June 17, 2018
It's not the summer heat, it's the spring heat. Almost enough rain, which I hope will help the flowers to come (especially the goldenrod and asters, who had such a miserably dry summer last year). The goldenrod is pretty tall already but not a whole lot of bugs on there (that I can spot or identify).
The annuals have provided a good bit of color out back on the deck. I particularly like some of the newer petunias. The early daylilies, Stella d'Oros, are small but early. And the spiderwort is still pretty, even a single bloom.
Remember that there is information in the name of the file for each image. You can see it by mousing over the image - look at the lower left of the screen. Or you can click on the image to get to the (usually) larger image. Then the info is displayed in the address line above. Sometimes the second click will actually display a different view of the original image.
Surprise to me - Momma Robin is still sitting on her nest and today I saw a few little beaks sticking up. I hope the blue jays or whoever robbed the cradle last time is otherwise employed. Anyway, I don't have any new photos. Trying to keep her life calm as possible! We didn't have so many ants this week, at least no new ones. Here's one on an oak leaf, looking rather frazzled. The next seems to be an ichneumon rather than an ant, seeing that longish ovipositor. Here's one of our most loved barklice, Graphopsocus cruciatus.
Here is another barklouse, probably a hairy-winged Polypsocus corruptus. Now the big question is, is this next one the same animal? The colors are right, but the end of the wing in the second one is curved, not cut-off. Here's a tired-looking bumble (or carpenter?) bee. The last is a very common bee these days.
Here is what could be a bee, but I suspect is a wasp in the Cerceris genus. Note the difference in texture and markings in the third image. This might be the bee wolf, a wasp in the Philanthus genus. We will be seeing more of these as the goldenrod comes into bloom.
Back to the goutweed, which is still hosting the longhorn flower beetle Analeptura lineola. We haven't, though, seen what was a favorite last year, another longhorn flower beetle, Strangalia luteicornis. Maybe we still shall. But in the meantime, we were visited by a couple of kinds of tumbling flower beetles. All these kinds of flower beetles just love that goutweed.
Here is a mystery beetle. It had got into a very dusty corner of the shop wall. That's my excuse for not catching a better picture. Now the Oulema beetles seem rather ho-hum to me (not really, but at least a little less astounding.) I do think that if this picture were a bit larger, we might find that the little beetle in the spiderwort is another Oulema. The last beetle on this row is a dark reddish one that has been showing up on the shop wall.
Some weevils. Now that I have a more sensitive camera, the yard seems to have scads of weevils. :-) They tend to be a lot more present now that I can catch a better glimpse of one. These ones are green when you look at them right.
Just a couple more weevils. First, the redbud bruchid whose larvae eat the seeds inside the pods of the redbud. By the way, I understood finally a few years ago when Dan Skean was teaching his AALL class on identifying trees that the redbud is a tree-sized legume and that those pods were analogous to the pods of peas. So in picture # 2, this weevil looks almost like a sand-formed big bug. This pair of red-necked cane borers are mating in the raspberry leaves.
This next true bug is from a genus whose adults are changed a LOT in the process of morphing through temporary instars. I believe that a couple of years ago I was able to assemble most of the instar changes from a very shaky tiny version to a couple of good ones . It is the adult of Acanthocephala terminalis. From A. terminalis, we jump to our search through the hopper field. Picture #2 is a pretty good blue leafhopper meme. The next one is new (to me)one of our more common leafhoppers, Agallia four-spot
Next are two views of a bluish leafhopper with a green head, and one of our very most favoritish leafhoppers, the Candy-striper.
Here are a few bugs that seem to be vying for our love and affection. The first is a plant bug that appeared on the shop wall a couple of days ago. The next two images are of a plant bug on the goldenrod and that beautiful 4-lined plant bug that is so destructive of other plants.
OK now, we've seen quite a few abstract plant bug wannabes, but I mean to pursue those lovely little sharpshooters and leafhoppers. Can you remember this? Leafhoppers descended from the Sharpshooters, who would be leafhoppers if they had certain characteristics, chiefly their spiky hind legs, which is diagnosable as a leafhopper if the spikes are fairly easily seen. Here is a sharpshooter that I can't see the spiky legs on; another that also isn't likely to be a leafhopper, but a third which has some features that might be spikes. This last image actually contains two possible leafhoppers, a dark one fairly far up the "tree", and a smaller one lower down.
A few new kinds of bugs - the stilt bug has enormously long legs. Last here is the Entylia carinata plus ant plus nymphs. It has colonized the thistle plant it is in with its large number of eggs or very early nymphs. The third image shows the larger nymphs more clearly. If you are having trouble seeing E. carinata, it seems to be lying on its side, so its humps seem to be part of the background.
A rather large butterfly flitted past. It lay almost flat on a maple or wild grape leaf. It looks a bit like a skipper, and sure enough, we haven't seen a skipper that large for a long time. So Possible Skipper is its name for now. So now let's take a look at the dragonflies and damselflies that are easily seen IF you happen to be right there when it comes flitting in for a landing and remember where you saw it. The exception is the iridescent Ebony Jewelwing whose male is so striking. This was a lucky shot. You can see right through the wings to the stuff behind them. So those black wings aren't really solid black things.
Now on to more damselflies and dragonflies. This first one, a bit in the shade, is probably a Northern spreadwing, Lestes disjunctus. But there are so many species under Lestes that this estimate is off a bit. In the second picture you can easily see at the end of its tail an instrument called a clasper, with which the male holds the female behind the head during copulation. Finally you will see what looks like an Autumn Meadowhawk..It is a little early for Meadowhawks, but often they are replaced later by a larger more common Autumn Meadowhawk.
Now, finally, some of the many flies of the season: a member of the Fruit Flies, a reliable grey-thoraxed fly, and the lovely Minettia lupulina - three that aren't too small to see clearly with the naked eye.
Some of the smaller flies are also reliables.
This little red-eyed and yellow-winged fly is so pretty. This smallish robber fly can still pick off many smaller flies. This bumble-looking bee must be a robber fly too.
The most beautiful of all the flies are called, pitifully, just Long-legged Flies. Here are some of them. The first one here (the yellow-orange one), is from this week, and then here (the yellow-green one) is from last week. This blue-green one is again from this very week.
A few harvestmen. They are starting to look less like each other.
Some more flowery pictures. Here is the non-hardy hibiscus. And the newish petunias. and a lovely pink water lily. Summer is coming!
On an orange zinnia bloom, a Scudder Katydid nymph. Then two more in the goldenrod.
Here are a few moths that didn't fly away.
Finally, to the spiders! Well, first I need to show you the Poison Ivy sawfly. I do pull as much poison ivy as possible, but there still must be colonies of it under other weeds. Anyway, I haven't seen this lovely insect for a long time (maybe since 2015). But this week there it was - in the tempting goutweed. It just goes to follow the rule that for any pest there will be an enemy for it.
We managed to see quite a lot of Common House Spiders. My favorite was of a male CHS with a look on his face as of someone being pushed off on a zip line. Can't you just hear him scream? Here is a CHS with a lovely new leafhopper to wrap up. And last is a striped jumping spider.
This jumping spider is my pet Naphrys pulex. What an elegant design. Then a long-jawed spider. Then a Mimetus pirate spider with different markings on the "tie" part of its design. This makes me think it isn't a M. puritanus or maybe that it is a different gendered one. Last up is a spider with more magenta than shown here as red. I'm guessing it is a cobweb spider, maybe of genus Therion.
Now off to any remaining wasps. We may have figured quite a few of these shots into "bee" shots up above. Or these wasps look similar enough to label them ALL as Ichneumon wasps.
We have found a few more things, simply labeled as "mystery". First is this red bag of something......Then there is this red with white little plant bug, but it sure looked like a mite to me...but it turned out to be Coccobaphes frontifer.
Just a few more flower vignettes, to say goodbye for now. Hope everyone is well, you know who you are.
Goodbye for now, friends.
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copyright Martha O'Kennon 2018