Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Bronx Zoo Butterflies - Cloudless Sulphur Phoebis sennae

First off sorry. I'm gonna have to be lazy on this one and just give you the links to info for now as I'm very tired and can't think straight.

This little series of mine is going to go into the first 6 days of September!



I will most likely edit this later don't know we'll see.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Bronx Zoo Butterflies - Giant Swallowtail Papilio cresphontes

Haven't had much experience with these except at the Bronx Zoo. It was wonderful.

The Giant Swallowtail Butterfly (Papilio cresphontes) is a swallowtail butterfly common in various parts of North America, particularly the south and east. With a wingspan of about 10–16 cm (3.9–6.3 in), it is the largest butterfly in Canada and the United States.

P. cresphontes is mostly seen in deciduous forest and citrus orchards where they are considered major pest. They fly between May and August where there are 2 broods in the North and 3 in the south. They can range from southern California, Arizona as deep south as Mexico north into southeastern Canada. Their main habitat is the mountain ranges of Jamaica.

As usual info from Wikipedia. Go do extra research please. Seriously Wikipedia tells lies sometimes and I don't want to have a "bad reputation" thanks. :P

I'm tired so that's why I didn't rant like I usually do. ^___^

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Bronx Zoo Butterflies - Black Swallowtail Papilio polyxenes

I don't think I've seen these other then at the Bronx Zoo Butterfly Exhibit ( BZBE for future references ). I might've seen one at camp a million years ago with what I thought for certain was a Spicebush Swallowtail ( Papilio troilus ) but now I know better.

That butterfly was a Pipevine Swallowtail ( Battus philenor ). However since I'm feeling kind of weird right now I'm going to wrap this one up. Sorry no rant today. ^.^ Next time.

Bugguide and Wikipedia once again provide info:

The common names for the caterpillars vary because they can be found on many important cultivated plants in the Carrot Family. Pick the host plant, add the word "worm", and you have another common name that has probably been used and published somewhere.

Larvae feed primarily on plants of the carrot family (Apiaceae = Umbelliferae), and some in the Rue Family (Rutaceae). Commonly found on Dill, Parsley, Fennel, Carrot, and Rue in gardens, and Queen-Anne's-Lace, Poison Hemlock, and Lovage in the wild. They will occasionally be found on Citrus trees. Adults take nectar and frequently visit moist ground.

Quoted in part from Bugguide here. It has very nice pics to go with it and to help with ID, whihc I think is wonderful because so many other Swallowtails resemble these and vice-versa.

Next is a bit from Wikipedia. Some stuff might be the same. I advise reaserch after to confirm what is posted below please. Thank you!

The reason being Wikipedia is sometimes incorrect on certain things.

The (Eastern) Black Swallowtail (Papilio polyxenes) also called the American Swallowtail or Parsnip Swallowtail, is a butterfly found throughout much of North America. It is the state butterfly of Oklahoma. There is an extremely similar-appearing species, Papilio joanae that occurs in the Ozark Mountains region, but it appears to be closely related to Papilio machaon, rather than polyxenes.

The Black Swallowtail has a wingspan of 8 to 11 cm (3.1 to 4.3 in). The upper surface of the wings is mostly black. On the inner edge of hindwing is a black spot centered in larger orange spot. A male of this species has a yellow band near edge of wings; a female has row of yellow spots. The hindwing of the female has an iridescent blue band.

Rest of the info is here. Once again I advise you to do extra research. Thank you

Until next time!!

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Bronx Zoo Butterflies - BOTM Monarchs Danaus plexippus

Yes I know I've mentioned these numerous times but it was almost inevitable that I would do so again. And here is yet another entry on the Monarch.

I believe this to be the most informative one yet due to the fact that I found out some new info that's shocking. Surprisingly I can't believe I've never thought of this before. But there are subspecies of monarchs!

To put it simply: Holy cow! In a sense how could I've been so stupid? How could I not have thought of this? Any who on with the info!

The Monarch butterfly (Danaus plexippus) is a milkweed butterfly (subfamily Danainae), in the family Nymphalidae. It is perhaps the best known of all North American butterflies. Since the 19th century, it has been found in New Zealand, and in Australia since 1871 where it is called the Wanderer.

The common name “Monarch” was first published in 1874 by Samuel H. Scudder because “it is one of the largest of our butterflies, and rules a vast domain”.

But the name may be in honour of King William III of England. The Monarch was one of the many species originally described by Linnaeus in his Systema Naturae of 1758. It was first placed in the genus Papilio. In 1780, Jan Krzysztof Kluk used the Monarch as the type species for a new genus; Danaus.

Since Latin grammar requires that the specific epithet and gender names agree it is unclear if the genus Danaus is drawn from Danaus (Greek Δαναός), a mythical king of Egypt and great-grandson of Zeus or is a masculinised version of Danaë (Greek Δανάη), Danaus’s great-great-granddaughter.

The species name, plexippus, refers to Plexippus, one of the 50 sons of Aegyptus, Danaus’ twin brother. In Homeric Greek δαναος πληξιππος also means "a Greek who beats (= lashes, drives and urges on) horses", i.e. "Greek charioteer".

Holy.......oh it get's better ( note this was edited since there's so much on them ). Remember I told you about the white form of the monarch some time ago? Well there's a nice bunch of info on them too. I'm very happy about that.

Why? Well it's my favorite form of the monarch. And I hope to see one someday. Although I think for that to happen I'd have to go to Hawaii. XD

Once again on with the info! These will get a separate entry too.

A color variation has been observed in Australia, New Zealand, Indonesia and the United States as early as the late 1800s. Named nivosus by Lepidopterists, it is grayish white in all areas of the wings that are normally orange. Generally it is only about 1% or less of all monarchs, but has maintained populations as high as 10% on Oahu in Hawaii, possibly due to selective predation.

On Oahu, a white morph of the monarch has emerged. This is because of the introduction, in 1965 and 1966, of two bulbul species, Pycnonotus cafer and Pycnonotus jocosus. They are now the most common insectivore birds, and probably the only ones preying on insects as big as the monarch. Monarchs in Hawaii are known to have low cardiac glycoside levels, but the birds may also be tolerant for the chemical.

The two species hunt the larvae and some pupae from the branches and underside of leaves in milkweed bushes. The bulbuls also eat resting and ovipositing adults, but rarely flying ones. Because of its colour the white morph has a higher survival rate than the orange one.

This is either because of apostatic selection (i.e. the birds have learned the orange monarchs can be eaten), because of camouflage (the white morph matches the white pubescence of milkweed or the patches of light shining through foliage), or because the white morph does not fit the bird's search image of a typical monarch, and is thus avoided.

I wonder do the caterpillars look the same with this color variation? It's something to wonder about indeed. And as I've said they'll be getting a separate entry with the info provided above along with anything else I can find.

I'll also rant on these too. I won't do so here because I'm tired for one thing and the other I want to dedicate my rant to the special entry.

I'll probably interrupt this series of mine to post it. XD Rest of the info is here.

Enjoy! I sure did. I learned even more!

Friday, August 27, 2010

Bronx Zoo Butterflies - Julias Dryas iula

First off these butterflies are very variable. This I didn't know. I had thought that they were different species. But this wasn't the case. They were all in fact the same butterfly just very variable. Also according to Wikipedia they're over 15 subspecies known to science.

Wowzer. I bet you that these were once possibly variations of the butterfly. Hell the ones in the photo could be a subspecies for God's sake!

Why? Well let's see here:

1. Both male & female have this patterning.
2. It's common. As in it isn't something that's "unique".
3. Due to the above it could be classified as a subspecies

If of course it hasn't already. But for all I know it probably has.

Dryas iulia (often incorrectly spelled julia), commonly called the Julia Butterfly or Julia Heliconian, is a species of brush-footed butterfly. The sole representative of its genus Dryas, it is native from Brazil to southern Texas and Florida, and in summer can sometimes be found as far north as eastern Nebraska. Over 15 subspecies have been described.

Its wingspan ranges from 82 to 92 mm, and it is colored orange (brighter in male specimens) with black markings; this species is somewhat unpalatable to birds and belongs to the "orange" Batesian mimic complex.

This butterfly is a fast flier and frequents clearings, paths, and margins of forests and woodlands. It feeds on the nectar of flowers, such as lantanas (Lantana) and Shepherd's-needle (Scandix pecten-veneris). Its caterpillars feeds on leaves of passion vines including Passiflora affinis and Yellow Passionflower (P. lutea) in Texas.

The species is popular in butterfly houses because it is long-lived and active throughout the day.

So there you go ( for now, will be edited for more info if found ).


Thursday, August 26, 2010

Bronx Zoo Butterflies - The Queen Danaus gilippus

Well as a sort of tribute to all the butterflies I saw at the Bronx Zoo yesterday I'm doing an entry on all of the ones I was able to ID. Some of them have been mentioned before, yes but so what? ^.^ While on the search for info I came across some of my own in a sense.

Apparently there are a number of subspecies and species that are quite similar ( this I already knew ) to Danaus gilippus. IMO the subspecies could just be called variations of the butterfly because I honestly don't see that much of a noticeable difference.

But maybe I'm just blind? It's been known for me to overlook things that are staring me in the face I admit.....*blush* However this IMO deserves mention. Don't you think?

Now how that happened.....I haven't a clue.

Secondly a BIG taxonomic change apparently happened in the past. I was apparently stupid for thinking that when pretty much all of the Danaid (sp?) butterflies were discovered they were placed in the genus Danaus that was immediately thought up by whoever discovered them.

Pssh yeah right. No. Back way back when Your Majesty was known as Papilio gilippus. Oh Ho! cue the backlash. No honey there's proof. When I was searching for info on these I came across this site that mentions 2 of the many subspecies.

On the page that mentions Danaus gilippus berenice on the very bottom it clearly mentions this ( note I'm quoting just what's necessary ):

Genus Danaus Kluk, 1780

Zwierz. Hist. Nat. Pocz. Gospod. 4: 83-86, no. 145. Type-species: Papilio plexippus Linnaeus, 1758, Syst. Nat. (ed. 10) 1: 471, no. 80, by designation of Hemming (1933), Entomol. 66(845): 222. I.C.Z.N. Opinion 278 placed this name on the Official List of Generic Names in Zoology as name no. 699.

Danaus gilippus (Cramer, 1775)

Uitl. Kapellen 1(3): 41, pl. 26, figs. E ♀ D, F ♀ V; (8): 153 (index).

Original Combination: Pap[ilio]. Dan[aus] festiv[us]. Gilippus

Type Locality: “Rio de Janeyro...Brazil” “Rio Janéiro...Côte du Brasil”

Types: Type(s) probably lost.

Well let me tell you my jaw dropped when I read this. As you know ( or don't you? :P ) butterflies placed in the genus Papilio are Swallowtails.

Now where the big leap came from I have no idea. How did it get from the genus Papilio to the genus Danaus? And were they any other synonyms in between?

Gah! So many questions! >_<

Anyway I suppose I get on with the info then huh? I've done enough rambling for you. The first is bits and pieces from Wikipedia.

Once again Idk how reliable this is so I suggest you do your own research.

The Queen Butterfly (Danaus gilippus) is a North and South American butterfly in the family Nymphalidae (the brush-foots) with a wingspan of 2.75–3.25" (70–88mm). It is orange or brown with black wing borders and small white forewing spots on its dorsal wing surface, and reddish ventral wing surface fairly similar to the dorsal surface. The ventral hindwings have black veins and small white spots in a black border. The male has a black androconial scent patch on its dorsal hindwings.

This species is possibly a close relative to the similarly-colored Soldier Butterfly (or "Tropic Queen"; Danaus eresimus); in any case, it is not close to the Plain Tiger (Danaus chrysippus) as was long believed. There are about 10 recognized subspecies (Smith et al. 2005). As with other North American Danaus species, it is involved in Müllerian mimicry with the Viceroy butterfly (Limenitis archippus) where the two co-occur.

Fascinating I tell you. Honestly I need a really really good book on butterflies and their life cycles and any other interesting behavioral habits they have.

They are wonderful......beyond wonderful even. More info here.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Bronx Zoo Butterfly Exhibit

So I finally went today.......*happy sigh*

They were so pretty!.......

I couldn't possibly list all of the ones I saw today but I can list the ones I know I saw:

1. Queens ( Danaus gillippus ) * A male landed on me BEAUTIFUL!

2. Julias ( Dryas iulia )

3. Monarchs ( Danaus plexippus ) * Saw 2 mating on the wall

4. Black Swallowtails ( Papilio polyxenes )

5. Giant Swallowtails ( Papilio cresphontes )

6. Cloudless Sulpher ( Phoebis sennae )

7. Orange-barred Sulpher ( Phoebis philea )

8. Zebra longwings ( Heliconius charitonius ) * Saw 2

9. Comma ( Polygonia comma )

10. Red-spotted Purple ( Limenitis astyanax ) * Got to hold it

11. White Peacock ( Anartia jatrophae )

12. Polydamas Swallowtail ( Battus polydamas )

I was hoping to see a Luna moth but they had said that once they let them out into the house they only last about three days. Does anyone else see something wrong with this? I most certainly do. Luna moths live about a week according to all of my books.

Maybe it's too hot for them in there? Idk but hopefully I'll get lucky next time I go and will be able to catch one there. And before you ask yes I have pics.

Did you honestly think I'd go to the Bronx Zoo and NOT be prepared? You must be high. We went and saw almost everything else after that except a few things. But we saw most of the bugs of course. I even got bonus creepy crawlies crawling about outside of exhibits! Spiders and a bee of some sort.

YAY! So so happy. Not to mention TIRED! I will try and get the pics up here ASAP.

For now Byeee! Happy 10th Anni BoA!! WE LOVE YOU!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

The Miniscule Series - Wormie Goes To The Beach ^.^

Absolutely adorable.

Posting this now as I'm leaving for the Bronx Zoo Butterfly Exhibit tomorrow. YAY!


Wormie Goes To The Beach

Friday, August 20, 2010

Spider Silk Fishing

Fascinating. One thing I must point out is that for these kind of things they always hunt specific species in other words Golden Orb Weaver, Banana Spider, ( Nephila sp. ) whatever you want to call it. Do you see any other spider silk being used in this manner?

Nope. Unless you can give me proof that other spider species's silk has been used for purposes like this then I stand by what I've read in my books and online.

Go look it up I tell you. I'll do an entry on these guys later.

Thursday, August 19, 2010


I thought this was hilarious so I posted it. XD In case you're wondering the insect in the comic is fly. As for the flies in our house.......DIE!

Eh nothing entomologically interesting happened today. -_-

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

The Miniscule Series - The Mosquito in Honey & Flies With Spaghetti

LMAO! Can you imagine if mosquitoes were that strong?

These are the only flies that I will ever like ( I'm talking about Musca domestica and other flies commonly found in houses ).

So cute! As you can see you get 2 today. Your very welcome.


The Mosquito in Honey

Flies With Spaghetti

Enjoy! Until next time my pretties!!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

These Damn Flies

No that's not disgusting. What's disgusting is the fact that we have too many and I haven't the slightest clue on where they're all coming from. We finally got screens but I still see them flying around the window! Like they're looking for a way in or something....

.....which they're probably are. And all the fly paper in the kitchen is covered in dead/dying Musca domestica. The bathroom is crawling with Musca domestica and they're starting to scare me now.....it's not even funny. It never was. First it was annoying.....and now they're scaring me.

I killed three but more got in. How? I'm going to close the other window until we some how get them all out because quite frankly this is ridiculous.

There was one in my room too. I don't think so. GTFO or die.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Mystery Solved?

I think I might've solved another mystery insect of mine. Quite a few times I've seen these moths in my house and I haven't a clue as to what they were.

But I got one. I believe that they might be Cutworms/Dart Moths of the genius Feltia. Unless of course there are other moths in Noctuidae that resemble the ones I have seen the most in this house. I will definitely check.

I will get back to you. In the mean time here's pics here. I will keep you updated on this of course ^.^

Whatever they are they are pretty.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Big Eyed Bug - Geocoris ugilinosus

I saw one today at the pool. Or at least I think it was this one it also might have been Geocoris atricolor too. Either way I saw a Big Eyed Bug Geocoris sp.

I love them. I think they're adorable. There doesn't seem to be info on them though, which is a shame because not only are they cute but they seem interesting. However this PDF mentions them being used to control Army worms.......

Interesting......so I'm guessing that that's one of their foods as nymphs. Don't know about adults though as I haven't read the whole thing yet.

Scroll down to page three and start reading on the left hand side.

Bugs I Saw Today:

1 Big Eyed Bug - Geocoris sp. ( at pool )
1 dragonfly
5 flies ( different species blue bottles, green bottles, Tachinids )

Until next time folks!

Thursday, August 12, 2010


I have something to say on this. While black widows are extremely venomous and can be fatal they don't go out of their way to bite people. They only do so when they feel threatened. Secondly deaths are ( thankfully ) rare. Plus they're shy....awww ^.^

The worst you're likely to get if you're stupid enough to provoke one and get bitten is you'll get a very high fever, feel like shit, go to a doctor or whatever get the antidote and get better.

Of course symptoms are much more detailed but I don't feel good right now.

I'll explain them and provide linkies later ( expect an edit note containing info ).

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Hermit Crabs

I FINALLY got some today. Thank you Allie!

God bless. And no they're nothing exotic. Just your regular Purple Pinchers. But they're just as cute as this one. I love them. ^.^

It's been way too long since I've had them in the house.

So I'm happy. Very happy.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

The Miniscule Series - Dragonfly and Wasp In A Race

Once again Ultra Kawaii!!

Plus Karma's a bitch ain't it?


Dragonfly and Wasp In a Race

Your welcome!

Monday, August 09, 2010


I saw one today and I have to say I wasn't expecting that at all. It was a nice surprise. =) I believe it was a Microcentrum rhombifolium. Like the one in the photo. Only mine was a bit darker. There are 6 Microcentrum species in the U.S.

So of these so far I'm betting on M. rhombifolium being the one that I saw today. I have never seen Katydids that large over here before. I've seen plenty at camp sure but not here.

So like I said it was a pleasant surprise. As for info I can't find too much.

I'll keep looking though. One interesting fact is that Katydid eggs in general look like seeds. They take the camouflage thing very seriously don't they?

I'll let you know if I find anything on them.

Sunday, August 08, 2010

The Miniscule Series - Dragonflies Bully Other Insects

I would love to see something like this in real life. XD


Dragonflies Bully Other Insects

Until next time my pretties!

Saturday, August 07, 2010

Sleeping Bees?

Well as I was leaving the pool today I saw something rather interesting in the mini garden they have there. There were four bees clustered on a plant in a circle of sorts.

Now I've never seen such a thing so naturally I was wondering what they were doing. And now I'm pretty sure this is what they were doing. Cause first off the plant they were on was dead. Dead as a doorknob, as in there were no flowers no nothing.

I think I woke one up because I picked one of the seedpods off the plant to see if there was anything still inside it and the plant was dry it snapped like a gunshot when I picked one and one of the bees was startled and it flew off and was circling the plant before it landed and settled down again. So cute! ^.^

But that's what got me thinking that they were probably sleeping. I mean what else could they be doing you know? It was very interesting anyway.

As for what kind of bees they were....I can only guess. They were all black.

And very very cute. ^.^

Edit: They might be Melissodes desponsa.


4 bees ( possibly Melissodes desponsa )
1 picture wing fly
1 cucumber beetle ( Diabrotica undecimpunctata in my house)

Thursday, August 05, 2010


I thought this was cute. Auditioning for a circus perhaps?

Yes I think so......introducing the Physocephala balancing act!!

Copyright infringement not intended.

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Mystery Butterfly.........

I saw a butterfly today at the pool flying.

I have no idea what it was. It could've been a monarch, red admiral, or any other orange butterfly that occurs around here.

Although I'm betting it was either a monarch or a red admiral or even a painted lady.


....but the latter is most likely.

Monday, August 02, 2010

The Miniscule Series - The Lazy Bee

I've come to 2 scenarios and none of them involve the poor bee being lazy:

1. She's tired and doesn't want to be bothered with her "co-workers."
2. She doesn't like crowds.

Although she seems more tired to me.....


The Lazy Bee

Until next time my pretties!

Sunday, August 01, 2010

These Are AMAZING!

I'm sure you remember the last Spilomyia species I briefly mentioned here yes? Well this one ( Spilomyia fuscata ) is mimicking the Baled Faced Hornet and if I didn't know better I would think it was one. Damn things are geniuses not to mention epic.

I couldn't find too much on any specific species but there's some on S. sayi:

Spilomyia sayi is a common species of North American hoverfly. It is a wasp mimic.

Adults 12-16 mm in length, are seen from June to October in the northern part of their range. Males engage in hilltopping, where they find high ground to await females. Larvae are found in decaying heartwood of deciduous trees.

This is from Wikipedia. There doesn't seem to be too much on them for some reason.

It's disappointing since I find these so fascinating. Happy August!