsy will have opinions about blink rates to avoid, but in general it would be a good thing, I think. Especially with everyone texting and all.

Blinking brake lights

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