Friday 13 April 2018

Spear Point Leaf Tail Gecko

Image: Antonio Rodríguez Arduengo
Uroplatus ebenaui
Demons get such a bad rap these days. And... all other days, I suppose. But look at this cutie! Surely he wouldn't hurt a fly!

Image: Alextelford
Hmm? Oh. Turns out he would eat a fly. OK.

Image: Frank Vassen
But I bet he does it in the cutest way possible! The flies last thoughts would be something like, "This is actually kind of adorable. It's way better than getting eaten by a spider."

Image: Frank Vassen
The Spear Point Leaf Tail Gecko is a member of the genus Uroplatus, the same as the Satanic Leaf Tailed Gecko (U. phantasticus). While it's great that one species got the moniker, to me they're all equally and wonderfully Satanic!

This species is found only in a tiny patch of northern Madagascar, as well as just off the coast on the even tinier and delightfully named island of Nosy Be.

Image: Antonio Rodríguez Arduengo
They hang out in the trees, using their amazing camouflage to hide in plain sight during the day. At night, they wake up to hunt insects.

Image: Antonio Rodríguez Arduengo
The Spear Point gets their name from their tiny little tail which looks like something someone dug up from an ancient battlefield.

Image: Rob Meades
Despite that miniature tail, the Spear Point Leaf Tail Gecko is the biggest species in Uroplatus. It still only reaches about 7.5 cm (3 in) long, though. That's probably a good thing...

Image: Cédric de Foucault
You wouldn't want a face like that looming over you!

Wednesday 11 April 2018

Clinging Jellyfish

Image: WoRMS Editorial Board
Gonionemus vertens
Jellyfish are known to be inveterate drifters. They love nothing more than to hang out in the water column, the careful fluttering and pulsing of their bell all but powerless in the face of a mild current.

But what if a jellyfish doesn't want to do that? What if they find a nice plot of ocean, verdant with plant life, the water a particularly delightful shade of blue, and they just want to settle down for a while? One tiny Hydrozoan has the answer.

Sunday 8 April 2018

Striated Frogfish

Image: Silke Baron
Antennarius striatus
Pac-Man was always such a harmless soul, lost in the labyrinth of his own mind, chased by ghostly memories of his past and finding succour in a trail of psychoactive dots and the occasional fruit. He always seemed so happy. Or at least preoccupied.

He was never the same after the werewolf attack. He's so grumpy now. And he's completely abandoned vegetarianism...

Friday 6 April 2018


Image: scott.zona
Aspidistras are famous for their ability to withstand and even flourish under the kind of neglect that would usually end in the crinkly, brown-leafed death of most plants.

But that's no excuse for neglecting their absolutely amazing flowers!

Wednesday 4 April 2018


Toxodera are mimics of the living and the dead!

Sunday 1 April 2018

Nightmare Catcher

Image: Frank Vassen
A Nightmare Catcher flitters through the rainforests of Bolivia, sticky net in hand.

Some say she feeds on nightmares, her gut so full of concentrated horror that the mere sight of her causes night terrors.

Others say that's silly, and she probably eats moths.

Still others say, "Yeah, that's what I meant. I actually have a terrible phobia of moths."

The IUCN's List of Threatened Species lists the Nightmare Catcher as 'Be Concerned. Be Very Concerned.'

Friday 30 March 2018

Blunt-headed Burrowing Frog

Image: Khunpolrattachana
Glyphoglossus molossus
Now that is a face.

Or... most of one, at least.

Wednesday 28 March 2018

Sea Spiders: Paddling and Plummeting

Sea Spiders aren't really spiders. They aren't even arachnids. In fact, they're barely more than legs. Not even the daddiest, longleggiest of Daddy Longlegs can out-leg a Sea Spider.

Sunday 25 March 2018

Fanfin Angler

Image: Rebikoff-Niggeler Foundation
Caulophryne jordani
SPOTTED: Reclusive Fanfin Angler and her latest beau step out for a romantic lure-lit dinner.

She doesn't appear pleased.

Friday 23 March 2018

In the Pink

Image: Bernard DUPONT

Wednesday 21 March 2018

Bony-eared Assfish

Image: Royal BC Museum
Acanthonus armatus
Now, that's just rude.

Sunday 18 March 2018

Trilobite Beetle

Image: budak
Trilobite Beetles are beetles of eternal youth! Or is it eternal age? After all, it's a beetle that never quite grows up but at the same looks a lot like a 250 million-year-old trilobite.

I guess you just can't keep a good arthropod down.

Friday 16 March 2018


Image: Steve Jurvetson
Proof yet again that nature is the best sculptor!

That's what happens when you have a billion years of experience.

Wednesday 14 March 2018

Red Cushion Sea Star

Image: James St. John
Oreaster reticulatus
This is quite possibly the most uncomfortable cushion I've ever seen.

Sunday 11 March 2018

Mud Dragon

Image: WoRMS Editorial Board
From the sounds of it, this must surely be the lowliest of all dragons. Fire dragons soar overhead, frost dragons slumber in beautiful ice lairs, swamp dragons brood in their stinking miasmas, even flightless flu dragons get to lie in bed all day.

What do poor old Mud Dragons get? They get to wriggle. In the mud. Hmmm... Someone drew a very short straw.

Friday 16 February 2018

Glass Finger

Image: NOAA Office of Ocean Exploration and Research, 2015 Hohonu Moana
Have you heard of the glass delusion?

Wednesday 14 February 2018

Deep Sea Valentines

Image: NOAA Okeanos Explorer Program, INDEX-SATAL 2010
It's the perfect Valentine's gift: a beautiful bouquet of red blobs!

Monday 15 January 2018

The Blues VII

Image: Cláudio Dias Timm
Porphyrospiza caerulescens
Uh oh! It's that time of year again when all looks lost, all looks cold, all looks... blue. Blue Monday strikes again. The attic groans under the weight of Christmas decorations already laden with a thin layer of dust. Christmas gifts have lost their lustre and joined the rest of your belongings as mere possessions cluttering your life. And if you don't follow through with your New Year's resolutions this time, you'll have to get a new Christmas jumper to ease over that ever-expanding belly.

But worry not! Or continue worrying, just be sure to do it with friends. Friends like the Blue Finch.

Friday 12 January 2018

Wild Olive Tortoise Beetle

Image: Andreas Kay
Physonota alutacea
I love it when insects go all prehistoric!

Wednesday 10 January 2018

Ocellate Phyllidia

Image: Bernard DUPONT
Phyllidia ocellata
Oooh, ouch!

I've heard of rashes and boils, spots and pimples, warts and buboes... but clouds? Who comes up in clouds?

Sunday 7 January 2018


Image: Rob
A sliver of fish cuts through the tropical darkness like a silver blade, a defiant icicle, or a really long pencil sharpened at both ends.

Friday 5 January 2018

Orange Pore Fungus

Image: epitree
Favolaschia calocera
They call it the Orange Pore Fungus but in my heart, it will always be the Waffle on a Stick.

Doesn't it look like the perfect breakfast snack?

Wednesday 3 January 2018

Hanging Stomach Jellyfish

Stomotoca atra
I'm sure you've heard of beer-bellied men and pot-bellied pigs...

But what about Hanging Stomach Jellyfish?