Saturday, October 29, 2011

A few more grasshoppers

Fall grasshoppers in the tarweedThe tarweed plants are starting to die back for the winter. They are still full of grasshoppers.

The next two photos are a few weeks old, but nice camouflage shots.blending right inThis guy blended in nicely with the blue-gray leaves. He was close to being ready to make his final molt. You can see his puffy wing pads. His adult wings were are under there.Blending right inThis one was on my dying tomato plant.

Buffalo treehopper

green hopper in flowerI noticed this shy little bug recently on a flower at the arboretum.
  Buffalo treehopperI teased it out onto the branch where I could get a better look. I was able to identify it as a species of Ceresa, a Buffalo treehopper. Some other Ceresa species have not only a humped back, but buffalo-like "horns" as well. But this one was smooth.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Can you find them?

Find the grasshopperWell, this one's pretty easy.

 Find the kaydidHow about this one? I was in Jerry's truck in the driveway, and I noticed the katydid in the neighbor's bushes. Can you see her?

Fall caterpillars at the arboretum

unknown geometer catEarlier this month, I found this caterpillar. Maybe a geometer moth. I tried to match it on BugGuide but couldn't find one just like it.passiflora tendrils with caterpillarA Gulf Fritillary caterpillar on a passion vine, on a sunny October day.another big hornwormA big fat hornworm, the same kind I grew this past summer. But when this fellow burrows underground, he will stay there over the winter.tiny yellow caterpillarA tiny yellow sulphur caterpillar.

Fuller Rose Beetles

weevil clusterI noticed a few clusters of these cute little beetles munching on the leaves of the Chinese Elm in my back yard.
 Fuller Rose beetlePantomorus cervinus

Arachtober still going strong

dewy morning webI am still seeing some nice orb webs. Especially when we had a foggy morning.
 bejeweled web

Busy feetI like how this spider is holding onto the strands of her web in several places.

 spider with preyThe Same spider as the previous photo, eating a bee. This is a good location for her web. She has been catching a few bees every day.
   The spider's homeThis might be a black widow, but I couldn't see if she had an hourglass marking.

 Meet the neighborsHer home was very close to a little wasp nest.

Blog Catchup!

Holy cow, it's been a long time since I've had to drag out the old catchup bottle, but I think I really need to now. I've spent the last several weeks taking pictures of a few bugs here and there, thinking, "Meh, don't feel like posting this right now", and "Who really cares anyway?" and other apathetic sentiments. (apathetic sentiments? Is that an oxymoron?)  But today I got a little kick in the pants from blogger buddy Laura, and I am preparing some posts. I'll try to get them on here tonight!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Damn, the torpedoes!

Last weekend I was at my parents' house, and I noticed that the sago palm in their back yard had quite an infestation of torpedo bugs, (Siphanta acuta.)

I took lots of pictures of them, but none of them really came out very well.  I chalk that up to several factors:  it was breezy, causing the leaves to sway, the leaves were surprisingly pokey, making it hard for me to get up close, and I had a hard time with my camera settings for some reason.  But I'm posting them anyway.

torpedo bugs on sago palmThe plant in question.
  torpedo bugsYou can see the bugs, looking like pale green thorns on the underside of the leaves.

 torpedo bugs

baby torpedo bugs and egg case
There were lots of egg cases as well. They were hard to get to, near the center of the prickly plant. I managed to get a shot of one egg case with rows of newly hatched torpedo nymphs lined up along the leaf. Last month, when I first saw a single torpedo bug in my back yard, and identified it online, I became aware of how interesting and weird-looking the nymphs are, and I'm sorry I couldn't get a clear photo of one.
  baby torpedo bugThere were green ones

juvenile torpedo bug
And pinkish ones.  Their furry-looking tails are made of waxy filaments.
You can see someone else's really nice close up of a torpedo bug nymph on BugGuide.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Park update

A few weeks ago, I posted about my walk through the park, and how some of the vegetation along the creek had been cut down.  And I posted pictures of a lovely big brown mantis that I brought home.  At the time, an anonymous person commented about how I should not have taken the mantis.  So I did some checking and, you know what?  Anonymous was right (dang it!)  You need a permit to collect anything, even a common praying mantis.  So I returned it.  And, no, I don't think I'll be getting myself a collecting permit.  It costs too much money, and I don't even know if they would give me one anyway, since I'm not a teacher or a scientist, and besides, I can find mantids in my own yard, for Pete's sake.

But the other day, I went back to the park again, and was not thrilled with what I saw.  They had sprayed all over the place with what I'm pretty sure is some kind of weed killer.  The spray is colored a dark blue-green, so you can see where they sprayed it.see all the spots they sprayed?they sprayed herethey sprayed herecaught in the spraythey sprayed hereIt's a little harder to see the blue-green stuff at the creek, but it's there. (some of what you see in this picture is actually a blue-green net/fabric stuff that holds the bank in place.)they sprayed here
But you can see it here.
 they sprayed hereAnd here.

 in the spray zone
This mantis was the plump green sub-adult in my previous park post.
  in the spray zoneShe was caught in the spray.

So I'm not allowed to collect stuff there.  And I guess they have to control the invasive plants growing in the park and clogging up the streams. I can only guess at what's in the weed killer, and how toxic it might be to the animals that live in the spray zone.  I can only guess why I saw so few frogs in the creek this time, too.

I find it a little ironic that it's not OK for me to take one or two bugs here and there, bugs that would be carefully housed and well fed,  but it's OK for many more bugs and other critters to be displaced or even killed by normal park maintenance.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Her little entourage

fearsome foursomeShe may be small herself, but this little female brown widow has three males in attendance. They are all living on a succulent plant on my front porch.