I'M MISSING THE CRAZY-COOL CREEPY-CRAWLIES RIGHT ABOUT NOW
Soon enough, I'll be patient...
Growing up I was always a "bug guy," but it really extended to all animals. Here in the Ozarks, while we do have a much longer warm season, the creepy crawly creatures can still be few and far between during the winter months. That means I've got plenty of time to miss them and reminisce, so that's what I'm doing.
Honestly, some of these creatures are rather incredible, and I'm blown away to be able to encounter them when I can. Here are a few of my favorite educational encounters for you to enjoy!
MY FAVORITE CREEPY CRAWLY VIDEOS
The American Giant Millipede (Narceus americanus) is a creature that brings back some great memories for me. When I used to live in New Orleans, I'd often find them out in the woods next to the Mississippi River. Honestly, I didn't even realize that they were in the Ozarks until I found the remains of a dead one. With the capability to live up to 10 years, they've become a pet for many, but they can also cause some pretty bad irritation, supposedly including causing temporary blindness from up to three feet away.
Yes, the Dobsonfly is one crazy insect and a longtime friend of mine! Even as a child I loved capturing them in their larval stage, down in the creek behind my parents house, when they are commonly called "hellgrammites." In fact, the majority of the Dobsonfly's life is spent in the water as a hellgrammite. As an adult, they only live about a week. With a wingspan that can rival that of a sparrow or bat, the Dobsonfly is one impressive insect. Since they are mostly nocturnal, I've even mistaken them for bats at night before. This one happens to be a male, which can be determined from the size of its mandibles ("pinchers").
Although "Yes, they can be fatal" I still love these little guys. They are some very interesting arachnids and this species happens to be the most commonly encountered variety in the US. Did you know that scorpions are arachnids, like spiders are, and they are not insects? For the most part, their stings are just painful, but in rare cases, they can be lethal. Also, please do not do some of the things that I do in this video. There really is no reason to. The Striped Bark Scorpion (Centruroides vittatus) is the most commonly encountered scorpion in the United States. In fact, it is the only species that @papa-pepper has ever encountered in the wild. It can be found throughout the southern United States and Northern Mexico.
These guys are so cool! I had no idea that there were Tarantulas in Arkansas when I moved here, but I am sure glad that there is! In the year and a half that I have spent here, I've only seen a handful, and this one was the biggest. With a mild venom as painful as a bee sting, I was a little hesitant to pick it up barehanded, but I got over it rather quickly.
The Eastern Hercules Beetle (Dynastes tityus) is an amazing creature indeed. One of the largest and heaviest North American beetles, it is an impressive member of the Rhinoceros Beetle family. We were gifted one by a neighbor, so we made this short educational video before releasing it. Enjoy!