Ento-musings from the University of Kentucky Department of Entomology

Monday, February 25, 2013

Strangest of the Strange

There are a number of Animalia that reach the highest level of human-perceived strangeness any organism can achieve; creatures that make the likes of H. P. Lovecraft argue a case for God's insanity, and cause the rest of us to at least challenge His taste. Examples include: the sessile marine bone-snacking worm Osedax, the females of which have hundreds-strong harems of dwarfish males inhabiting their guts; or Acarophenax, a mite with a sex ratio biased 15/1 in favor of females, with a single male per brood impregnating every single one of his sisters while they are all still in the womb. Then there are the twisted-winged parasites (which have the order Strepsiptera all to themselves): easily the most bizarre insects known to man, and organisms in a general sense that give even Osedax a run for its money (http://gentlecentipede.blogspot.com/2013/02/twisted-winged-parasites-are-friggin.html).