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Face-Off in the Cellar

Updated on September 18, 2010
Face-Off in the Cellar, rickzimmerman 2010
Face-Off in the Cellar, rickzimmerman 2010

In this aerial view of a portion of damp concrete slab cellar floor, we see a ritualistic face-off between two equally matched male Insectivora irisii

It is mating season for these nocturnal creatures, and that requires that these two brown-eye-spotted arthropods meet in a formalized duel/dance, the result of which will determine whether either will win the heart (and sexual favors) of the blue-eye-spotted female lurking over there under the water heater. We note that both have extended their eye-stalks perpendicular to their rounded crania, in anticipation of the head-butting that is about to begin.

Entomologists have confirmed that the very realistic startled-eyeball markings of these bugs’ torsos serve as a formidable defense mechanism against their normal predator, the easily duped Wayward Warbler. (The markings are decidedly less effective against that swift passerine bird, the Old World Eyecatcher, nor do they fool that terror Timmy from next door who has apparently perfected his sharp-stick-in-the-eye ninja move.)


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