Circus of the Spineless #60!

It’s the first Monday of March! Spring is in the air!
In fact, 2 weeks from now is the official end of winter and beginning of Spring.  (For those of us in the Northern Hemisphere, anyway.)

And….well. We all know what spring is about.


Sex is a common obsession with biologists. In fact, there is a Flickr Group called Insect Porn.

There is nothing wrong with that, of course. Whatever 2 (or more) consenting adult insects choose to do together is completely healthy and natural. So, on to this month’s emissions. Uh, submissions.

Sleeping with the Fishes covers Deep Sex! I mean, Deep Sea Sex. By krill.  Shameless little buggers!  (Here’s the video. You know you want to watch it.)

Kevin covers barnacle sex and Mr. Darwin.  Including a link to Isabella Rosselini’s educational film on barnacle reproduction.

Wandering Weta blogs about Behind the Red Door.   All about tubeworms.  Which are not like trouser snakes. Really.

Sadly, it appears that the Johnson’s Tiger Beetle isn’t getting any in Missouri. Which may be why the population appears to be extirpated, according to Beetles in the Bush.  (I would like to point out that I have shown great restraint in not making even worse sexual innuendo out of “Johnson” and “Bush.”)

Since we’re talking about tiger beetles, I want to bring this project to your attention–it’s a Kickstarter project about one of the rarest insects in the US–the Salt Creek Tiger Beetle.  (Kickstarter is a way for filmmakers and artists to raise cash online.)  He only needs about $1500 more to fund his project, so consider tossing him some cash. He promises not to spend it on hookers and blow like some Hollywood types.

Deep Sea News covers the Release of the Daphnia Genome. These adorable little crustaceans often don’t bother with sexual reproduction. You could say the Sisters are Doin’ it for Themselves.

And, of course, there is always the inevitable result of sex–offspring.  Dragonfly Woman has some awesome photos of giant water bug eggs! Some of these are the result of electron microscopy–extreme closeup!


Ok, there is a limit to my ribaldry.   Or, at least a limit on a school night!

10,000 Birds has a series of great photos of Dragonflies, as does Wild Sri Lanka‘s post on  dragonflies.

Slugyard has a nice photo of a Dance Fly, and Real Monstrosities covers Hydras!

This post was not submitted, but I include it because it has photos of Membracids! Squee!! Adorable.

Composing this month’s CoS was exhausting.  So, how about some Napping Ants?! But…they’re supposed to be workaholics! Wild about Ants explains.

Next month’s Circus will be hosted at NeuroDojo. You can find his email here.  It remains to be seen if I will ever be allowed to host a Circus of the Spineless again, after working blue on this one.

An Inordinate Fondness #12

I’m trying (trying!) to do more blogging, and what better way than to host a blog carnival? 

So welcome to the 12th edition of An Inordinate Fondness, the monthly blog carnival devoted to beetles.  In fact, it seems appropriate that we celebrate the most diverse taxa on earth today, as this particular carnival occurs on Martin Luther King’s birthday.

Ok, maybe that’s a stretch.


We can value Mr. King’s words as we marvel at the beauty of these wonderful little animals.  Today is not meant to be a day to take off from work, but to be a day of service to the community.  Why not head outside, and take some kids with you?

“All labor that uplifts humanity has dignity and importance and should be undertaken with painstaking excellence.”  ~MLK

And what is more uplifting than ART?   Giant scarab sculpture, for example.  Artist Dean Colls has more photos of his metal construction Alexander the Great on his portfolio website.  He even took the time to consult with some entomologists and assign a genus–Anoplognathus.

I really like his statement about the inspiration for the sculpture:

“My sculpture Alexander the Great stands as an avatar for the unnoticed world at our feet and as a champion for that sense of wonder and exploration that is so easily lost. It reminds us that however great the empires of man may be, they are dwarfed by one that is far older and greater.”  ~Dean Colls

Kate Sherrod contributes a Sonnet about forest pest insects at Suppertime Sonnets, and Elissa Malcohn presents a Poem about food insects posted at Chronicles from Hurricane Country.  Either of those poems would convert into excellent songs, I think. (Just a hint to my musical friends)

From art and poetry we segue into FOOD:
Trish Wells has a lovely film of  a Ladybird eating her colleagues at The Birds, the Bees and Feeding the World,  and you can consume Bug Soup! posted at Insect Art.  (Ok, those actually aren’t beetles for eating, but they are relaxing. Like soup.)

Michael Bok discovers cucumber beetles are A pretty little pest at Arthropoda.  (All right, not food related. But there is a mention of a cucumber!  Work with me, people.)

“Painstaking excellence” could describe what we all strive to achieve with TAXONOMYDave Hubble submitted his Diary of a beetle recording scheme, a description of something I know we’ve all struggled with–keying out a specimen.

MISSOURI contributes a couple of posts:  a Round-headed Apple Tree Borer (Saperda candida) posted at Nature in the Ozarks, and  a series of photos of Soybean Leafminers posted at MObugs.

On the theme of valuing individual variation:

“It may be argued that to know one kind of beetle is to know them all. But a species is not like a molecule in a cloud of molecules—it is a unique population.” ~EO Wilson

As a completely snowed in Michigander, I shake my fist at Alex’s PHOTOS of Florida Winter Butterflies at The Nemesis Bird.  An unknown scarab larva was discovered someplace clearly warmer than where I am in Grub, posted at The Bug Whisperer.   Things Biological is posting a series of summer photos to cheer us up in the middle of winter; including   An abundance of fireflies.  TGIQ is snowed in like me, but still managed to find a Winter beetle at Fall To Climb.

And I’ll close with Dragonfly Woman’s series of Aquatic Beetles, because they are some of my favorite beetles to watch too.

The next Inordinate Fondness will be held at The Dispersal of Darwin! It will be a Darwin edition and any beetle posts looking at history of science connected to beetles or naturalists who worked on beetles are encouraged.

I leave you with one of my favorite quotes from MLK:

“Nonviolence is a powerful and just weapon which cuts without wounding and ennobles the man who wields it.  It is a sword that heals.”

What will you do today–and in 2011–to make the world a better place?
January is a good time for resolutions.