Hello folks who wonder if fake tears can make artificial flowers grow,

Have you ever turned on the lights at night and seen some insects running across your kitchen counters or sinks?
Strangely these ones do not have the same chunky body frames as cockroaches, so are these cockroaches on a keto diet?
Turns out, in most of these cases you might have seen a silverfish.

Silverfish are fascinating insects due to a myriad of reasons. For starters, they could have gone through this grocery shopping craze during the pandemic with ease.
Why? Because they can survive a year without food or water.

These insects are considered primitive because they evolved 100 million years even before dinosaurs set foot on this planet. Here is another way to think of it, they evolved even before insects learnt to fly and got their pilot's license.
And to make matters worse, they have poor vision. So how did evolution show leniency towards this creature?

You see, if you can be good at running away from danger(quick feet), sense danger(sensitive antennae), choose the times when predators are not most active(nocturnal) and now you have the secret formula to win this evolutionary race.
Below is a silverfish sensing end of the road by sweeping around its sensitive antennae.


Another thing that Silverfish are pioneers of, is using scales that easily come off when a predators tries to handle it or catch it. This is a strategy that Moths and Butterflies claim to have invented to get away from spider webs(to see what scales on a butterfly look like check this post) but now you know better.


These scales will also give any homeowner the first clue that they are sharing the house with something that does not pay rent but raids their pantry, reads their books and watches shows with their netflix account.
Below is how the scales look like on a silverfish body.


And this is how the individual scales look at a higher magnification.


When some of the spider families chose to patent their silk web designs, other spiders had to scramble to make a living. Some chose to stalk their prey like the jumping spiders, while some like the crab spiders decided to ambush their prey.

Crab spiders in California are commonly found hiding near flowers or on leaves. In order to make sure they are not spotted by their victims they will sport colors similar to the leaves or the flowers based on where they are located.
Recently on a hike to Stevens Creek County Park, I saw one hiding under a leaf.


If predators get an edge over their prey, the prey will evolve as well to neutralize that advantage.

One of these examples can be seen in the Bee fly or the Humblefly. Bee flies might look similar to bees but they are in fact, flies and hence do not make the same mistakes as other bees.
Unlike other bees that like to roll over in pollen and make themselves at home on any flower while slurping the nectar, Bee flies will hover near the flower and not land.
They will then use their long straight proboscis to suck up the nectar from a distance and avoid the creepy lurking crab spider amongst the flowers.

Below is a bee fly showing its straight proboscis which it cannot retract, so it always gets a disapproving look from fellow economy class passengers who can't now recline their seats on a plane.


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