What does Idaho have in common with Afghanistan?

I had a chance to visit Idaho recently and happened to run into a couple of very interesting creatures that I have not seen since I left Afghanistan some time ago. The large black beetle is called a Darkling Beetle. Not sure where that name came from because this insect’s claim to fame has nothing to do with the dark, but it does have a lot to do with odor – a really bad odor. If you annoy or frighten one of these guys they assume that comical looking headstand and produce an acrid smelling substance from the back of their abdomen. And take my word on this – it’s bad; it’ll make you choke like tear gas, and I’ve had a sniff or two.

And then we have the notorious camel spider. Most people associate this animal with the Middle East or other locations but we have several species in the US adding to the thousand or so other species throughout the world. They are not poisonous but do have a painful bite. Not too much to worry about from this little fellow from the Potato State; he was less than a half inch long. For more in depth information and better photos go to the Camel Spider Homepage

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