Identification, Images, & Information
For Insects, Spiders & Their Kin
For the United States & Canada
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Jim Bliss, Contributor
Full name:
Jim Bliss
E-mail address:
Jim Bliss
City, state, country:
Montgomery, New York, USA

In his inspiring book "Climbing Mount Improbable" reknowned evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins describes in some detail a specific type of beetle (Coatonachthodes ovambolandicus) which unbelievably grows a formation in the shape of an ant off the rear of its abdomen. The ant-like form curls around up and over its back, disguising its actual appearance and fooling would-be predators into mistaking it for an ant, and consequently leaving it alone. (This beetle makes its living in an ants nesting area) Now I don't know about you, but this makes my jaw drop. And it is this, this extraordinary capacity to make often far-fetched evolutionary adaptations to the living world that draws me into the too-often ignored world of insects. The various and often bizarre ways that insects succeed at survival is absolutely mind boggling, and to think that these miraculous adaptations occur primarily due to a blind process - due to the accumulation of the effects of random beneficial genetic mutations leaves my mouth hanging open in stupified awe permanently. Sympathy and fellowship with these wonderful 6 legged masterpieces brings me as close to the heart of Creation as I could possibly hope for.

I have been studying entomology and insect diversification privately for about two years, and although I am certainly not an expert, I am armed with a rather extensive collection of insect identification guides and can at least be helpful in that regard. I know almost nothing about the technical aspects of photography but I have spent over 25 years in the arts and have developed a halfway decent aesthetic sensibility (I hope so, anyway). For more, visit my website (above).