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A Small Field Guide


Originally published at Squash's Garden. You can comment here or there.


I would go one step further than pfflyernc and suggest Ursula add this to book ideas to pitch to editors... A wombat's illustrated guide to odd, humerous & strange plants/animals/insects. Just like the dino phase, princess phase or horse/pony stage there is always a subset of kids that are fascinated by weird and obscure.

The only problem with that is a lot of Usrula's best obscure animal trivia is not suitable for young audiences. Otherwise this sounds like an awesome idea.

Young adult then. Everyone knows about clitorises by the time they're in middle school. Except for me, of course, but I was homeschooled and got my "sex talk" from romance novels.

I still haven't forgive my mother for that.

So she can make a book for us grownups! We deserve fun and informative books too!

Although I was convinced at first that these were entirely imaginary critters, with made-up names. Makes it doubly great to find out they are really real.

I was totally that kid. Of course, I was the kid reading full on Greek mythology in elementary school too. Nothing like a quick introduction to Zeus-as-bird rape as a young child to turn you a little odd.

i cannot make it out...is the Tiger Moth carrying something?

No--they have very complicated legs. I was trying to have it clasping its own wrist sort of cutely, but the legs kinda failed me.

I was so sure one of these was a moth camouflaged to look like bird poop

Ah, hummingbird moths. Is there more than one species? Those things used to terrify me as a kid. I thought they were zombie hummingbirds.


I seem to have hallucinated a moth disguised as bird poop. I saw a blog post on it a week ago, and naturally assumed it must've been here. But it is not here, so it must be in the godawful Random Access Firehose of Flotsam that is Tumblr. It's not on WTFevolution, so I have no idea where I saw it.

But wait. It is not just any moth disguised as bird poop. It is a moth which has upped the ante by evolving its eye spots to look like a pair of flies staring towards the bird poop in the middle of its wings/body.

Can anyone find that photo? My mother would like to admire it. I would be greatly obliged, and apologies for threadjacking a bit.

[ETA: Nevermind, I found it. If you're curious, here it is. It seems like the sort of thing that people here would appreciate, as in "wow, evolution, that's impressive."]

Edited at 2013-10-22 08:06 pm (UTC)

I love this guide*. Possibly more than is healthy.

*Original post had this as "god" instead of guide. Perhaps I am subconsciously starting a new religion based around "funny things Ursula Vernon draws". Or perhaps I'm just very tired and high on cold medicine.

Edited at 2013-10-23 07:52 pm (UTC)

Is that what those are called? We've always just called the Snowberry Clearwings (and that is an AWESOME name) hummingbird moths. Because they're moths. That look like hummingbirds. (Obviously).