Right beneath our feet is an often unseen world of disguise and espionage, social networking and courtship, rape and pillage, parenthood and relationships. This March, renowned broadcaster and naturalist David Attenborough reveals the world of the arthropods – the most successful group of animals on the planet – on MICRO MONSTERS. Discover the intricate behaviour of insects, scorpions and spiders in this revolutionary new series as bugs fill the screen. Premieres on Animal Planet (available nationwide in the Philippines on every major cable, DTH and local provincial operator) every Thursday at 9:00 p.m., starting March 12.
From armies of killer ants and spiders weaving silken trap doors, to bees communicating with a waggle dance and assassin bugs that clothe themselves in their victims’ corpses, David and the crew get up-close and personal to capture the creepy-crawlies, setting up shoots in three different continents. Pioneering macroscopic filming techniques reveal that there is much more to these creatures than meets the eye.
Meet the jewelled cockroach wasp. She coaxes a cockroach into her clutches by first injecting it with a venom that paralyses its front legs before injecting a second venom directly into its brain. She then drags her pliant victim to an underground burrow, where she’ll lay her egg directly onto its body. The larva spends five days sucking the cockroach’s body fluids, after which it will chew its way into the abdomen and begin to feast from within. Over a period of weeks, the larva continues to grow and develop until all that remains of the cockroach is a dead, empty husk and from it emerges a fully mature adult wasp, ready to repeat the gruesome cycle.
We also get a glimpse at bug love, from courtship to reproduction. You will be surprised at the tactics that some bugs employ to get the attention of a prospective mate. There is a scorpion that engages in an elaborate dance, a wasp that dabs on perfume, a cricket that resorts to bribery, and a spider that takes playing ‘hard to get’ to a whole different level. Then there is the harvestman spider who doesn’t bother with romance or sex, reproducing solely by cloning.
And like humans, there are those who are solitary and others who thrive in communities, like the social spider that spins one enormous 30-metre web for the whole colony. The Argentine ants take it to the extreme, with a colony so vast that it spans an entire continent. How do they live? Do they have a social hierarchy? Who rules the roost? And what is the glue that binds them?
Witness these and other fascinating behaviours as we explore the realm of the MICRO MONSTERS. Episodes encore every Friday at 3:00 p.m., Saturday at 7:00 p.m. and Sunday at 2:00 p.m.