Ento-musings from the University of Kentucky Department of Entomology

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Harwood Lab Amblypygid

A few posts ago, I mentioned the amblypygid that I spotted on an episode of Survivor. I forgot that one of our Entomology laboratories, the Harwood Lab, keeps it's very own pet amblypygid!

Kelton Welch, one of the lab members, manged to get a very good image of the creature as it fed on a cricket:

Close up:

Pretty fearsome looking, right? Actually, the creature is only about an inch long, and it is harmless to humans. It is possible to keep amblypygids as pets, but they require very specific conditions: high humidity, lots of crickets, and "vertical" hiding places (such as pieces of bark placed upright and stacked against each other). Here again is the link to the Wikipedia entry for these fascinating creatures.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Bugs-All-Day: April 16, 2011

Join us at the Explorium of Lexington on Saturday, April 16th, 10am-2pm, for Bugs-All-Day. Members of the University of Kentucky Department of Entomology will be there with live bugs, games, and other fun stuff.

April 16th will also be the grand opening of Small World, a permanent exhibit that the Explorium has created in partnership with UK Entomology. Small World will feature a variety of live critters, including a Chaco Golden Knee tarantula, giant millipedes, aquatic insects, and a giant centipede.

Admission to Bugs-All-Day and Small World is included with the regular Explorium admission price. Read more about the Explorium, including directions and parking information, at their website.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Survivor: Redemption Island -- Arthropod Watch

Blake Newton, UK Extension Entomologist

I'm still a Survivor fan after all these years. On this blog, I occasionally mention some of the critters that I notice on the show. At the end of last week's episode, I saw an amblypygid crawling on a tree during one of the night-vision segments. Amblypygids, also known as tailless whip scorpions, have a very strange appearance. To me, they look like the facehuggers from Alien. And some of them can get pretty big. They are basically harmless to people, though.

Amblypygids don't live in Kentucky, but they are found in some of the sub-tropical parts of the United States, like Florida. You can read more about these fascinating critters on this Wikipedia entry.