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The Met Lab ...

I haven't posted many pictures of work as of late but I had a free hour today so I goofed off for a bit in Metamorphosis (or as we like to joke around and call it "The met lab") and took some pictures of the critters that live in that part of the facility.

The Metamorphosis area is the room that talks about development (complete/incomplete metamorphosis), reproduction, and caring for insects. We have an interactive station (the "lab") where people can touch caterpillars (or whatever critter we have out that day) and talk with one of the staff.

The above fellow is probably one of my favorite individuals in the entire museum. Admittedly the leaf cutter ants are the ones I pay the most attention to but this girl, a unicorn katydid (Copiphora rhinoceros), was an original favorite. She is calm and sedate now but was a serious handful when we first loaded her. Most the staff was afraid to feed her (due to her tendency to bite) but I reveled in the task and even took to using my fingers to hand her a maimed cricket after she calmed a bit. Now she is living on borrowed time (over six months old when we were told she would live two or three) so I am attempting to get some pictures. I know the one above isn't in focus but I can't help but love the personality and the fact that it shows off her goofy eyes.

The unicorn katydid is part of a threesome talking about reproduction. Sound, Strength, and Smell are individually recognized. Katydids make sounds to attract a mate. The representative for strength is a classic favorite of mine the Dorcus titanus - the only major species to have bitten me ... multiple times.

Smell is represented by a species of cockroach - an orange headed cockroach (Eublaberus prosticus) - who uses pheromones to attract a mate.

I am going to try to photograph more animals over the next few days. I think it is a shame that I don't have more pictures of my old museum and I don't want to make the same mistake here.


( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
Dec. 5th, 2008 05:07 am (UTC)
those are intensely cool pics!
Dec. 5th, 2008 07:45 am (UTC)
That unicorn katydid has to be the neatest insect I've ever seen - that shot is awesome! As you said, definitely loving the goofy eyes.
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )

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