Readers’ wildlife photographs

September 14, 2014 • 4:37 am

Today we have bugs and birds and groundhogs. First the bugs, from reader Jacques Hausser: some pill millipedes, arthropods in the class Diplopoda of the subphylum Myriopoda. These are not the same as pillbugs, which, though looking very similar, are isopods in the subphylum Crustacea.

Here some Diplopoda of the family Glomeridae (pill millipedes), Glomeris klugii (I’m not 100 % sure of the species!)  rolled on itself and unrolled, and Glomeris marginata. I hope the quality is OK for you (old pictures from 2011). They were shot in a small wet, wooded gorge going down the Jura mountains, Switzerland, at about 700 m a.s.l.
As far as I know, they eat decaying plants, but the active individuals I saw were either on living moss or on rock covered with green algae. I found some informations about Glomeris marginata here.
Glomeris klugii, rolled up.
another one, unrolled:
and Glomeris marginata
From reader Stephen Barnard in Idaho, a pair of sandhill cranes on the wing (Grus canadensis):
Sandhill cranes
And one of my favorite birds, the lovely cedar waxwing (Bombycilla cedrorum). If a Nike running shoe became a bird, it would be this one:
Cedar waxwing

And from reader “theshortearedowl” in West Virginia, some groundhogs that cry out for anthropomorphizing:

Here are some pictures of the groundhogs (Marmota monax) that live under my deck. I currently have at least three of these lodgers, which I believe are a family unit. The last picture is of the young ‘un, who only showed up this year. They often stand on their hind legs, front paws up on some element of the deck architecture. They remind me of farmers leaning on a fence, looking out at the fields. I hope you enjoy them; they greatly entertain me.
(Camera is a Nikon D70 (70-300 mm lens).


15 thoughts on “Readers’ wildlife photographs

        1. Yes, potato bugs are pill bugs (or rolly pollies if you are from the US south).

          <a href=";?Wikipedia says:

          Pill millipedes can be distinguished from woodlice on the basis of having two pairs of legs per body segment instead of one pair like all isopods.

          What I can’t figure out is what are the soft bodied type of but that looks like a soft bodied pill bug but it doesn’t roll up?

    1. The general body plan certainly at least superficially resembles the sort of thing we see in the Cambrian. How much of that is because they’re not all that modified since then, and how much because of various forms of convergence?


      1. Yeah, I always thought of them as little cambrian creatures. I really like pill bugs! Who can’t love their cute faces, little legs & segmented rolly exterior?

  1. Nice pictures.
    We recently had a groundhog visit us and dig a huge hole under our shed. I tossed some dirt in to fill in the hole (this would not be a problem for the critter), but it never returned.

  2. I love ground hogs! I used to see them all along the green areas where I worked. Look at their weird little ears! The middle ground hog looks scheme-y. Like he’s thinking about the other ground hogs’s fancier abode & plotting to bite his tail later.

  3. Like the first pix of the groundhog. In most reader pix, the animals look like they’re all posing. The one at the top looks like he just got out of bed and is not amused.

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