Monday, November 12, 2007

Common Checkered-Skipper (Pyrgus communis)
October 30, 2007

Back to the same clump of asters today, but not quite as good as it was on the 21st. Still fair numbers of sulphurs and skippers. Here's a photo of one of the Common Checkered-Skippers which are always so much easier to find at the end of the flight season instead of during the middle of the summer.

The bait pulled in a Gray Comma, but I didn't get a second chance at the Goatweed Leafwing.
Orange Sulphur (Colias eurytheme)
October 21, 2007

Wow! I stopped by a small clump of aromatic asters in Boone County today and it was the best place for insects that I'd been at in a month! I think I really demonstrated the temperament of a macro photographer today – I stayed within a 10' diameter circle from 10:30 am until 4 pm.

Butterflies included Little Yellow (Eurema lisa), Orange Sulphur (Colias eurytheme), Clouded Sulphur (Colias philodice), Red-Banded Hairstreak (Calycopis cecrops), Juniper Hairstreak (Callophrys gryneus), Pearl Crescent (Phyciodes tharos), Common Buckeye (Junonia coenia), and Goatweed Leafwing (Anaea andria). Skippers included Sachem (Atalopedes campestris), Fiery Skipper (Hylephila phyleus), and Common Checkered-Skipper (Pyrgus communis). Moths included Yellow-collared Scape Moth (Cisseps fulvicollis), Hawaiian Beet Webworm Moth (Spolodea recurvalis) and Spotted Beet Webworm Moth (Hymenia perspectalis – here's a photo of this species from September).

My favorite image from today is this photo of a male Orange Sulphur engaging in courtship behavior with a female. The male is flying above the perched female. The female wasn't interested and is expressing that to the male by lifting her abdomen into the air.

The Goatweed Leafwing was attracted to bait I had put on several trees near the asters. I wish people who are afraid to get close to wasps could have seen how docile these wasps at the bait were. I had placed the mostly empty container on the ground. When I was ready to leave, I went over to pick it up – it was covered in flies, yellowjackets and paper wasps. I just grabbed the container and shook it to knock everyone off. Then I decided I should have taken a few photos, so I put it back on the ground and waited a moment. Several immediately returned, included this paper wasp.
Variegated Meadowhawk (Sympetrum corruptum)
October 11, 2007

We were out for a bike ride when I had to swerve around this Black Swallowtail caterpillar (Papilio polyxenes) crossing the trail, presumably out searching for a suitable pupation site to spend the winter.

I've also been noticing a group of Variegated Meadowhawks (Sympetrum corruptum) and managed to get a photo of this one resting on the trail.
Gray Comma (Polygonia progne)
October 9, 2007

My bait finally attracted a Gray Comma. I've been getting Question Marks and Eastern Commas, along with a variety of other insects. It was especially nice to get today, since the numbers of insects has started to drop as we move into fall. Other insects for the day included Question Mark (Polygonia interrogationis), Gray Hairstreak (Strymon melinus), Red-Banded Hairstreak (Calycopis cecrops), Little Yellow (Eurema lisa), Fiery Skipper (Hylephila phyleus), Common Checkered-Skipper (Pyrgus communis), Sachem (Atalopedes campestris), Eastern Pondhawk (Erythemis simplicicollis), Variegated Meadowhawk (Sympetrum corruptum) and an unidentified red male meadowhawk (Sympetrum sp.) I also briefly saw one of the rainpool gliders (Pantala sp.) but, typical for these guys, I never saw it land so I could get a good photo or at least a look to identify it to species.