Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Orange Bluet (Enallagma signatum)
June 1, 2008

We spent the afternoon kayaking in Boone County. Several Orange Bluets were the highlight of the day. Males were resting on floating plants. I saw one pair ovipositing into a floating plant with the male holding the female just behind the head while his body was angled up at a 45 degree angle. The female was grasping the vegetation with her legs. No photos, though. It's hard to manage insect photos while sitting in a kayak, although I've occasionally pulled it off.

Other firsts for 2008 included Blue Dashers (Pachydiplax longipennis) and Black Saddlebags (Tramea lacerata). I watched a pair of saddlebags oviposit. Every few moments, the male would let go of the female, she would drop to the water and dip the tip of her abdomen into the water while the male hovered just above her, then she would fly up to the male and he would grab her by the head with the claspers at the tip of his abdomen and they would fly off to a different spot to lay more eggs.

Hoary Edge (Achalarus lyciades)
May 29, 2008

Wow! I've never seen so many Hoary Edge skippers in a single day – I'd guess we saw between 30 and 40 while hiking about 2 miles along trails in Miller and Camden counties. I spent 21 minutes photographing a group of Hoary Edges and a Northern Cloudywing (Thorybes pylades) at a very fresh and unpleasant smelling pile of dung. Not a great substance to have 9” away from your head.

A few new species for 2008: Little Wood Satyr (Megisto cymela), Cloudless Sulphur (Phoebis sennae), alderfly (Neuroptera Sialidae Sialis sp.), and a scorpionfly (Mecoptera Panorpidae Panorpa sp.).

We found a few carrion beetles on the trail, and a Calligraphy Beetle (Calligrapha spiraeae), but a dung beetle rolling a large ball of dung definitely was a highlight of the day.

Just before heading home, we topped off the day with an Orange-patched Smoky Moth (Zygaenidae Pyromorpha dimidiata) resting on top of a leaf.

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