Other than camaflogue, the horned lizard might puff up its body to appear larger -- and more intimidating -- than it actually is. It almost might it might elevate its head so that the sharp horns on its cranium are aimed at the would-be attacker, or run in short bursts and then stop in order to confuse the predator's visual acuity.
Photo: The Horned Jack Lizard
Cereal Leaf Beetle Photo:Ken
So the above beetle looks like a nice enough insect, right? It's sort of attractive with its iridescent blue wing plates and red body and at only 3/16 inch in length how bad could it be ... right?
Well, to start, these cereal leaf beetles (Oulema melanopus or Lema melanopa) are major agricultural pests. They decimate crop populations of wheat, oats, barley, rye and other grasses. Serious eradication efforts didn't begin in the United States until 1960s when entire oat fields were being destroyed. To stop the bugs from completely ruining the crop population, parasitic wasps were introduced in an attempt to have them feast on the insects and bring them into submission. Insecticides were also employed. While the fact that it's a major nuisance to farmers is upsetting, nothing is quite as disturbing as the defense mechanism employed by the larvae of the cereal leaf beetle.