We truly hope that each of you will greatly enjoy reading, and hopefully learning from, this article about these 7 Intriguing Terrestrial Invertebrates. It certainly represented a great pleasure for us to compile the information for your enlightenment and edification.
Obviously, however, these few species represent only the barest handful of such natural wonders to be discovered. Similar products of Nature and evolution appear throughout the world. To learn of more such marvels, we invite you to peruse our other articles.
Giant African Land Snail
Giant African Land Snail Facts
- Leading off this article about 7 Intriguing Terrestrial Invertebrates comes the accurately named Giant African Land Snail.
- This Gastropod most frequently, and appropriately, goes by the informative common name that it does for good reasons. It’s also sometimes simply called the Giant African Snail. Intriguingly, though, it shares that general term with several other species.
- Scientific professionals, meanwhile, generally employ the formal name for the creature when referring to it. That term, however, remains somewhat hard to pronounce, as often happens. That’s because it bears the official name of Lissichatina fulica.
- It received that appellation as a result of the work of the respected French naturalist, Baron André Étienne Justin Pascal Joseph François d’Audebert de Férussac. He accomplished the first formal recognition of it as a separate and distinct species in 1821.
- This impressive invertebrate’s now been spread to many parts of the globe, outside of its natural range. That’s had the unfortunate result of making it an unwelcome fauna in some regions. In fact, it’s now listed as one of the top 100 invasive species in existence.
- The population of the Giant African Land Snail appears to be both stable and sufficient. This especially holds true in its native territory. Yet its numbers within introduced areas also remain impressive. The IUCN, therefore, currently has no Red List listing for it.
- Yet the now controversial creature does face some potential threats to its existence, if current trends continue. Habitat loss poses a possible future danger, understandably. Yet the greatest danger the animal faces likely consists of ongoing climate change.
Giant African Land Snail Physical Description
The Giant African Land Snail, the Lissachaina fulica, boasts some truly impressive physical statistics for a snail. In point of fact, all of the related species that also often go by the same name share very similar, though certainly not identical, attributes in that respect.
In a trait common to many shelled gastropods, this marvel of Nature evolved as hermaphroditic in nature. That means it has both male and female reproductive organs. The physiological characteristic of sexual dimorphism, therefore, does not apply in its case.
Mature adults of the species do tend to vary, sometimes significantly, in size, however. Yet some statistics remains firm. An average adult specimen attains an impressive body length of approximately 8 in (20 cm). These also reach an average diameter of roughly 4 in (10 cm).
That makes it one of the largest of all known land snails still in existence. Its awesomeness doesn’t end there, though. That’s because this creation of evolution reaches an average weight of roughly 1.13 oz (32 g). Apparent size varies, though, as the individual moves.
It also develops a highly intriguing shell. This simply adds to the appeal of the animal, to those who appreciate Nature. The protective structure develops in a strongly cone-shaped pattern. As a general principle, though, its height measures about twice the width.
The Giant African Land Snail has yet another impressive physical quality. That’s in the manner of its coloring. This varies quite widely, based on the surrounding environment. These include shades of dark brown, with stripes, or reddish-brown with yellow markings.
- Kingdom: Animalia
- Phylum: Mollusca
- Class: Gastropoda
- Order: Stylommatophora
- Family: Achatinidae
- Genus: Lissachatina
- Species: L. fulica
Giant African Land Snail Distribution, Habitat, and Ecology
The very name of the Giant African Land Snail provides a clear indication of its natural range of distribution. That’s due to the fact that, as implied by that term, it natively inhabits portions of the continent of Africa. It does not appear naturally in all areas, though.
To be more precise, the invertebrate originally evolved as endemic to only the coastal regions and islands of East Africa. Now, however, the intrepid creature has expanded its range, partly due to the actions of humans, into other portions of the continent.
The snail principally appears from Mozambique, in the south, to Somalia and Kenya in the north, though. The mollusc also evolved as highly adaptable in terms of its habitat requirements. In its native range, it mainly lives in regions possessing tropical-like climates.
Outside of that primary zone of habitation, however, it’s now adapted to numerous temperate climates around the globe. This frequently includes such diverse ecosystems as forests, coastal regions, wetlands, disturbed areas, agricultural zones, and urban areas.
This marvelous gastropod, like its related species, evolved as fully herbivorous in nature. In its case, though, its diet covers a wide range of flora. This includes various vegetables and fruit, fungi and lichens. Yet it also sometimes consumes cardboard and paper!
Being hermaphrodites, reproduction remains somewhat different for the Giant African Land Snail. Individuals do not self-fertilize, as one might expect. Instead, each individual mates with another, with each fulfilling a different gender role from one mating to another.
Long-Horned Orb Weaver Facts
- Next up in this compendium of 7 Intriguing Terrestrial Invertebrates comes the first spider on the list, the Long-Horned Orb Weaver.
- This incredible arachnid most frequently goes by the appropriate and descriptive common name. The rather surprising invertebrate does have one other acknowledged alternate name, however. That’s the equally apt term of the Curved Spiny Spider.
- Meanwhile, professionals, such as researchers, more typically use its formal scientific name to refer to it. That, though, is the somewhat hard to pronounce technical name of the Macracantha arcuata. Whichever name one uses, it’s a remarkable species.
- The visually impressive creation of evolution received its formal name at the hands of the renowned Danish zoologist, Johan Christian Fabricius. He made the first formal acknowledgement of the insect as a separate and distinct species, in the year 1793.
- It stands out from the many other related creatures around the globe in an uncommon way. That’s in its uniqueness. That’s because, for the moment, this species constitutes the only known member of its genus. Further research may change that, however.
- Currently, the Long-Horned Orb Weaver appears to be maintaining a population base that’s both sizeable and stable. This further seems to hold true throughout the entirety of its range. The IUCN, therefore, presently has no listing for it on its Red List.
- This marvel of Nature nevertheless must be considered to be facing several threats to its continued existence. Habitat loss forms an ever-present danger, due to man’s expansion, of course. Its greatest threat, though, likely consists of climate change.
Long-Horned Orb Weaver Physical Description
The magnificent, not to mention distinctive, Long-Horned Orb Weaver easily impresses those fortunate enough to view it. The invertebrate does not, however do so due to sheer physical size. That’s because it’s actually quite tiny, especially compared to some others.
Much like many arachnids, though, it also displays the physiological characteristic of sexual dimorphism. In its specific case, this trait manifests itself in terms of pure physical size. That trait further results in a rather extreme difference in the sizes of the genders.
Among the females, body lengths average 0.8 – 1.0 in (2.0 – 2.6 cm). This measurement, however, narrows to about 0.31 – 0.35 in (0.8 – 0.9 cm) at the waist. The males, meanwhile, only reach a fraction of this size. They measure about (0.15 cm) at the waist.
The body also displays different color patterns between the upper and lower surfaces. The upper surface of the body ranges in color from red, to yellow, to white, or even black. It also displays black spots. The underside of the body, though, shows yellow or orange.
Yet the amazing Long-Horned Orb Weaver stands out for one more reason. That’s the long horn-like structures, displayed only by the females. That’s yet another form of gender-based difference it manifests. These reach many times the length of the body of the arachnid.
- Kingdom: Animalia
- Phylum: Arthropoda
- Class: Arachnida
- Order: Araneae
- Family: Araneidae
- Genus: Macracantha
- Species: M. arcuata
Long-Horned Orb Weaver Distribution, Habitat, and Ecology
Luckily, both for the Long-Horned Orb Weaver itself, and those who appreciate the wonders of Nature, it evolved as native a relatively broad swathe of the globe. That holds true due to the fact that the intriguing Arthropod evolved as native to a large part of Asia.
More precisely, evidence indicates that it developed as endemic to the southern and southeastern portions of the large continent. There, it makes appearances from the countries of India and China in the south, and all the way to Borneo in the southeast portion.
In every region in which it appears, however, it displays decidedly strong preferences in its choice of habitat. The remarkable spider makes its home in regions of either temperate or tropical forest. The majority of specimens seem to live in areas of tropical rainforest.
The females of the species typically construct their nests between the branches of various trees. These they further design with an average width of between 3 – 4 ft (1.0 – 1.2 m). The webs also generally have hollow hubs and white silk beads on their radial threads.
Unlike some spiders, though, the female Long-Horned Orb Weaver rarely sits in her web to await her prey. Instead, she typically waits beneath leaves located nearby. Like most spiders, this species feeds opportunistically, on any species it successfully traps in its web.
From this vantage point the arachid can wait for its victim, and remain safe from its own predators. These mainly include various types of local birds. The venom of this species, though lethal to smaller creatures, generally poses no known serious threat to humans.
Malaysian Dead Leaf Mantis
Malaysian Dead Leaf Mantis Facts
- The third species appearing in this compilation of 7 Intriguing Terrestrial Invertebrates, the Malaysian Dead Leaf Mantis, lists there only due to random selection.
- This somewhat lengthy moniker serves as the most frequently used common name for this marvel of Nature and evolution.The natual marvel is also, however, sometimes referred to by the somewhat misleading term of the giant dead leaf mantis.
- Professional researchers, though, typically refer to it by its formal scientific name. That term, however, like many such technical names, remains somewhat hard to pronounce. That’s because professionals refer to the insect by the term Deroplatys desiccata.
- Regardless of what one chooses to call it, it’s a fascinating and captivating creature. The alternate common name, though, is slightly misleading. That, however, isn’t at all unusual, as common names frequently give a false impression of the species.
- Though larger than some of its kind, it’s by no means a giant among its roughly 1,800 known related species, overall. It does qualify as a giant, in a way, though. That’s because it attains a somewhat larger size than any other leaf mantis, specifically.
- The highly respected English entomologist, as well as archaeologist, John Obadiah Westwood, made the first recorded recognition of it as a separate and distinct species. This scientifically noteworthy achievement he accomplished in the year 1839.
- Fortunately, its population base appears to be both sizeable and stable. This situation further appears to hold true throughout the entirety of its native range. Unfortunately, it’s also become quite popular among those who keep insects in captivity.
- Due to these facts, the IUCN presently has no listing for the Malaysian Dead Leaf Mantis on its Red List. In the wild, it nevertheless faces several potential threats. Habitat loss poses an potential danger to it, along with the effects of climate change.
Malaysian Dead Leaf Mantis Physical Description
Like virtually all of its many relatives, the magnificent Malaysian Dead Leaf Mantis ranks as a master of camouflage. In its specific case, its own name gives an indication its approach. That’s due to the fact that, when it wishes, it closely resembles a dead, dry leaf.
Like many insects of all kinds, it also displays the physiological characteristic of sexual dimorphism. In its case, this trait manifests itself in terms of sheer physical size. The overall size difference between the two genders, however, remains comparatively minor.
More precisely, the females, again, like many of its relatives, attains a greater length than the male of the species. Mature females reach an average length of 3 – 3.1 in (7.5 – 8 cm). Males, meanwhile, grow to a body length that averages roughly 2.6 – 2.8 in (6.5 – 7 cm).
Otherwise, the two sexes displays virtually identical patterns of coloring, with only slight variations among individuals. Those patterns, though, include a very respectable range of colors. These run from nearly black, to shades of brown, to an orange-brown hue.
The highly extended thorax possesses an extremely flattened shape. It also manifests intricate patterns, like the veins on a leaf, on the upper surface of its wings. The underside, however, has a mainly black background, with a large eye-like spot on each wing.
- Kingdom: Animalia
- Phylum: Arthropoda
- Class: Insecta
- Order: Mantodea
- Family: Deroplatyidae
- Genus: Deroplatys
- Species: D. dessicata
Malaysian Dead Leaf Mantis Distribution, Habitat, and Ecology
The mesmerizing Malysian Dead Leaf Mantis inhabits a moderately expansive part of the world. This range consists of the region generally known as southeast Asia. More specifically, it’s known to live in Sumatra, the Philippines, Borneo, Indonesia, and Malaysia.
Within that range, though, it fortunately seems to be moderately adapable in terms of its habitat requirements. That’s due to the fact that specimens appear in regions of both tropical forest and scrubland. For now, no evidence that it ever lived elsewhere exists.
It’s also supremely adapted for the environment in which it lives. Its coloring, as well as its body shape and design, provides it with excellent natural camouflage. The insect even appears to sway in the breeze, mimicking the movements of a dried up leaf.
This learned behavioral pattern serves the amazing arthropod well in its typical habitat range, offering it a certain measure of protection from its own predators. Those include the usual species, such as tree climbing lizards, snakes, and birds, among others.
Like its numerous relatives, the Malaysian Dead Leaf Mantis evolved as a carnivore. Also like them, it’s a master hunter, preferring to hunt as an ambush predator. It feeds opportunistically, consuming virtually any prey of sufficient size, most especially moths.
Creatonotos gangis Facts
- Making its appearance in this collection of 7 Intriguing Terrestrial Invertebrates we present to you the remarkable insect known as the Creatontos gangis.
- Perhaps most notably, the truly astonishing winged wonder remains one of the most visually distinctive Lepidoptera known to man. Unfortunately for those trying to pronounce it, the remarkable insect also has no generally accepted common name.
- The first official scientific recognition of the creature as a separate and distinct species took place in the late 18th century. That formal acknowledgement, like many others, occurred as a direct result of the renowned Swedish zoologist Carl Linnaeus.
- While it may be unknown to many, the incredible moth actually inhabits a moderately extensive range. Due to this unfortunate fact, along with an apparently sizeable and relatively stable population base, the IUCN currently has no listing for the insect.
- Although the adults remain completely harmless, the same situation does not hold true for the caterpillar form, however. In point of fact, this life stage of the surprising invertebrate very frequently causes severe damage to local pomegranate crops.
- Sadly, however, its fortunate Red List of Threatened Species status could potentially change in the very near future. This lamentable fact occurs for the same reason it does for numerous other species. That’s due to the continued progression of climate change.
Creatonotos gangis Physical Description
Firstly, despite its astounding appearance, the remarkable Creatonotos gangis actually qualifies as a physically moderately small type of moth. The fascinating species does display sexual dimorphism, however. It nevertheless does so in a highly unusual manner.
Secondly, because of this, both genders of the fascinating species attain the same approximate physical size. As a result, mature adults attain an average wingspan of about 1.6 in (4 cm). Both sexes additionally develop brown forewings and white hindwings.
The distinctive of this Lepidoptera appearance does not simply end there, though. That’s due to the fact that both genders of the species also possess a dark streak on each wing. Individuals also usually possess a bright red abdomen, though yellow does occur.
However, the most startling physical attribute, and the source of the physical difference, belongs to the males of the species. That’s because each male has four large, extendable scent organs. When fully extended, these can even be longer than the body itself.
- Kingdom: Animalia
- Phylum: Arthropoda
- Class: Insecta
- Order: Lepidoptera
- Family: Erebidae
- Genus: Creatonotos
- Species: C. gangis
Creatonotos gangis Distribution, Habitat, and Ecology
First of all, the unique and highly fascinating Creatonotos gangis inhabits a comparatively broad swathe of the globe. More specifically, though, that range that includes parts of southeast Asia and Australia. It continues to be more prevalent in Asia, however.
There, furthermore, this zone of habitation includes parts of a total of seven countries. In the country and continent of Australia, though, its range remains more restricted. More precisely, this includes Queensland, and parts of the western and northern areas.
Unlike most related creatures, the awesome Creatonotos gangis further inhabits a fairly wide range of habitat types. The insect does, however, show a decided preference for regions with an abundance of fruit trees, and most especially pomegranates.
The huge scent glands of the male also allow it to attract females from extreme distances. That’s a decided evolutionary advantage. After mating, the female lays quantities of round, yellow eggs. These most commonly appear in rows on the underside of plant leaves.
Once hatched, the caterpillar form has a voracious appetite. It feeds on numerous species, of course, but apparently prefers pomegranate leaves. Yet it also consumes the foliage of plants such as rice, sweet potatoes, and sorghum in less damaging quantities.
Conehead Mantis Facts
- The next wondrous creature listing in the article about 7 Intriguing Terrestrial Invertebrates is the remarkable evolved Conehead Mantis.
- The highly evocative term for this species appropriately serves as the common name for this remarkable insect. This marvel of Nature also goes by another name, though. That’s its somewhat difficult scientific name of the Empusa pennata.
- Regardless of which of these term you use for it, though, it remains blessed with a distinctive appearance. The common name, quite understandably, derives from the presence of the incredible structure on the top of the invertebrate’s head.
- The first recorded scientific recognition of this creature as a separate and distinct species occurred in the year 1815. That formal recognition took place as a result of the work of the well known Swedish naturalist, Carl Peter Thunberg.
- For the moment, the marvelous Conehead Mantis appears to be maintaining a stable and sufficient population. This further seems to be the case throughout the entirety of its range. As a result, the IUCN currently list the species a Least Concern.
- The invertebrate must nevertheless be considered to be facing at least some threats to its existence. One of these is probably the danger posed by increasing habitat loss. Its greatest threat, however, likely consists of ongoing climate change.
Conehead Mantis Physical Description
Although the marvelous Conehead Mantis fully deserves appreciation, this does not derive solely from its sheer physical size. That aspect of the invertebrate does nonetheless rank as respectable, since it represents an above-averaged size variety of mantis.
Like most of its relatives, it also displays a moderate degree of sexual dimorphism. In its specific case, this trait manifests itself in two separate ways, though. Simple physical size forms the first of these, with the female attaining a slightly greater length than the male.
This wonder of Nature achieves a size slightly greater than the European Mantis. That being said, females reach an average length of about 4 in (10 cm). The smaller males, meanwhile, attain varying lengths, but rarely grow beyond 3 in (7.6 cm) in total length.
The second form of gender-based differences among the Conehead Mantis appears in the form of the antennae of the male. These appendages possess a fine, feathery characteristic. However, only the male of the species develops these distinctive features.
Otherwise, the genders remain similar. The colors vary, since it employs active camouflage, but certain ones are more common. These consist of green, pink, and various shades of brown. Its most noticeable feature, though, is the cone-shaped structure on the head.
- Kingdom: Animalia
- Phylum: Arthropoda
- Class: Insecta
- Order: Mantodea
- Family: Empusidae
- Genus: Empusa
- Species: E. pennata
Conehead Mantis Distribution, Habitat, and Ecology
The remarkable Conehead Mantis possesses a comparatively broad, if somewhat broken, range of habitation. It’s broad because it covers parts of both Europe and Asia. It’s broken, though, since it only appears in scattered parts of the two continents, not evenly.
More precisely, in Europe, the arthropod seems to live in the countries of France, Portugal, Spain, Italy, Bulgaria, and Greece. In Asia, meanwhile, its only known habitat consists of the country of Lebanon. The exact for this pattern presently remains undetermined.
In all regions of the globe in which it appears, though, its habitat preference remains the same. This particular form of mantis prefers to inhabit more open areas, as opposed to denser forest regions. This mainly includes regions of scrub and perennial herbs.
The amazing Conehead Mantis prefers such regions because of its feeding habits. Like its many relatives, it evolved purely as a carnivore, and acting as an ambush predator. This powerful and efficient hunter eats a vast variety of small insects native to the same habitat.
In turn, the powerful hunter falls prey to other, larger predators. These vary according to its particular region, of course. Overall, however, these mainly include such animals as snakes, frogs, lizards, and a wide variety of avian species sharing its region.
Gray’s Leaf Insect
Gray’s Leaf Insect Facts
- The sixth species contained within this presentation of 7 Intriguing Terrestrial Invertebrates is the visually impressive Gray’s Leaf Insect.
- This intriguing product of natural evolution obviously goes by the name it does due to its physical appearance. It also has another, less frequently used common name, though. That’s the equally informative term of the Java Leaf Insect.
- Professional entomologists, though, typically refer to the species by its formal scientific name. That, however, is the tongue-twisting term of Pulchriphyllium bioculatum. Regardless of the term used to refer to it, the insect remains a fascinating one.
- The first formal recognition of the arthropod as a separate and distinct species, furthermore, occurred in the year 1832. This took place as a result of the work of George Robert Gray, the highly respected English zoologist, and part of the British Museum.
- This particular small but nonetheless impressive animal also represented a personal milestone for the eminent researcher. That’s because the creature also represented the first phasmid he discovered. He later went on to discover many more, however.
- For the moment, the IUCN has no listing for the Gray’s Leaf Insect on its Red List of Threatened Species. That’s due to the fact that, for the moment, at least, it appears to be maintaining a population base that’s both sizeable and sufficient within its range.
- The amazing insect must nevertheless be considered to be facing at least some threats to its continued existence. Given the nature and location of its range, habitat loss poses a potential danger. Its greatest threat, however, likely consists of climate change.
Gray’s Leaf Insect Physical Description
It’s worth noting that, while the Gray’s Leaf Insect does impress those who encounter it, the creature does not do so due to sheer size. That’s due to the fact that it also ranks as a moderately-sized member of its Order. It’s nonetheless a respectable specimen.
Like many insects, it also displays a moderate degree of the physiological characteristic of sexual dimorphism. In its specific case, though, this trait mainfests itself in terms of simple physical size. Specifically, females attain a shorter length, though, thicker body.
More precisely, males attain an average overall length of roughly 2.6 – 3.7 in (6.6 – 9.4 cm). The shorter females, though, only grow to an average length of 1.8 – 2.7 in (4.6 – 6.9 cm). Females of the species also develop an abdomen that remains narrower at the base.
Both genders, however, manifest the same general color pattern. Both the body and the legs display a primarily green background, though shades vary. Random markings consisting of such hues as orange and yellow also manifest, varying between individuals of either gender.
Females of the Gray’s Leaf Insect further distinguish themselves from their male counterparts in yet another manner. Males typically possess significantly longer antennae than the females. Males, furthermore, have fully functioning wings, while females do not.
- Kingdom: Animalia
- Phylum: Arthropoda
- Class: Insecta
- Order: Phasmatodea
- Family: Phylliidae
- Genus: Pulchriphyllium
- Species: P. bioculatum
Gray’s Leaf Insect Distribution, Habitat, and Ecology
Fortunately, both for the Gray’s Leaf Insect, and those of us who appreciate Nature, the marvelous insect appears to inhabit a relatively large swathe of the globe. That’s due to the fact that its known habitat range covers a quite respectable portion of southeastern Asia.
It does, however, also appear in several other regions of the world. These consist of the Seychelles, Mauritius, and Madagascar. In its main area, though, it seems widespread throughout such countries as India, Sri Lanka, China, Borneo, Java, and Malaysia.
In whatever region one encounters it, though, it displays a strong preference in terms of its choice of habitat. The vast majority of individuals live in tropical regions. There, the arthropod mostly makes its home in sections of the locally abundant tropical rainforests.
It evolved as highly dependant on specific environmental conditions. These include warmer temperatures, between 75 – 82 F24 – 28 C). The species further requires moderately high humdity levels, not surprisingly, given the region in which the insect evolved.
Like most of its relatives, the Gray’s Leaf Insect further evolved as a strict herbivore. Wherever it lives, it adapts to the locally prevalent vegetation. It does, however, display certain strong preferences in its diet. These include such foods as guava and mango.
During breeding season, the females lays approximately 100 eggs. She lays these, however, over a period of several days. She also lays eggs with or without fertilization, in a process called parthenogenesis. Those laid without fertilization invariably produce females.
Kerengga ant-like jumper
Kerengga ant-like jumper Facts
- Closing out this article about 7 Intriguing Terrestrial Invertebrates we give you the second arachnid on the list, the Kerengga ant-like jumper.
- This remarkable invertebrate bears the cumbersome common name for very good reasons. Though this term’s a mouthful, it’s nothing compared to the scientific name of the creature. That’s because its technical name is Myrmaplata plataleoides.
- Neither name rolls off the tongue easily, to be certain. Each also fails to properly prepare one for a startling fact, though one of them does provide a hint. That’s true because this creature isn’t an ant at all. In fact, it’s actually an incredibly evolved spider!
- The respected English clergyman and zoologist, Octavius Pickard-Cambridge made the first recorded scientific notation of the astonishing arthropod. He further accomplished this action in the year 1869, earning a respected spot in the halls of science.
- Fortunately for it, the amazing arachnid appears to have a population that’s both stable and sufficient in size. That status also appears to hold true throughout the entirety of its natural range. The IUCN, therefore, has no listing for it on the organizations Red List.
- The Kerengga ant-like jumper nevertheless does face several potential threats to its existence. In this respect, however, it’s only mirroring the situation faced by countless other forms of life around the planet. Both involve its habitat and environment.
- In its case, much like many other creatures, potential loss of habitat forms an ever-present danger. This holds especially true given its range. This likely presently forms its greatest threat. Like all other species, though, it’s also vulnerable to climate change.
Kerengga ant-like jumper Physical Description
The breathtaking work of evolution and Nature known as the kerengga ant-like jumper truly merits appreciation. That appreciation, however, isn’t earned solely for its distinctive form. In point of fact, this remarkable arthropod displays several very fascinating attributes.
It bears noting, first of all, that like many related species, it displays the physiological characteristic known as sexual dimorphism. In its case, however, this attribute manifests itself in not one, but in several ways. This arachnid truly takes camouflage to the next level.
Males of the species typically attain a greater overall length than their female counterparts. These reach an average body length measuring 0.35 – 0.47 in (9 – 12 mm). The females of the species, meanwhile, typically attain measurements of roughly 0.24 – 0.28 in (6 – 7 mm).
Coloring also varies between the genders. Males more commonly display various shades of light and dark brown. The females, on the other hand, generally display much lighter and more uniform shades. Both have two small dark patches on the head, resembling eyes.
The Kerengga ant-like jumper carries its camouflage even further, though. The body itself preseents the illusion of segmentation, like that of an ant. In reality, its abdomen and cephalothorax are simply constricted. Its two front legs also resemble an ants’ antennae.
- Kingdom: Animalia
- Phylum: Arthropoda
- Class: Arachnida
- Order: Araneae
- Family: Salticidae
- Genus: Myrmaplata
- Species: M. plataleoides
Kerengga ant-like jumper Distribution, Habitat, and Ecology
One factor helping the Kerengga ant-like jumper to survive in this time of climactic upheaval is its distribution. That’s due to the fact that it evolved as native to a comparatively broad section of the globe. More precisely, the spider appears in many regions throughout Asia.
Though present in large sections of the vast continent, the population of this arachnid remains principally confined to the southeastern portion. This primary zone of habitation mainly covers several countries. These consist of India, Sri Lanka, Thailand, and Singapore.
Within that range, though, the vast majority of its numbers make their home in the regions of dense foliage and high precipitation levels. There, though, it further prefers one of two specific locations. These consist of either bushes or trees, of various local species.
That specific preference exists because of its camouflage. Its appearance strongly mimics local weaver ants, who make their colonies in the same locations. The creature thereby gains a measure of protection from its own predators, most of whom shy away from the ants.
The Kerengga ant-like jumper itself also avoids the ants, and does not prey on them. Instead, it ambushes other small prey in its hin web. Its mimicry even exends to moving like the ants, including waving its two front legs, copying the motion of the ant’s two antennae.
As its name implies, this marvelous arachnid evolved as a variety of what’s known as a jumping spider. This particular species, however, rarely employs that distinctive method of locomotion. To maintain its camouflage, it only jumps if it finds itself greatly imperiled.
7 Intriguing Terrestrial Invertebrates
It’s our sincere hope that each of you has thoroughly enjoyed this article about these 7 Intriguing Terrestrial Invertebrates. We also hope that having done so has serve to leave you with a new or renwed appreciation for the role these marvels play in Nature.
Unfortunately, many of the other species around the world, of all kinds, now find themselves facing dire threats to their existence. For many of them that’s directly due to the actions of man. It’s up to each and every one of us to do all we can to protect and preserve them.
Check out our other articles on 7 Deceptively Dazzling Deserts, The Mighty Tornado, 5 Indigenous Hawaiian Species, 6 Mysterious Natural Phenomena
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