Tuesday, December 30, 2008

December 30, 2008

Just thought I'd pass along something interesting from the Fall 2008 issue of Wings (a publication of the Xerces Society). The Miller Moth (Euxoa auxiliaris) is found in Missouri, but the individuals living on the western edge of the Great Plains migrate into the Rocky Mountains during the summer. Most likely because nectar is more available there than on the hot dry prairie.

These migrating moths are an important food for grizzly bears which can eat an astounding 10,000 to 20,000 moths each day! In a 4-week period, this immense number of small prey items can combine to provide 300,000 calories. The moths are crucial for the bears as they pack on weight for survival during hibernation.

Source: Small Animals That Pack a Big Punch by Scott Hoffman Black and Matthew Shepard. Wings, Fall 2008, p 4-8.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Fall 2008

After a busy October and November with 2 due dates for a work project, I'm finally getting around to updating my blog with my last recorded sightings of a few insects.

November 4, 2008

Cloudless Sulphur (Phoebis sennae)
Polygonia sp.

While walking downtown, I noticed a praying mantis sitting on a building. I can't imagine that there were many prey items on the building, although in September, I collected a moth from a downtown building wall. It was only 2 blocks from Flat Branch Park and the trail, though.

November 3, 2008

Wheel bug (Arilus cristatus)

November 2, 2008

I haven't seen a dragonfly or damselfly for a while. Today I saw a Monarch (Danaus plexippus) flying through the parking lot at a grocery store. I also saw a Cloudless Sulphur (Phoebis sennae) briefly stop in our yard.

November 1, 2008

Chrysalis – first seen on October 30th. Collected.

October 31, 2008

A Common Checkered-Skipper (Pyrgus communis) was nectaring at a dandelion in our yard today. I saw another one somewhere else in town nectaring at Aromatic Asters.

October 30, 2008

Saw quite a few butterflies on a bike ride today. It's still really warm, although most of the leaves have turned. The Asian ladybugs were out in force swarming around looking for overwintering spots. I was bitten by one and took my revenge on about a dozen of this exotic species. Too bad stomping on a few won't even make the smallest dent in the population. Saw a green chironomid and an ichneumonid wasp near Perche Creek. Cicadas are still calling.


Cloudless Sulphur (Phoebis sennae)
Goatweed Leafwing (Anaea andria)
Polygonia spp.
Common Buckeye (Junonia coenia)
Clouded Sulphur (Colias philodice)
Cabbage White (Pieris rapae)
Orange Sulphur (Colias eurytheme)

October 29, 2008

Wheel bug (Arilus cristatus)

October 27, 2008

Cloudless Sulphur (Phoebis sennae)

October 26, 2008

A Painted Lady (Vanessa cardui) was in our yard. Saw a few insects on a bike ride – a distant unidentified dark swallowtail, an unidentified anglewing (Polygonia sp.) and Cabbage White (Pieris rapae). Highlight of the day were 3 Wandering Gliders (Pantala flavescens).