Sunday, May 13, 2007

A Visit From Aradus

aradid on Droop Mountain

This aradid (probably Aradus sp., possibly crenatus) turned up on some white fabric on my clothesline a few days ago. He was about a centimeter long, and though you can see the long shadow he cast, you can't see how flat he was. Aradids are dramatically flattened, dorso-ventrally like bedbugs. They feed on wood-decomposing fungus, and the heteropterist's "old saw" is to look for them under the bark of dead trees. I've never found one this way, although I look often. I have found several on clotheslines. Drying laundry is a good place to look for bugs.

The really cool heteropterans are too small to photograph without a macro lens, so I rushed in the house with this fellow to get my film camera, and found the (non-rechargable, hard-to-find) batteries dead. Back in the house I went, bug in hand, to grab the digital camera. By this time, my little buddy was tired of being banged around, and drew up his legs to play dead. Being very flat, he didn't look at all like a bug, so I waited until he stood up again. I was only able to get this one poor photo before he flew away.


Larry said...

I've been in insect-photography mode lately, so I enjoyed seeing your Aradus photo. I've seen insects similar to this before and I'm glad to know a genus name, which will help me to identify the next such creature I encounter.

Clotheslines as insect magnets! I don't have a clothesline up yet, but this example might help me get motivated to string one up!

burning silo said...

That does look a lot like the insect that I found last week, but it seems like it might not be quite as flat. Btw, I sent you an email. Not sure why you had a problem posting to my blog, but sometimes the Askimet spam filter gets a little overzealous.