Tuesday, October 21, 2008

October 21, 2008

Few butterflies and moths around, but I found several in a small area with native plants. Most of the blooms were aromatic asters.

Pearl Crescent (Phyciodes tharos)
Monarch (Danaus plexippus)
Sachem (Atalopedes campestris)

Corn Earworm Moth (Helicoverpa zea)
Yellow-collared Scape Moth (Cisseps fulvicollis)

I also saw lots of Syrphid flies.

Herald Moth (Scoliopteryx libatrix)
October 17, 2008

I photographed this Herald Moth about 25' inside of a Boone County cave; this moth overwinters as an adult inside of caves.

Blue-faced Meadowhawk (Sympetrum ambiguum)
October 16, 2008

I'm going to try to keep track of the last day I see some things this year, although I find that much more difficult than mentioning the first time I see something for the year. In addition to being more tedious to keep track of, it's also somewhat depressing.

Several Blue-faced Meadowhawks were in a downtown park along with numerous mating pairs of Great Spreadwings (Archilestes grandis). I couldn't find any water striders.

Festive Tiger Beetle (Cicindela scutellaris)
October 11, 2008

We went to a Horseshoe Lake State Park in Illinois to find Bronze Coppers (Lycaena hyllus). We did find several coppers, along with a variety of other butterflies.

Tiger beetles are pretty high on my list of favorite insects, and we found plenty of them. While I haven't put names on all of them, I did identify a gorgeous maroon tiger beetle as a Festive Tiger Beetle. A lifer. In eastern Missouri on the 10th, I also found a Cow Path Tiger Beetle, which I saw for the first time this spring.

Also saw 2 moths:
Chickweed Geometer (Haematopis grataria)
Hawaiian Beet Webworm (Spoladea recurvalis)

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Monarch (Danaus plexippus)
October 10, 2008

I frequently see bees plow into butterflies at flowers, chasing the butterfly from the flower so they can feed at it themselves. Today I finally managed to get a shot of this, even though it happens in a fraction of a second. My first thought was to be annoyed at the bee for chasing away the Monarch I was photographing, then I realized that unlike other times when I ended up with the insects either blurred from flight or moving out of the frame, I actually had a cool image.

Honey Bee (Apis mellifera)
October 5, 2008

Couldn't find many butterflies today, so I resorted to photographing honey bees. This one had its mouthparts extended as it flew away from the flowers.

Dagger Moth caterpillar (Acronicta sp.)
September 30, 2008

Found this gorgeous caterpillar crawling along a bridge railing crossing a stream on a wooded trail. No idea what it had been feeding on, but it shows only minimal differences with the Interrupted Dagger Moth caterpillar (Acronicta interrupta) pictured in David L. Wagner's Caterpillars of Eastern North America.

Cloudless Sulphur (Phoebis sennae)
September 18, 2008

I always think of Cloudless Sulphurs as fairly obvious, but when this one landed late in the afternoon on the underside of a leaf, I realized how cryptic they can be. The faint spots and overall color blended in perfectly with the underside of these leaves with the fading sunlight shining through.