1. silvrhalide says

    Butterflies. But I’ve been photographing them for years with a 180 mm macro & twin head flash.
    Orb weavers often take down their webs by midmorning, which is very disappointing if you want to go the existing light route. Or get them with all their legs spread out & displaying all the crazy colors and markings. To say nothing of the whole spiderweb dewdrop thing.

    It all comes down to “who will be cooperative?”

    If it makes you feel better, I have some tolerably good shots of a praying mantis dismembering and eating a butterfly.

  2. keithb says

    Unlike the Monarch butterfly grove at Pismo beach, I don’t think thousands of people would come to see tens of thousands of spiders in their winter digs.

  3. wsierichs says

    I want to see photos of battles between an octopus and a spider, in which the winner is determined by who dies first, by strangling tentacle or strangling web. Mixed martial octopus-spider fights!

  4. silvrhalide says

    @4 Well they might if the spiders were more cooperative!
    If there’s one thing I learned in advertising, it’s that people will literally buy any damn thing if it’s got a good advertising campaign.

  5. Reginald Selkirk says

    Why not both?

    We already know you are going to lure us in with Monarch promises, then show us pictures of spiders eating butterflies.

  6. opie says

    After I watched the monarch video, YouTube recommended a video by one PZ Myers entitled “maggots”. You better not have screwed up my YouTube recommendations…

  7. chrislawson says

    I want to see lots of butterfly videos, especially monarchs, because they are under extreme pressure from habitat loss, so I want to see evidence of their continued survival. But yeah, spiders are much more interesting to watch.

  8. azpaul3 says

    Now I ask you: what would you prefer to see, videos of butterflies or videos of spiders? Be honest now.

    Umm, decisions., decisions. Pretty colorful butterflies flitting about in a warm summer breeze or creepy crawlies that want to crawl all over my body and bite me.

    No contest. Video the butterflies and napalm the spiders.

  9. opossumboy says

    Definitely spiders, but that’s because of what you write about them. My favorite spider, btw, is our local Wolf Spider. They used to hide in the small nooks & crannies of my home-built cabin in the hills and come out at night, speeding across the floor looking for prey.

    I used to get bitten on the upper lip by kissing bugs, who also come out at night and are attracted to warm, moist, high CO2 air. They’re nasty! Once the Wolf spiders moved in, the kissing bugs were history. About two years ago I moved into town to be close to people and emergency services (I’m getting up in years).

  10. hemidactylus says

    Given Halloween is around the corner I’d go with forensic entomology or creepy looking moths too.

    One can never go wrong with deer-flies either and they are very interactive subjects. You don’t have to chase them down. They pretty much come to you.

  11. StevoR says

    @8. Reginald Selkirk : You beat me to it. There’s room for butterflies and spiders; videos and photos and more. You can even combine them in a single image without them being in conflict through perspectives and angles. Tho’ still maybe somewhat close call’s for the Lepidopterans! It ain’t either /or but both / &.

  12. StevoR says

    @14. azpaul3 : “Video the butterflies and napalm the spiders.”

    And lose many flora species to excessive consumption by unchecked numbers of caterpillars?

    The world would be much poorer and the ecological web and balance increasingkly frayed to everyone’s detriment.

    We’re already living in a mass extinmction (the Anthropocene Extinction Event*) and our actions and words now will cumulatively collectively determine just how bad it gets. I’m failry syure you’re joking but still, sheesh. No. Please no.

    .* See :,a%20result%20of%20human%20activity.

  13. divineconspiracy667 says

    Not gonna lie, I miss the cuttlefish videos. Or photos, at least.
    I’ve had to go elsewhere to obtain my aquatic mollusc fix these last few years.

  14. acdoylejr says

    A few times I have taken sweethearts down to the lovely UNESCO city of Morelia, near the monarch preserves in the central Mexican state of Michoacan. Then we’d rent horses and a guide and ride up into the mountain forests, where formerly 8 billion (sic) monarchs wintered. I have to say I found it creepy, the sheer volume of insects visible. I mentioned a few times to the women, “ya know, if they had razor wings, and were angry….”. And the 57 from Minneapolis to San Antonio just keeps going to Mexico City, its name changing to “The Butterly Highway” at a certain point, and signs ask you to slow down, as if hitting a butterfly at 55 is better than at 70. I still need to pull over 6 or 8 times and tip the gent a few dollars to clean my windshield (yuccchhhh).

  15. birgerjohansson says

    I want to go to that Pacific island with that big-ass case of flying lepidoptera..
    PS Can someone please explain the weird film “The Mothman Prophecies”.
    It made no sense at all.

  16. says

    Dear Akira
    @22 re @18 only ONE butterfly themed costume . . .
    I clicked on the link. I know you always have good ideas. But, I was sickened because instead of a butterfly costume, there was a stink bug. It showed a picture of Fake Masters who beats up old men and lies his assets off. Wants to gamble social security in the stock market and imprison doctors and women. UUGGGHHH.

  17. says

    If youtube is against obscenity, it must stop showing obscene political ads before what you want to watch.
    I hope mothra comes to Scarizona and carries all those Ahole Xtian Terrorist politicians away to a remote pacific island.

  18. says

    One of the few delights here in Aridzona is the huge yellow tiger-swallow-tail butterflies. Sorry, PZ, I’m so saturated with all the violence in this horrible country I’d rather have butterfly vids, even though I know how important and interesting spiders are.

  19. birgerjohansson says

    shermanj@ 27
    Arizona also has some interesting telescopes. The late Stephen Jay Gould writes about the landscape, with mountain peaks providing islands of vegetation with milder microclimates.