Thursday, 27 October 2011

The Abbot and the Flea

From Aesop's Fables there is a tale about an Abbot and a flea.

This is the story of the flea that was caught by the abbot. The abbot said, 'Now I've got you! You have bitten me many times, making it impossible for me to get a good night's sleep. I will never let you go; in fact, I am going to kill you right now!' The flea said, 'Holy Father, since you intend to kill me, please hold me in the palm of your hand so that I will be able to freely confess my sins to you. Let me make my confession, and then you can kill me.' The abbot was moved by the flea's piety so he placed the insect in the middle of his palm. The flea immediately leaped up into the air and flew away. The abbot yelled loudly at the flea, but the he refused to come back.

From Aesopica - Aesop's Fables in English, Latin and Greek

Monday, 17 October 2011

Sea Firefleas

Thanks to a rather silly kids TV programme, "Barney's Latin America" I now know about the sea fire fleas or Photeros annecohenae a type of Ostracode Crustaceans.

These tiny creatures make vivid light by mixing two chemicals which is used to attract mates and to scare off predators.

Insect Behavioral Ecology '85
Discover the beauty and complexity of Photeros annecohenae

Tuesday, 4 October 2011

Nikon International Small World Competition

A water flea (Daphnia magna) has made it into the top 10 of Nikon International Small World Competition with some help from photographer Joan Röhl.

Small World #10 Water Flea by Joan Röhl

This fantastic image is 100x magnified and was created with Differential Interference Contrast (DIC) Microscopy at the Institute for Biochemistry and Biology, University of Potsdam, Germany.

Other flea entries include a 20x magnified mouse flea by Dr. Jerzy Gubernator from the University of Wroclaw, Poland and another water flea with grean algae by Dr. Ralf Wagner of Düsseldorf, Germany