Friday, June 22, 2007

American Snout (Libytheana carinenta)
June 14, 2007

I was photographing this American Snout when it moved to a different plant and I noticed it appeared to be laying an egg. After the adult butterfly moved on, I went back to the leaf and searched and found an egg.

Some butterfly species only lay a single egg at a time, others lay several eggs, while others lay dozens of eggs in a cluster. Some of the factors which contribute to laying large egg clusters are a relative scarcity of appropriate plants on which to lay eggs, opting for the benefits of gregarious caterpillars, or a lower population density which results in a butterfly needing to spend more time locating a mate.
Antlion (Myrmeleon sp.)
June 3 , 2007

Today I finally got a good look at an adult antlion in our yard. For years, we’ve had a large group of pits dug by larvae in the dust by our front door. You can see photos of one larva that I dug up for photos on my October 9, 2006 entry.

I noticed an adult on the screen of a basement window just above the pits while I was inside framing photos for an exhibit at Runge Nature Center. I went outside, but couldn’t photograph it from it’s perch. I chased it off of the window and watched it’s weak flight through the nearby plants. Fortunately, it stopped nearby instead of taking off, and I was able to shoot a few photos.