Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Question Mark (Polygonia interrogationis)
March 12, 2007

Lots happening today! Over 70 F for the first time in 2007. This morning, I noticed a few antlion pits in the dirt by our front door. I’ve been using a paint brush to put moth bait (mashed bananas, brown sugar, honey, yeast, beer – all stirred together and fermented on the countertop for 2 days) on tree trunks in the yard for the past few days. Just after lunch, I wondered if there might be a Question Mark at the moth bait and went out back to check. Got a few nice shots, eventually seeing 2 individuals.

An assassin bug also found the bait useful, capturing a wasp at the bait station on one of the shagbark hickories.

We ate dinner on the deck and a froghopper hopped onto Jim's plate. Hazards of being married to an entomologist -- he was under strict instructions to not scare the insect off of his plate while he finished eating!

At 9 pm, I found a couple of moths, an ichneumonid wasp, and a few chironomids at the bait and deck light.
Mourning Cloak (Nymphalis antiopa)
March 10, 2007

A mix of 2 seasons today – saw both an overwintering bird and a butterfly. I got a lifer this morning at Bradford Farm – Lapland Longspur. Then during a bike ride on the Katy Trail, a Mourning Cloak flew over our heads. First butterfly of the year. I’m starting to see enough insects that I need to start taking along my camera – here’s a photo of a Mourning Cloak from June 2005.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Water Strider (Heteroptera Gerridae)
March 7, 2007

For the past week, I’ve been checking for water striders almost every day. Today I finally found one in Flat Branch Creek. Here's a photo of a water strider seen in July 2005.