Cabbage White and prone Great Blue

  I was standing at the Red Wolf Overlook talking with guests, and admiring the wolves who were actively moving about the enclosure, when I spotted a white butterfly wafting past and over the heads of the assembled crowd. It alighted in a red cedar. I walked over to take a few photos. I knew it was a cabbage white when I first saw the insect. The only other white butterflies of its size in our area are the whiteRead more

Tumbling Beetles, Odes, and other June Insects

For the past few weeks Tumbling Flower Beetles (Mordellidae) have been rummaging through the flowers of Queen Anne’s Lace. Members of this family are small, humpbacked beetles with pointed abdomens that project out beyond the insect’s elytra. The tumblers that I’ve seen all appear uniformly black in color. Species identification can be a head-scratcher and is often dependent upon the number of “ridges” on the hind legs of these beetles. I didn’t get close enough to see the ridges onRead more

Butterflies, Dragons, Tent Dwellers, a Forester, and a Tiger

Fragile Forktails continue to emerge from the Wetlands (see Fragile Forktail, Explore the Wild Journal, March 16-31, 2009), although I’m now seeing females as well as males. Among the other odes observed during the first half of April were Common Green Darner, Swamp Darner, Common Baskettail, and Common Whitetail. Butterflies seen this period were Eastern Tiger Swallowtail, Cabbage White, Orange Sulphur, Olive Hairstreak (4/9), Eastern Tailed-blue (4/3), Mourning Cloak (4/3), Silver-spotted Skipper (4/9), and Juvenal’s Duskywing. Now bivouacked on atRead more

Aquatics, Early Butterflies, and Bees and Wasps

Although the first few days of March were cold and snowy, by the end of the first week it had warmed enough so that many insects, absent for months, were once again busily going about their daily routines. Aquatic insects observed in the Wetlands during the first half of March were Whirligig Beetle, various diving beetles, Water Boatman, Backswimmer, and Water Strider. Cabbage White, Falcate Orangetip (3/11), Sleepy Orange, Orange Sulphur, Spring Azure (3/11), Questionmark, Mourning Cloak (3/11), and AmericanRead more