Indian Ornamental Tarantula

Large and colorful, the Indian ornamental tarantula lives in holes of tall trees where they make funnel webs. It is quite fast and aggressively pursues prey, catching insects as they fly by and paralyzing them with one of the most potent venoms of all tarantulas.

Rhinoceros Katydid

Belonging to a group known as the conehead katydids, the rhinoceros katydid sports a horn-like projection atop its head. The horn is used to ward off attacks from hungry bats. While most katydids are herbivores, the rhinoceros katydid feeds on animals as well as plants with the help of a large, mighty jaw.

Water Scorpion

Using a long tube, or siphon, as a snorkel to access air, the water scorpion sits on the bottom of a pond and waits for prey to come by. It grabs prey with its forelegs. Through a straw-like mouthpart, the water scorpion injects the prey with saliva to liquefy it. Then it sucks up dinner.

Passion Flower Butterfly

The passion flower butterfly depends on an intimate relationship with the passion flower vine. As a caterpillar, it feasts on the young leaves and builds up immunity to the plant’s toxins. As an adult, it drinks the flower’s nectar and pollen.

Brazilian Salmon Pink Birdeater

With a legspan reaching 10 inches or more, the Brazilian salmon pink birdeater is one of the largest tarantulas. It boldly forages along the forest floor and is a speedy, voracious hunter. Like other tarantulas, it will defend itself by flicking tiny abdominal bristles called urticating hairs at an intruder, which cause itching and irritation.

Red-kneed Tarantula

Beauty, gentleness and slow reproduction may have gotten this spider into trouble. Countless wild animals have been harvested by the pet trade, with growing concern by conservationists. This species is now protected by a multinational treaty, the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES).

Domino Roach

The white-spotted pattern of the domino roach is thought to be a form of defensive mimicry.  Would be predators  may mistake the roach for a six-spotted ground beetle, which sprays an irritating chemical when threatened.  The domino roach also secretes its own defensive chemical that serves to alarm other roaches of a impending danger.

Florida Orb Web Spider

Up to three inches long, the female Florida orb web spider is five or six times larger than the male.  She traps flying insects in a large, sticky orb-web of silk spirals.  Wrapped in silk, captured prey may be stored for a future mealtime.

Green Leaf Katydid

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“You are what you eat” seems to fit this insect since it looks like a leaf.  It is similar to a grasshopper (yes, it jumps) but is nocturnal and uses its long antennae to feel about in the dark.  The male makes ‘chit-chit’ sounds at night by rubbing his wings together to attract a receptive female.

American Burying Beetle

The American burying beetle makes a living out of eating the dead. A male and female find and bury a small dead animal, perhaps a rodent carcass. Reproduction occurs during summer months and eggs laid nearby soon hatch into grubs (larvae) which feed on the carrion for about a week. Both the male and female help care for the larvae. Next the larvae pupate and emerge as young adults a couple months later.