Thursday, May 22, 2008

Termite Swarm (Isoptera Rhinotermitidae)
May 21, 2008

Syrphid flies were visiting the blooming Ninebark today, but not as many flies or bees were around as I would have expected. A Red-banded Hairstreak (Calycopis cecrops) and an Eastern Tailed-Blue (Everes comyntas) were also at the Ninebark, in addition to my first Sachem (Atalopedes campestris) of the year. Another first for 2008 was a male Zabulon Skipper (Poanes zabulon) – but this was in the woods, not at the ninebark. Overall, butterflies were pretty scarce today, especially compared to late April. I flushed a single Goatweed Leafwing (Anaea andria).

I was still seeing a few Calligraphy Beetles (Calligrapha spiraeae), but they were harder to find today. Possibly because the blooms partially covered the leaves the beetles were on.

A Leaf-footed Bug (Leptoglossus clypealis) reminded me that I neglected to mention my first of the year. I had a leaf-footed bug on April 30th in St. Louis County.

During lunch, I noticed a small insect fly a few feet in front of me and idly wondered what it was. When a second one flew past, something finally penetrated my brain – all 4 wings were the same. When I looked around, I noticed quite a few in the air on the other side of the parking lot. I was hoping to find the termite swarm on the ground and lucked out – they were in mulch right at the edge of the parking lot.

Although I've had spittlebug adults, I found my first nymphs of the year today.

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