Viceroys and a Cruiser

Two Viceroy Caterpillars were seen crossing the path on 19 April. One was in Explore the Wild and the other, Catch the Wind.

This Viceroy larva (seen here passing over pine needles) was one of two seen this week at the Museum.

Viceroy butterflies lay their eggs on willow, poplar, cottonwood and cherry. However, willows are favored. Where there are willows, there are Viceroys. They overwinter as larvae, rolled up in a silk covered leaf among the leaf liter on the ground. Viceroy larvae bear a resemblance to bird droppings, the better to be passed over as food.

This caterpillar may be mistaken for a bird dropping, a 1.5″ bird dropping.

A new dragonfly was added to the list of odes seen at the Museum, a Stream Cruiser (Didymops transversa). The clubtail-like ode was on the Dinosaur Trail on 15 April.

This Stream Cruiser makes ode species #32 for the Museum. One of the identifying characteristics of this dragonfly are the “white” abdominal appendages (arrow).

I was surprised to see this medium sized dragonfly here at the Museum even though they are common in spring along dirt roads, wooded paths and forest edges. Considering the nearly static water of our wetlands, I didn’t expect to see one here. But, Ellerbee Creek is right next door, runs right through the Museum grounds, so perhaps the dragonfly cruised over to the Dino Trail from that worthy little stream.

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