Ducks Heads

Top Photo: Male mallard swims away. Do you notice anything odd about this duck? Everyone has seen a mallard. To most people mallards are the duck. Let’s face it, they’re everywhere. They’re the most common duck across the northern hemisphere and part of the southern. They can be found in North and South America, Europe, Asia and parts of the African continent. They’re even in Greenland, Australia and New Zealand. If asked, what color is a mallard’s head? most peopleRead more

Beetles in our Midst

Top Photo: Passionflower flea beetle. Beetles are insects. They belong to an order of insects called Coleoptera which, translated from the Greek, means sheath wings. Beetles have two pairs of wings, the front of which are, in most species, hardened and serve to cover the hind wings, the flight wings, when not in use. When on foot, most beetles fold their flight wings and store them under the hardened forewings, the elytra. Beetles constitute about 40% of all insects on theRead more

The Cycle Continues

Spring is moving right along here at the Museum. More insects are being seen, frogs and toads breeding, and turtles are out basking with ever more frequency. It can’t be stopped. There’s no turning back. It’s cold and rainy today (3/31), but once the low pressure system (two lows, in fact) that’s causing all of this wet weather passes our area, spring will continue the way it always has. The trees will proceed to leaf-out, birds will arrive from theirRead more

Tiger Beetle Emend

What’s Richard Stickney, Lead Conservatory Associate here at the Museum, doing? He’s photographing a tiger beetle. It’s a Six-spotted Tiger Beetle. If you’ve read the last post about these beetles you would have seen a picture of tiger beetle parts on the path. By reading the text you may have come to think it would be difficult to get as close as Richard is (above) to this species of beetle, being swift of foot and wing as those beetles are saidRead more

A Tiger Drama

I saw the first Six-spotted Tiger Beetle (Cicindela sexguttata) of the season on the 19th of March. I’ve seen several others since. These beetles are often encountered in spring on the path or on the rocks alongside the path between Catch the Wind and Explore the Wild. Tiger beetles are small (about 1/2″) but fierce predators. However, there’s always something bigger or “badder” out there. If you’re thinking that perhaps this beetle was stepped upon by a passerby, put that thoughtRead 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