Monday, October 10, 2011

Collecting in early August....

The weather was simply glorious Sunday - what it should have been like the past few weeks, but alas was towards the very end of insect season... And an interesting season it seems to have been. Certain species of butterflies appear to be doing fine fluttering-by, like this member of the Pieridae that Susie netted  ~

And another here....

This small guy had lost some scales over his time out-and-about, but still was in great shape, 

Other members of the Lepidoptera seem to be doing less well (or at least are less abundant around here) this year.  For instance, we found hardly any Monarchs in the last few weeks to tag and release compared to years past ~  This one Jack found had only it wings left (in perfect shape, I might add), having been snatched up and eaten by what I suspect was a praying mantis (?) 

Speaking of which, here was a pair of them in the same tall grass in mid-mating.   Of course we've been reading about the females purported proclivity for eating males, though there was no such evidence of those kind of shenanigans here....

In fact, on closer inspection of the female, it was clear she had had her own close-calls and run-ins with other wildlife. Given the damage to her abdomen I doubt she was in much shape to mate or lay eggs.. . it looks like she dodged the (incompletely) the curoius peck of a bird's beak a few days back.

A number of people caught some interesting wasps (this one stung me, but only just glancing...)

And some cicadas, in the midst of their last "hurrah" were also around, sometimes even outo fth ehight rees(this one flew stright into my neck!) 

Some beetles earwigs, and associates were also to be found  as we looked around. Overall, some nice work for a late season trip ~

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