Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Preying Mantis Egg Case (Mantodea)
October 5, 2007

I managed to take this photo of a praying mantis egg case while fighting the wind which not only kept making my photo out of focus, but was frequently pushing the entire plant with the egg case out of the field of view of my lens. I expect the eggs will overwinter and hatch in the spring.
Dragonfly Nymph
October 1, 2007

Yesterday, I went for a walk and stopped at Flat Branch Creek where I noticed a dragonfly nymph crawling on underwater plants. I returned with my camera today, figuring I didn’t have much of a chance of relocating the nymph, but instead found about half a dozen of them. They are active predators, not sit-and-wait predators.

I’ll update this post when I have a positive identification.
Striped Garden Caterpillar (Trichordestra sp.)
September 28, 2007

We were in Greene County to take down my photo exhibit at the Springfield Conservation Nature Center and spent 2 days walking trails and taking photos at the nature center. This caterpillar was feeding on grass seed heads.

We also saw a few dragonflies and damselflies, including this male Double-Striped Bluet (Enallagma basidens).
Monarch (Danaus plexippus)
September 23, 2007

I went out expecting to photograph damselflies at a creek, but found this group of Monarchs gathered together on a branch overhanging the creek. Perhaps the poor quality of this photo will convince me to always carry my wide angle lens even if I don’t expect to use it. A macro wasn’t the best choice for this photo, but it was all I had with me.
Mourning Cloak (Nymphalis antiopa)
September 22, 2007

Since March, I’ve been putting out moth bait during the day trying to attract a Mourning Cloak. I’ve been suspecting that at least one visited my bait when I wasn’t there to see it. Today, my luck finally changed and I got a couple of decent photos of the ventral side of a Mourning Cloak. This isn’t one of the better shots, but I decided to post this one because it shows interesting behavior. The butterfly was repeatedly mobbed by yellowjackets trying to monopolize the bait.
Red-Banded Hairstreak (Calycopis cecrops)
September 19, 2007

Each year when the goldenrod in our front yard blooms, we get butterflies, blister beetles, and a variety of bees and flies. Just about every year, we get Red-Banded Hairstreaks in late summer / early fall. Some years (but not this year), we luck out and also get White-M Hairstreaks.
Potter Wasp (Eumenes sp.)
September 9, 2007

I was sitting outside eating lunch when I noticed this potter wasp had started building a nest on the railing. I took the first photo at 1:27 when the nest had a small circular rim. At 2:33, the nest was completed and the wasp laid eggs inside. The next day when I was on the deck for lunch, she showed up with a small green caterpillar and stuffed it into the nest – unfortunately, my camera was inside. I didn’t see her again, but the next day the hole in the nest had been plugged. On October 7, I noticed a small hole in the side of the nest – it appeared that a bird had raided the wasp nest.
Spotted Beet Webworm Moth (Hymenia perspectalis)
September 4, 2007

I was really glad to get a few photos of this Spotted Beet Webworm Moth today. I was out for a walk the day before (without my camera) and saw one of these. Went back to the same place with my camera and found several of these. This and a couple of others were at mints but the one I saw yesterday and a few others were nectaring today at Sedum.

There were reasonable numbers of both male and female Pipevine Swallowtails (Battus philenor) at the Pipevine (Aristolochia sp.) growing along 15’ of a fence. Females were repeatedly briefly lighting on a variety of leaves and stems and would occasionally stop to oviposit. Arriving males would fly near females, but were at first ignored, and then if they persisted, the female would fly off away from the vines with the male in pursuit. I never saw any pairs mate.
Common Buckeye (Junonia coenia)
August 23, 2007

We went out for a bike ride and on a short break, I found this buckeye caterpillar on Plantain.
Lunate Zale (Zale lunata)
August 21, 2007

I’ve been spreading moth bait (a mixture of overly ripe bananas, brown sugar, and beer) onto tree trunks since March. I think this Lunate Zale is my favorite insect that showed up at the bait this year. I almost didn’t get to see it. As I walked up to the tree at about 10:30 pm, it was at the bait about head-high. It flew at my approach when I was about 3’ or 4’ away. Fortunately, it circled the tree trunk and landed again. I took another step and it flew, but once again landed on the same tree trunk, only this time not at the bait, but just about 10” above the ground where I was able to take a few photos.
Eight-Spotted Forester (Alypia octomaculata)
August 20, 2007

I never thought I’d be glad it was mostly cloudy and I was leaning toward not going to the pool to swim laps. I kept walking outside to look at the sky and on one of those trips, found an Eight-Spotted Forester nectaring at these white flowers. It hung around for about 20 to 30 minutes. I was hoping to see it again, but it never appeared again. We’ve been in this house for years, but this was the only time I’ve ever seen this species here, although I’ve seen others in Boone County.