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.