Monday, August 25, 2008

Common Spragueia (Spragueia leo)
August 15, 2008

I tagged along with a Master Naturalist program to collect moths at lights at Overton Bottoms in the Big Muddy National Wildlife Refuge. I was really excited to catch this brightly colored Common Spragueia and am still trying to shake the disappointment of having a Eumarozia malachitana land on my right hand and then fly off while I was trying to figure out how to collect it.

Other highlights of the evening were a Short-lined Chocolate (Argyrostrotis anilis), Basswood Leafroller (Pantographa limata), and quite a few Honey Locust moths (Syssyphinx bicolor).

August 9, 2008

I found this grasshopper with a white head and body while we finished up a butterfly count at the Prairie Garden Trust. I'm still working on an identification.

Pipevine Swallowtail (Battus philenor)
August 2, 2008

As I got out of the car when we returned home from eastern Missouri, I noticed this chrysalis which a caterpillar had formed on my car tire. I'm really glad I noticed it, since it obviously would have been smashed as soon as I moved my car. About a week earlier we had counted 33 caterpillars feeding on the pipevines (Aristolochia tomentosa) we planted in our yards to attract the butterflies. It worked great – we have adult Pipevine Swallowtails in our yard almost every day, especially at the end of the summer.

The chrysalis had to have been formed sometime between July 31st and August 2nd
-- days I didn't drive my car. The female emerged mid-morning on August 25th. I cut the silk holding the chrysalis to my tire tread and used a dot of Elmer's glue to fasten it to a stick which I placed in a plastic aquarium with a screen lid. When I noticed her, I brought the container outside and removed the lid at about 10:15 am. (I had checked the cage sometime within the previous hour and she hadn't emerged yet.) When we went onto our deck for lunch, she flew off and landed on shagbark hickory leaves about 10' away and 15' high and remained there for about 20 minutes before flying off again.

Milkweed Tussock Moth caterpillar (Euchaetes egle)
August 1, 2008

This Milkweed Tussock Moth caterpillar feeding on milkweed leaves shows off bright colors warning that it stores toxic chemicals from feeding on milkweeds and is inedible.

This twirler moth (Gelechiidae Anacampsis sp.) is tiny, with a wingspan of about 10mm. While we watched and photographed it, occasionally it would spin in a circle.

Eastern Tiger Swallowtail (Papilio glaucus)
July 31, 2008

While at the Cape Girardeau Nature Center taking down my July photo exhibit, I took a few photos of a black form female Eastern Tiger Swallowtail.

In addition to the swallowtail, I was really excited to find this Reticulated Sparganothis moth (Sparganothis reticulatana) while we hiked one of the wooded trails.