Feather legged assassin bug
Ptilocnemus lemur is a species of feather-legged bug in the family Reduviidae native to Australia. Commonly known as the feather-legged assassin bug, it is a predator with a specialized gland called a trichome that it uses to attract and paralyse ants before feeding on them.
Ptilocnemus lemur is a moderate sized assassin bug. It has a small head with a pair of feathery antennae with three segments, and a large down-curving proboscis, a wide thorax and a moderately broad abdomen. The wings have three veins. The hind pair of legs are much larger than the other two pairs and the tibiae of these are heavily clad with bristles. The head and thorax are yellowish-brown and the abdomen mottled grey and black.
Both adults and nymphs of this assassin bug are specialist predators on ants. The feeding behaviour of the nymph has been closely studied. It stands near an ant trail and waves one of its hairy hind legs to attract the attention of a passing ant, the jack jumper ant(Myrmecia pilosula) often being targeted. The prey may be bigger than the nymph, and is also lured towards the bug by the release of a pheromone. When an ant approaches, the nymph raises its body so that the ant can taste the secretion produced by the trichome. The bug waits for the ant to grab its hind leg and then turns round and plunges the styletsin the proboscis into a weak spot in the ant's cuticle, the joint at the back of the head. It then jerks and shakes the ant around, perhaps to prevent it from biting, and injects saliva into the wound. The ant soon dies and the bug may carry it to a crevice or other concealed spot. When the body contents of the ant have liquefied, the bug sucks out the body fluids. Photo: unknown.
Cuttlefish are marine animals of the order Sepiida. Cuttlefish have a unique internal shell, the cuttlebone. Despite their name, cuttlefish are not fish but molluscs.
Male cuttlefish challenge one another for dominance and the best den during mating season. During this challenge, no direct contact is usually made. The animals threaten each other until one of them backs down and swims away. Eventually, the larger male cuttlefish mate with the females by grabbing them with their tentacles, turning the female so that the two animals are face-to-face, then using a specialized tentacle to insert sperm sacs into an opening near the female's mouth. The male then guards the female until she lays the eggs a few hours later.
On occasion, a large competitor arrives to threaten the male cuttlefish. In these instances, the male will first attempt to intimidate the other fish. If the competitor does not flee, the male will eventually attack it to force it away, and the confrontation turns physical. The cuttlefish that can paralyze the other first, by forcing it near its mouth, would win the fight and the female. Since there are, on average, four or five ( and sometimes as many as ten) males for every female, this kind of behavior is inevitable.
Cuttlefish are indeterminate growers, so smaller cuttlefish always have a chance at finding a mate the next year, when they are bigger. Additionally, cuttlefish unable to win in a direct confrontation with a guard male have been observed employing several other tactics to acquire a mate. The most successful of these methods is camouflage; smaller cuttlefish will use their camouflage abilities to disguise themselves as a female cuttlefish. Photo unknown.