Bornean Arthropods

Talking Animal

Shower buddy (mantis).

The Natural History Museum, Richard Owen’s Cathedral of Nature, was recently searching for volunteers to help with a project categorising hymenoptera (ants, bees, and wasps), the funkiest of all arthropods, collected in the north-east of Borneo, the second-funkiest of all islands (behind Madagascar, of course). My application, which, essentially, said “I have no scientific background but omigodomigod this would be so cool” wasn’t accepted, for some reason. In another dimension of reality, one where I took proper A-Levels, like, those sciencey ones, I might have followed a path to becoming a taxonomist. I would love to be a taxonomist. And hymenoptera? Seriously — they’re funky with a capital George Clinton.

Hermit crab
Hermit crab.

The position compelled me to pull out my photo album from my 2011 trip to Borneo — a very special place for wildlife. It’s full of creatures (awful word, “creatures” — literally meaning something created) and here are some of the arthropods I came across on my travels, although the hymenoptera, prancing around, bobbing their heads to heavy bass-lead grooves, were too itty-bitty for my shitty camera kitty.

A harvestman. NOT a spider, as my guide insisted.
A spider. That’s more like it.
Cute and fluffy and probably poisonous caterpillar.
A somewhat prehistoric-looking centipede.
Friendly cicada.
Land crab
Land crab. About 100km away from the sea.
Large centipede. Carnivorous and venomous, unlike millipedes.

Written by Patrick Griffiths on .

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