Siphonophores are colonial gelatinous animals related to corals, hydroids, and true jellyfish. This deep-sea species, Erenna richardi, was observed at 1560 meters depth using ROV Doc Ricketts. 
A different species of Erenna was discovered by MBARI scientists to attract prey using red bioluminescent lures:  read more here
(via: Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute)
Siphonophores are colonial gelatinous animals related to corals, hydroids, and true jellyfish. This deep-sea species, Erenna richardi, was observed at 1560 meters depth using ROV Doc Ricketts.

A different species of Erenna was discovered by MBARI scientists to attract prey using red bioluminescent lures:  read more here

(via: Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute)

TSA Turtle Tuesday: Narrow-bridged Musk Turtle
The small and agile narrow-bridged musk turtle (Claudius angustatus) is endemic to southern Mexico and northern Central America. Its relatively large head has very powerful jaws and pointed beak making it well adapted for its varied diet. An opportunistic carnivore, it eats all kinds of accessible prey types including fish, frogs, newts, snails, earthworms, insects and larvae. With its long neck and hooked lower jaw, the narrow-bridged mud turtle is a formidable hunter! 
Photo by James Harding
(via: Turtle Survival Alliance)

TSA Turtle Tuesday: Narrow-bridged Musk Turtle

The small and agile narrow-bridged musk turtle (Claudius angustatus) is endemic to southern Mexico and northern Central America. Its relatively large head has very powerful jaws and pointed beak making it well adapted for its varied diet. An opportunistic carnivore, it eats all kinds of accessible prey types including fish, frogs, newts, snails, earthworms, insects and larvae. With its long neck and hooked lower jaw, the narrow-bridged mud turtle is a formidable hunter!

Photo by James Harding

(via: Turtle Survival Alliance)

This giant duck could provide solar and hydro power to Copenhagen

by Gabriella Munoz

Once built, this floating sculpture covered with solar cells will produce clean energy for Denmark’s capital city.

Inspired by Florentijn Hofman’s giant Rubber Duck sculpture, which graced Australian waters back in 2013, a team of UK designers have developed Energy Duck, an energy generator.

Hundreds of photovoltaic panels will cover this 12-storey high floating solar farm, which also has hydro turbines to produce energy at night. According to Matt Hickman at Mother Nature Network, Energy Duck is also a reminder of “how climate change has adversely impacted the breeding habitats of the common elder duck, a large sea duck found in the northern coasts of Europe and North America.”…

(read more: Science Alert)

images: Land Art Generator Initiative

1000s of Purple Martins in Summer Staging Flock

Thank you to the Houston Audubon for sharing this great photo of a flock of Purple Martins near the Old Navy store near Fountain Lake Circle here in Houston, Texas. Purple Martins are a native insect eating bird that people can help provide homes for with Purple Martin Nesting boxes.

In mid-summer to early fall, they stage in large numbers in the Southern United States, after finishing breeding and raising young, as a prelude to migration to South America.

(via: Texas Parks and Wildlife - Houston Urban Wildlife)

Asian tiger shrimp (Peneaus monodon)
Native to Indo-Pacific, Asian, and Australian waters, Asian tiger shrimp are now found along the Atlantic Bight and Gulf coasts of the United States. Known for their distinctive black stripes, this invasive species has a voracious appetite, feeding on native shrimp, bivalves, crustaceans, and fish. 
Scientists are exploring what effect they might have on native ecosystems: 
READ MORE. 
photo: David Knott, Southeastern Regional Taxonomic Center

Asian tiger shrimp (Peneaus monodon)

Native to Indo-Pacific, Asian, and Australian waters, Asian tiger shrimp are now found along the Atlantic Bight and Gulf coasts of the United States. Known for their distinctive black stripes, this invasive species has a voracious appetite, feeding on native shrimp, bivalves, crustaceans, and fish.

Scientists are exploring what effect they might have on native ecosystems:

READ MORE.

photo: David Knott, Southeastern Regional Taxonomic Center

libutron
libutron:

Sharpshooter
Sharpshooter is a term used colloquially to refer to a highly diverse group of leafhoppers of the family Cicadellidae. Oncometopia nigricans (Hemiptera - Cicadellidae), pictured, is one of nearly 20,000 described species in that taxonomic family.
Like all true bugs, this species has piercing-sucking mouthparts, which are used to tap into and feed upon xylem or phloem (sap) tissue of plants. It also has large eyes and excellent visual acuity to avoid detection and capture by potential predators.
Oncometopia nigricans is an American species which as other ones, is considered a pest of several crops, because they can disperse relatively long distances, feed on a great variety of plants, and more importantly, they have the ability to vector (transmit) infectious pathogens from plant to plant. 
Reference: [1]
Photo credit: ©Kim Fleming | Locality: unknown

libutron:

Sharpshooter

Sharpshooter is a term used colloquially to refer to a highly diverse group of leafhoppers of the family Cicadellidae. Oncometopia nigricans (Hemiptera - Cicadellidae), pictured, is one of nearly 20,000 described species in that taxonomic family.

Like all true bugs, this species has piercing-sucking mouthparts, which are used to tap into and feed upon xylem or phloem (sap) tissue of plants. It also has large eyes and excellent visual acuity to avoid detection and capture by potential predators.

Oncometopia nigricans is an American species which as other ones, is considered a pest of several crops, because they can disperse relatively long distances, feed on a great variety of plants, and more importantly, they have the ability to vector (transmit) infectious pathogens from plant to plant. 

Reference: [1]

Photo credit: ©Kim Fleming | Locality: unknown

Cleveland Metropark Zoo Working to Help Threatened Spotted Turtles
by Jean Bonechak
Cleveland Metroparks Zoo and a Northeast Ohio park district are working in tandem to ensure the limited spotted turtle (Clemmys guttata) population in Ohio doesn’t disappear.
The reptile is on the state’s threatened species list and without intervention might become endangered.
“If we don’t do something about it they may disappear in 10 years,” said Paul Pira, a Geauga Park District biologist.
Though not threatened in other areas of the U.S., the prevalence of spotted turtles in the northeastern states and Canada is extremely limited.
The species, which is naturally slow to mature and reproduce, also is the victim of predators, especially raccoons. A loss of its preferred wetlands habitat coupled with an illegal pet trade adds to the creatures’ scarcity…
(read more: Morning Journal)

Cleveland Metropark Zoo Working to Help Threatened Spotted Turtles

by Jean Bonechak

Cleveland Metroparks Zoo and a Northeast Ohio park district are working in tandem to ensure the limited spotted turtle (Clemmys guttata) population in Ohio doesn’t disappear.

The reptile is on the state’s threatened species list and without intervention might become endangered.

“If we don’t do something about it they may disappear in 10 years,” said Paul Pira, a Geauga Park District biologist.

Though not threatened in other areas of the U.S., the prevalence of spotted turtles in the northeastern states and Canada is extremely limited.

The species, which is naturally slow to mature and reproduce, also is the victim of predators, especially raccoons. A loss of its preferred wetlands habitat coupled with an illegal pet trade adds to the creatures’ scarcity…

(read more: Morning Journal)

Monk Parakeets in Southern Texas
Monk Parakeets (Myiopsitta monachus), originally from South America, seem to be found with increasing frequency throughout the U.S. Large numbers have nested for quite some time in north central Austin, in the light fixtures of a soccer field, and they’re seen regularly around Houston. Photographer and birdwatcher, Bill Supulski, spotted this one at the Hidalgo Pump House near Alamo, TX (in the Lower Rio Grande Valley) a few days ago. Up to 8 of these birds have been spotted there lately. 
(via: Rio Grande Valley Birding Festival)

Monk Parakeets in Southern Texas

Monk Parakeets (Myiopsitta monachus), originally from South America, seem to be found with increasing frequency throughout the U.S. Large numbers have nested for quite some time in north central Austin, in the light fixtures of a soccer field, and they’re seen regularly around Houston. Photographer and birdwatcher, Bill Supulski, spotted this one at the Hidalgo Pump House near Alamo, TX (in the Lower Rio Grande Valley) a few days ago. Up to 8 of these birds have been spotted there lately.

(via: Rio Grande Valley Birding Festival)

libutron
libutron:

adorablespiders:

Eight Spotted Crab Spider, Malaysia
Finally… after a long long search… I got my first Platythomisus octomaculatus (eight spotted crab spider)! Still a juvenile!
Platythomisus is a genus of flattened crab spiders (family Thomisidae) from Africa and Southern Asia.All species are only known from females or juveniles, with the exception of P. jucundus, where only the male is known.Females reach a body length of about 20 mm, males grow up to four mm. The smooth, convex cephalothorax is quite large, with smooth, slender legs that are not particularly long. The legs are often free of spines, with the occasional exception on the first two pairs. The opisthosoma is stout and oval.P. octomaculatus has a yellow-orange color with four round, black marks on the cephalothorax and seven large black marks on the opisthosoma, with one spot near the cephalothorax, and the other six following behing in two longitudinal rows. The legs are of a bright yellow, with the outer halves black.
photo by Melvyn Yeo

libutron:

adorablespiders:

Eight Spotted Crab Spider, Malaysia

Finally… after a long long search… I got my first Platythomisus octomaculatus (eight spotted crab spider)! Still a juvenile!

Platythomisus is a genus of flattened crab spiders (family Thomisidae) from Africa and Southern Asia.

All species are only known from females or juveniles, with the exception of P. jucundus, where only the male is known.

Females reach a body length of about 20 mm, males grow up to four mm. The smooth, convex cephalothorax is quite large, with smooth, slender legs that are not particularly long. The legs are often free of spines, with the occasional exception on the first two pairs. The opisthosoma is stout and oval.

P. octomaculatus has a yellow-orange color with four round, black marks on the cephalothorax and seven large black marks on the opisthosoma, with one spot near the cephalothorax, and the other six following behing in two longitudinal rows. The legs are of a bright yellow, with the outer halves black.

photo by Melvyn Yeo