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The Florida Monsoon


April 18 | Hillsborough River: Swarms of the whirligig beetle (Gyrinidae spp.), in chaotic dance, gather in the sunlight on the still, black water of the Hillsborough River. Under canopies of ancient cypress, they roam its pools and eddies for prey, converging as a voracious pack on an upended dragonfly, a stray tent caterpillar—the remains…

Blackwater Rivers

Blackwater Rivers | July 14: Blackwater seeps from the vast lowland swamps that cradle the headwaters of Florida rivers. At times turning them so dark they shimmer like a mirror reflecting the passage of herons in oak canopies, hogs stealing a drink on the shoreline, and hyacinth in summer bloom. The canonical blackwater river is…

Sexual Cannibalism

In fishing spiders, sex is violent. Males are often attacked by females during sex, and if killed, they’re promptly eaten1. There is little a male spider can do in defense, as females often exceed 14-times their mass2 in an intimidating display of gender size-dimorphism. This is equivalent to your “better half” having about 2,600 pounds…

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