Tuesday, July 1, 2008

"Bug Feather Bottom" Returns Google Search Results About Hallucinations

A couple days ago, my friend, Jennifer, told me to be on the lookout for interesting bugs, for Taylor's upcoming insect project for freshman biology. She knows I am not comfortable killing bugs, so she requested that I save any interesting bugs that were "dead, but in excellent condition" for Taylor. I admired Taylor's ambition, getting such a head start on this project, but doubted I would actually be of much assistance.

Last night, however, I observed the weirdest bug ever. Big E pointed it out to me, and we got out a magnifying glass and a camera and watched this bug crawl around a mug for about 15 minutes. (My camera sucks and I could not get a good picture of it.)

This bug looked like a big spider's head, walked around on 6 legs, and had a feather on its butt. It was definitely an interesting insect. Maybe I would be able to help Taylor after all. There was only one problem. It was very much alive. It kept crawling around the mug as we held it over the sink. My husband was on the phone and I kept interrupting him to come look at the bug and finally asked him if he could humanely euthanize the bug, but when he showed up with the alcohol and cotton ball, I felt bad and changed my mind. I called and left a message on Jennifer's answering machine wondering if she had any advice. While I was waiting for a return call, the bug fell off the mug and went down the drain. Dang it, I should have killed that bug. I bet Tay would have gotten an A with a crazy bug like that.

I really was fascinated by it and still wonder what it was. My husband thinks it got a feather stuck to it somehow, but I think it was part of the bug (maybe it was actually a spider and it was some sort of web coming out of it? maybe it was a deformed wing?). He finally said, "I can guarantee you that feather was no part of that bug. I am certain of it. Do you know how I am certain?"

Me: "How are you certain?" (thinking maybe HE stuck the feather on the bug?)

Him: "Because it's a BUG! Bugs don't have feathers!"

But, really, this one did! I have a picture of it. Maybe Taylor will learn about bugs with feathers, and I am going to try to be on the lookout for bugs that are dead, but in excellent condition.


bnlca05 said...

It is an immature passionvine hopper. I'm from the US but visiting New Zealand and they're all over the place here.

Anonymous said...

i think its a baby cotton leaf hopper ..