Aposematic coloration

As opposed to camoflauge and blending in some animals, typically insects, but also others like amphibians and reptiles do the opposite. They are brightly colored often with elaborate designs- this is their way of warding off potential predators. Basically their colors say to other animals, “if you eat me I will be nasty” this is called aposematic coloration. One amphibian famous for this is the poison dart frog. There are about 175 species of these colorful creatures living in the rainforests ofRead more

Big Word of the Month: Myrmecophily

Uli, our Butterfly House Director, after reading Rachael’s last post, sent along this information: Myrmecophily: literally “ant-love” (as opposed to Myrmecophobia: the fear of ants). The term is applied to mutually beneficial associations between ants and other organisms such as plants, arthropods, and fungi. An example of a “butterfly-ant love” affair is the Malaysian Hairstreak (Anthene emolus) that selects plants hosting aggressive Weaver ants (Oecophylla smaragdina) to lay eggs so that the ants can protect the growing caterpillar against otherRead more

Hidden Portal

Another wonderful invertebrate post from Rachael, the Museum’s entomology specialist, below.  Remember her last post on Scorplings!? (It’s a must read!) Enjoy. In Life’s Devices, inside a large glass container, there are a series of domes and pipes.  Within that structure lives a huge colony of Atta cephalotes, which over the course of the last seven years has grown to 20,000 members.  Long before the advent of agriculture, the leaf-cutter ants were feeding on fungus they grew in their own gardens,Read more


We did have births at the Museum in April, although not wolf pups. Rachael Knight, the Museum’s entomology specialist, spends her time in the Insectarium. Read her report below about the birth of some Pandinus Imperator scorpions.  Please let us know in the comment section if you’d like Rachael to share more stories from the world of invertebrates! As far as we know there were three of them [scorplings].  When we (Butterfly House staff) noticed the little white chubby nymphsRead more