The Glorious Jewel Scarab and the physics of light

Also known as Glorious beetle and Glorious scarab, Chrysina gloriosa (Coleoptera - Scarabaeidae), is an unmistakable beetle found in the US (western Texas, New Mexico, southeast Arizona), and Mexico (Chihuahua and Sonora) [1].

The adults reach 25 to 28 mm long and are bright green with silver stripes on the elytra. However, this beetle (and several other species of beetle in the family Scarabaeidae), actually shine brighter than they appear, the result of a light trick that only a few animals on the planet can accomplish.

The fact is that hidden within the microstructure of the beetle’s exoskeleton there are helical twists and turns that enable certain species of scarabs the rare ability to create and reflect circularly polarized light. While many animals can create and even see linearly polarized light, there are very few examples of the creation of circularly polarized light in nature, and Chrysina gloriosa, a particularly adorable species of scarab, is one of those special few [2]. 

Further readings:

Photo credit: Chrysina gloriosa from Kohl’s Ranch, Tonto National Forest, Gila Co., Arizona, 5320 ft. elev. by ©Carla Kishinami [Top] - [Bottom

rhamphotheca
rhamphotheca:

New Frog Found in Viet Nam
by Carrie Arnold
High in the remote mountains of Vietnam, scientists have found a “striking” new species of pink-and-yellow frog covered with sharp spikes.
Jodi Rowley, an expert on Southeast Asian amphibians, had never seen a frog with such spiny skin, and neither had her colleagues.
That’s because thorny tree frogs (Gracixalus lumarius), as they’re named in a new study published April 2 in the journal Zootaxa, are found only on Mount Ngoc Linh and surrounding peaks above 5,900 feet (1,800 m).
“Almost every tree hole we looked in had these frogs. They seem to be only from the tops of mountains in this one area in Vietnam, and this region is known to be home to a bunch of species that are found nowhere else,” said Rowley, a biologist at the Australian Museum Research Institute in Sydney. Although her and her colleagues didn’t spot that many tree holes, nearly every one they did find had a frog…
(read more: http://newswatch.nationalgeographic.com/2014/04/03/new-frog-species-vietnam-animals-science-world/?utm_source=Facebook&utm_medium=Social&utm_content=link_fb20140406ngnw-frogsp&utm_campaign=Content)
Photograph by Jodi Rowley

rhamphotheca:

New Frog Found in Viet Nam

by Carrie Arnold

High in the remote mountains of Vietnam, scientists have found a “striking” new species of pink-and-yellow frog covered with sharp spikes.

Jodi Rowley, an expert on Southeast Asian amphibians, had never seen a frog with such spiny skin, and neither had her colleagues.

That’s because thorny tree frogs (Gracixalus lumarius), as they’re named in a new study published April 2 in the journal Zootaxa, are found only on Mount Ngoc Linh and surrounding peaks above 5,900 feet (1,800 m).

“Almost every tree hole we looked in had these frogs. They seem to be only from the tops of mountains in this one area in Vietnam, and this region is known to be home to a bunch of species that are found nowhere else,” said Rowley, a biologist at the Australian Museum Research Institute in Sydney. Although her and her colleagues didn’t spot that many tree holes, nearly every one they did find had a frog…

(read more: http://newswatch.nationalgeographic.com/2014/04/03/new-frog-species-vietnam-animals-science-world/?utm_source=Facebook&utm_medium=Social&utm_content=link_fb20140406ngnw-frogsp&utm_campaign=Content)

Photograph by Jodi Rowley

A handsome and striking Blueface angelfish (or Yellowface angelfish), Pomacanthus xanthometopon (Perciformes - Pomacanthidae), photographed in its habitat at Maldives.
It is a marine, reef-associated fish, with distribution in the Indo-Pacific region (Maldives to Vanuatu, north to the Yaeyama Islands; Palau and Krosae in Micronesia).
This fish, highly prized by reef aquarists, can reach up to 38.0 cm length.
[Source]
Photo credit: ©Jim Anderson

A handsome and striking Blueface angelfish (or Yellowface angelfish), Pomacanthus xanthometopon (Perciformes - Pomacanthidae), photographed in its habitat at Maldives.

It is a marine, reef-associated fish, with distribution in the Indo-Pacific region (Maldives to Vanuatu, north to the Yaeyama Islands; Palau and Krosae in Micronesia).

This fish, highly prized by reef aquarists, can reach up to 38.0 cm length.

[Source]

Photo credit: ©Jim Anderson

mr-dirtyluck1

rhamphotheca:

Trilobite Beetles Are Happy Being On Land, Alive in the Present Day

by Bec Crew

I know they look like they belong in the ocean 250 million years ago, but trilobite beetles are actually pretty happy existing in the present day. On land. They hate water, what are you doing? Don’t put them in there. You’ll kill them if you do that. Found in lowland forests across Southeast Asia and India, these peculiar beetles are an enigma wrapped in an armoured shell with the tiniest head and some nice orange highlights.

The trilobite genus Duliticola belongs to the family Lycidae, commonly known as net-winged beetles. This family is a pretty interesting one, because many of its species display huge physical differences between their males and their females. Trilobite beetles are no exception.

While the females are easily recognisable – that incredible form is retained from when they were larvae – the males look entirely different. They pretty much just look like plain old beetles, with long, winged bodies and a pair of thick antennae. And all they have to look forward to is growing to 5 mm long. How embarrassing, because the females end up more than ten times larger, growing up to 6 cm long…

(read more: Running Ponies - Scientific American)

photos: T - female Duliticola paradoxa by Bernard Dupont; M - female D. hoiseni by A. F. S. L. Lok and H. H. Tan; B - female D. paradoxa by Lok and Tan

whateveramusesme

whateveramusesme:

Slow Life from Daniel Stoupin

"Slow" marine animals show their secret life under high magnification. Corals and sponges are very mobile creatures, but their motion is only detectable at different time scales compared to ours and requires time lapses to be seen. These animals build coral reefs and play crucial roles in the biosphere, yet we know almost nothing about their daily lives. (more)

Why Big Agriculture Wants to Keep Your Eyes Out of the Slaughterhouse
Transparency is the key to maintaining integrity in any industry. The most appalling scandals always take place when big business is left unaccountable and the public is kept in the dark. When industries are left to self-regulate, especially outside of the public eye, their ethics and integrity seem to always decline in favor of profit.
The meat production industry is no different, which is why activists from the Humane Society of America and People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals have been infiltrating slaughterhouses across America’s heartland to blow the whistle on inhumane treatment of livestock. The atrocities these activists documented have shocked consumers and caused backlash from regulatory agencies. And that’s why big agriculture is working with government representatives across the country to outlaw these watchdog groups from revealing any more slaughterhouse secrets.

Why Big Agriculture Wants to Keep Your Eyes Out of the Slaughterhouse

Transparency is the key to maintaining integrity in any industry. The most appalling scandals always take place when big business is left unaccountable and the public is kept in the dark. When industries are left to self-regulate, especially outside of the public eye, their ethics and integrity seem to always decline in favor of profit.

The meat production industry is no different, which is why activists from the Humane Society of America and People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals have been infiltrating slaughterhouses across America’s heartland to blow the whistle on inhumane treatment of livestock. The atrocities these activists documented have shocked consumers and caused backlash from regulatory agencies. And that’s why big agriculture is working with government representatives across the country to outlaw these watchdog groups from revealing any more slaughterhouse secrets.

christopher1001
distant-traveller:

A Milky Way dawn

As dawn broke on March 27, the center of the Milky Way Galaxy stood almost directly above the European Southern Observatory’s Paranal Observatory. In the dry, clear sky of Chile’s Atacama desert, our galaxy’s dusty central bulge is flanked by Paranal’s four 8 meter Very Large Telescope units in this astronomical fisheye view. Along the top, Venus is close to the eastern horizon. The brilliant morning star shines very near a waning crescent Moon just at the edge of one of the telescope structures. Despite the bright pairing in the east, the Milky Way dominates the scene though. Cut by dust lanes and charged with clouds of stars and glowing nebulae, the center of our galaxy sprawls across the darker zenith even as the deep blue sky grows brighter and buildings still glint in moonlight.

Image credit & copyright: Babak Tafreshi (TWAN), ESO Ultra HD Expedition

distant-traveller:

A Milky Way dawn

As dawn broke on March 27, the center of the Milky Way Galaxy stood almost directly above the European Southern Observatory’s Paranal Observatory. In the dry, clear sky of Chile’s Atacama desert, our galaxy’s dusty central bulge is flanked by Paranal’s four 8 meter Very Large Telescope units in this astronomical fisheye view. Along the top, Venus is close to the eastern horizon. The brilliant morning star shines very near a waning crescent Moon just at the edge of one of the telescope structures. Despite the bright pairing in the east, the Milky Way dominates the scene though. Cut by dust lanes and charged with clouds of stars and glowing nebulae, the center of our galaxy sprawls across the darker zenith even as the deep blue sky grows brighter and buildings still glint in moonlight.

Image credit & copyright: Babak Tafreshi (TWAN), ESO Ultra HD Expedition

The Deeplet sea anemone
Bolocera tuediae (Anthozoa - Actiniaria - Actiniidae) is a sea anemone characterized by its pink or red colored body, and because its tentacles are long, stout and graceful in full expansion. 
B. tuediae is one of the largest North Sea anemones. It can grow up to 300 millimetres across the tentacles. It has been recorded from all coasts of Britain, but is more rare in the south. Recent records from divers are in Scottish sea lochs. It is generally distributed throughout the North Atlantic, north to the Arctic Circle and east to North America [1].
While symbiotic associations between sea anemones and crustaceans appear to be common in tropical waters, few such associations are known from temperate waters, except for the symbiosis between hermit crabs and sea anemones. However, observations with ROVs (remotely operated vehicles) in the Koster fiord area have suggested that shrimps of certain species (Spirontocaris liljeborgii, Lebbeus polaris, Pandalus borealis, P. propinquus, P. montagui) associate with the sea anemone Bolocera tuediae and the cerianthid Pachycerianthus multiplicatus by aggregating beneath their tentacles [2].
Photo: ©Jim Anderson

The Deeplet sea anemone

Bolocera tuediae (Anthozoa - Actiniaria - Actiniidae) is a sea anemone characterized by its pink or red colored body, and because its tentacles are long, stout and graceful in full expansion. 

B. tuediae is one of the largest North Sea anemones. It can grow up to 300 millimetres across the tentacles. It has been recorded from all coasts of Britain, but is more rare in the south. Recent records from divers are in Scottish sea lochs. It is generally distributed throughout the North Atlantic, north to the Arctic Circle and east to North America [1].

While symbiotic associations between sea anemones and crustaceans appear to be common in tropical waters, few such associations are known from temperate waters, except for the symbiosis between hermit crabs and sea anemones. However, observations with ROVs (remotely operated vehicles) in the Koster fiord area have suggested that shrimps of certain species (Spirontocaris liljeborgii, Lebbeus polaris, Pandalus borealis, P. propinquus, P. montagui) associate with the sea anemone Bolocera tuediae and the cerianthid Pachycerianthus multiplicatus by aggregating beneath their tentacles [2].

Photo: ©Jim Anderson