Calliandra means beautiful man (because the beautiful red flower parts contain the stamens - the male reproductive organ of a flower), while californica means coming from California.
Fun Fact: These four pictures were taken by me.
Because the flowers bloom about year-around and produce nectar, they are very popular to hummingbirds and butterflies.
Habitat: They are endemic to scrublands/deserts of the Sonoran Desert: Baja California, and Arizonia.
Pygoscelis means rump leg, while adeliae was named by James Dumont d’Urville (the French explorer) after his wife Adélie.
Fun Fact: “They are constantly interacting with others in their small group or colony. They also travel together from pack ice to their nesting beach when breeding season is about to begin..Adelie penguins are social hunters as well. They typically stay in groups as it reduces risk of predation and increases efficiency of finding food..” (ADW)
Habitat: They are endemic ice and oceans of Antarctica and the Ross Sea.
Ecosystem Role: They help control krill populations, along with squids, and fish populations (such as Antarctic silver fish and lantern fish). They provide food for orcas, leopard seals, and south polar skuas.
Latrodectus comes from the lactrotoxins these spiders produce that cause the lactrodectism syndrome (lactrodectus seems to translate into hired bite), while Thorell (the man who “discovered” the spider) named it hasselti in honor of his colleague A.W.M. van Hasselt.
Fun Fact: They are in the same genius (thus closely related) to the black widow, and brown widow.
“Redback spiders catch their prey in a unique way. At night, females construct a complex web system reaching in all directions, including towards the ground. They set traps for prey by bringing a strand of their silk web down and sticking it to the ground surface. Next, they climb up that line, adding an additional silk line on top of the original to strengthen it. They then pull the line taut and a single trap is complete. They do this multiple times creating a number of traps and wait for prey to run or fly into a line and get stuck. Redbacks eventually wrap up each prey item, storing some for later meals..” (ADW)
Habitat:They are endemic to chaparral areas of Australia, but seem to thrive in urban settings now. They are invasive in Japan and New Zealand (possibly other southeast Asian islands as well).
Ecosystem Role: They help control insect populations, but do occasionally eat small mice, small reptiles, or other spiders. They provide food for daddy longlegs and white-tailed spiders (almost exclusively).