Sunday, July 31, 2011

Green Cloverworm (Hypena scabra)

At some point every year at least one comes into my house.

For years I've been wanting to know what kind of moths these are. Well due to my books giving me a lead I was able to put a name to these beauties.

The one that I found in the kitchen was very skittish as in it would not allow me to go near it half the time so it was impossible to catch it. It acted like your Common House Fly (Musca domestica) then a moth in terms of behavior.

Fascinating. I wonder if this characteristic or if it was just this particular individual? Will do further research on this later. Expect an edit as this entry isn't even near finished. I have plans to go on a research binge on these.

I want to know everything.

Saturday, July 30, 2011


I saw so many of my little friends today. But the best was this monarch at the pool. First of the season.......♥ I DO hope to see more of you Danaus plexippus!

At The Pool:

1 Monarch (Danaus plexippus)
1 Cabbage White (Pieris rapae)
1 Agapostemon splendens? *male rescued from wonder I didn't get stung!
1 Yellow Jacket or European Paper Wasp
1 Blue Dasher (Pachydiplax longipennis)

At The Park:

More Cabbage Whites (Pieris rapae)
3 Cicada Killers (Sphecius speciosus)
1 Spider
1 Leafhopper
European Paper Wasps
Bees (Melissoides bimaculata was one of them) *might be mixing up the dates I saw the second M. bimaculata.......Idk. X_X
1 Spring Azure (Celastrina argiolus)? *See post "Celastrina Mystery" cause this whole thing is a mystery to me. >_<
1 Lacewing
2 Mud Daubers (Chalybion sp.)

Observations of Dragonflies:

I more or less walked into a swarm of them in the field and it was one of the most beautiful insecty things I've seen at the park this year. To see the sun glinting off their wings in rainbows........*happy happy sigh*

Upon further research after I got back I found I walked into a feeding swarm. Being that there were numerous species far far away from the water and they obviously weren't courting each other it had to be some other reason they were swarming like that. It was a "mini swarm" about maybe 20-30 flying around.

I was able to ID 2 of them in that swarm as being:

Black Saddlebags (Tramea lacerata)
12 Spotted Skimmer (Libellula pulchella)

And finally my mystery orange dragonfly as Perithemis tenera Eastern Amberwing. Did I mention how much I love insects? :P

The "observations of Sphecius speciosus" will be a separate entry as I want to look into them more and possibly answer questions before I speculate/analyze.

I'm going to say this again. I. LOVE. INSECTS.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

BOTM: Hemaris thysbe

I'm in awe of these things. They're amazing bee mimics!

Three........after the 26th I've seen three of these in my lifetime. The very first time was at "Insectopia" at Camp Huntington (damn it I miss you!) back in that was about 9 years ago.......0_0 2nd and 3rd time was obviously at my beloved park.

The first one I saw at the park might have been Hemaris deffinis since this one looked like a bumble bee from what I could see and H. deffinis mimics bumble bees. H. thysbe I think is just "Bees in general" I don't think they're targeting any specific bees but I could be wrong. I have to look into that more. Regardless of what the first one was it was still a Hemaris species so it counts. :P

The latest one I observed now that I think on it had a very "happy flight" to it as in if it could smile while was flitting from flower to flower feeding nectar and "dodging" me trying to get a better look at it it would. ^___^

Idk.....maybe it's just me but that's how I see it. Absolutely gorgeous beings. I love them. And now on zeh infos!

This is a very nice article on them indeed. Wikipedia surprisingly doesn't have much on them. -_- Disappointing. But I'll be searching for additional info elsewhere.

Expect an edit. I will also get around to an entry for H. deffinis too.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Reddish-Brown Stag Beetle (Lucanus capreolus)

These are alot smaller then the piccie implies.

I found one today. It shocked me because I didn't think I'd see one period. Any stag beetle really. Upon further research I've also had a revelation that all the beetle grubs I have seen over the years might have been Lucanus capreolus..........and now I find an adult male.

Icing on the cake no? Bugguide has the following information:

Found at lights, at bait, and around decaying logs, stumps, where it breeds. Males use mandibles to fight at breeding sites. Eggs are deposited in rotting wood.

Larvae live in decaying wood of deciduous trees. They take two years to develop, pupate in nearby soil.


And they're also attracted to lights?........this is further fueling my desire to run downstairs and "bait" whatever's around here but I don't have the proper equipment to do so and wouldn't know where to get it. XD

I will look into it though......for next year of course. *^^* Will be digging up additional information on these later possibly for another entry......who knows?

*List of other bugs goes here* ← For later.....^^

Friday, July 22, 2011

Halysidota Harrisii (Yippee)!!

I saw 5 of them today! 0_0 Being that it was like 114 degrees definitely had something to do with it. They were huge and covering a Sycamore tree a few blocks from my place. Not to mention they were the color of sunshine......

So all together that makes 7 so far. Never saw so many in one spot in one day before. Thank you!!

And thanks to Bugguide I can now sort of pinpoint their time frame. In other words when I can hunt them down and see them more frequently next year:

Overwinter as cocoons, adults emerge in May and June and lay eggs on the underside of leaves or bark of sycamore. Young larvae feed in groups, they scatter later.

- Bugguide

I see the larvae more then the adults. Last adult I saw was on mom's birthday (I think) last year on the terrace. I wasn't able to get to it due to it being locked (the terrace) and I didn't have a key. *Makes note to ask housing for a key to the terrace.

Caterpillars in General:

9 including 1 Pieris rapae and 1 unknown Geometrid
7 Halysidota harrisii, First 2 (2nd or 3rd instar)?Link
Hope to see more naturally. Also something I've noticed about Halysidota species in general is that larvae are extremely variable in color! I remember years and years ago seeing H. tessellaris walking on a picnic bench at camp (Starfish I think it was........or was it Ramapo (sp?) Idk....). I remember getting excited and kinda disappointed because at the time I thought I couldn't hold due the whole "irritant hairs" things.

I was still learning about insects so I didn't know better. That's not to say I didn't look at it and very lightly (I think, don't remember) brushed my finger across it's back. It was the grey and black form (do they name the varieties?).

Last time I saw H. tessellaris but I'll keep my eyes open if I ever go upstate again (highly unlikely though). I love my precious babies.

I wonder if the heat also rushed along their development??? It's happened before when I raised Vanessa cardui! =) Aaahh the good old days.....

Photo from Bugguide.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Pseudopontia's Twin Sister!!

Leucidia brephos is Pseudopontia's almost twin sister. Only difference is L. brephos has clubbed antenna & Pseudo......doesn't.

The Snowflake (Leucidia brephos)

Stumbled across these today during my research and did somewhat of a double take. I said this looks like Pseudopontia!! And that led to the many questions:

1. Why do they look so similar?
2. Are they related in terms other then family/order (they're both in Pieridae)?
3. Is anything known about them?

Question No.3 can be answered in somewhat of a heartbeat:

Snowflakes are invariably encountered singly, usually when seen in flight at light gaps in the forest, where trees have fallen and sunlight penetrates to ground level. These tiny butterflies have a very slow and very persistent fluttering flight, flying for long periods but apparently going nowhere ! It is in fact possible to watch one of these delightful butterflies drifting and wafting about, but without travelling more than a few metres, for several minutes before it eventually settles.

When the butterfly does settle however it tends to stay put for long periods - these aspects of it's behaviour being very reminiscent of the Leptidea Wood Whites of European forests, although the latter are of course entirely unrelated, being members of the Dismorphiinae.

- Butterflies of The Amazon

Just imagining this is not good enough. Because we all know that seeing the real thing will put anything your mind can cook up to shame. Leptidea species......I have heard of these due to the fact I briefly looked into Dismorphiinae and remember seeing Leptidea mentioned.

However Dismophiinae and it's members is for another day. For now we focus on this beauty. =) General information on this mentions another species: Leucidia evelina which you can bet will have research of some sort done.

Said "General Information" is from the same epic site:

The subfamily Coliadinae is worldwide in distribution, and includes 70 species in the neotropical region. Among them are the familiar Phoebis Sulphurs and Eurema Grass Yellows of the lowlands, and the Colias Clouded Yellows of the high altitude paramo and puna grasslands.

Most Coliadinae species are migratory in nature, and highly conspicuous - Phoebis and Eurema for example are often seen flying along riverbanks in "strings" of a dozen or more while migrating, and males of both genera commonly swarm in groups of 50 or more when mud-puddling at damp sand.

It may come as a surprise therefore to find that the tiny and elusive Snowflake, a denizen of the dark rainforests, is also a member of the same subfamily. There are in fact two "snowflake" species - elvina, which has dark wing borders and looks like a miniature Eurema albula; and the illustrated species brephos, which is by far the commoner and most widespread of the two species.

Leucidia brephos is distributed from Panama to Bolivia.

-Butterflies of the Amazon

Also upon further Googling I found this which has photos of 2 subspecies of L. brephos. I'll of course be researching everything mentioned here because I want to know more. :P Expect and edit of sorts or more entries. *^^* And a very happy birthday to my mommy. You're the best. ♥
Credits: Photo and info is from here. No copyright infringement is intended. ^^

And 1 Cabbage White (Pieris rapae) today! *^^*

Friday, July 15, 2011

Lepidoptera-y Goodness!!

Damn right it's all about me.....damn right it's all about me Na na na na na na na na na na na....

- BoA "Look Who's Talking" I couldn't resist. ^__^

Stumbled across these just now (07-17-11):

Butterflies of Mexico
Neotropical Butterflies Checklist (Butterflies of N. America)
Andean Butterflies

Species to research:

Hypanartia lindigii (Hypanartia sp. in GENERAL) *Gorgeous*
Catasticta ludovici
Aeria eurimedia

Butterflies of Ecuador

Butterflies of Venezuela (BOOKS!) Dear God I want them all! *.*
Neotropical Butterflies Knew about this one already just listing it.

Species to Research:

Ithomeis coenoides

Necyria zaneta
LinkPolygrapha cyanea

Lepidopterology This is cute.
Guide To Costa Rican Iithomiinae I don't need to say anymore on this. *Speechless*
FLMNH Butterfly Rainforest If I EVER go to Florida........
Ok I'll add more later. It's late and I need to get to bed. *^^*

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Red and Green Leafhopper (Graphocephala coccinea)

I haven't seen one of these in a very very very long time. So long I don't remember how long. So it was nice seeing one of these along with:

Cabbage whites
1 Leaf cutter bee
1 Mystery wasp (Polistes sp.?) * Coloring was like that of P. carolina with black tip on abdomen
1 Tiger Swallowtail? Was flying up way to high for me to see exactly what it was but it definitely wasn't a bird.

Additional information will be added later. =)

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Mystery Bees.......*Rant*

Anthidium manicatum which is one of 2 Anthidium species introduced to E. North America

Ok so a bunch of bees have been intriguing me for quite a bit and I want answers. With The Great Carpenter Bee Mystery pretty much solved (will get to that asap I have posts to fill in!!) a new mystery has presented itself.

Actually this has been "brewing" for sometime. I just today decided to analyze it through ranting on this blog of mine. I've been seeing quite alot of bees that I believe might be Mining, Plaster, or Adrenidae members, also Megachilidae too. But I have no way of ID'ing them unless I have a camera. They all look so similar.

Add the fact that they're fucking fast and there's "no hope" unless I get a camera and get pictures of the really friendly ones. I got a good look at 2 today. One was black and white and shaped like an Anthidium........but I don't think it was (unless colormorph?) due to the fact that they're only 2 Anthidium sp. in Eastern North America (ENA from now on). The second one I believe is either Anthidium manicatum or A. oblongata.

Observing this one was a dead giveaway. It was carrying a fuzzball. *^^* In other words females of A. manicatum (& presumably other Anthidium species too.....??) scrape off the fuzz off of fuzzy plants and line their nest with it. And there's PLENTY of fuzzy plants in the park by my house so they'll be in heaven.

This is the first time I've seen this one (again either A. manicatum or A. oblongata) all the others I have. I just don't know what kind they are. I know what families they might reside in but that's it........oooooh wait until I get a camera.

In other news.......I saw 2 Halysidota harrisii!!! *Jumping* First 2 of the season along with:

Cabbage Whites
A Comma (I think what else could it be?)
Harmonia axyridis
BEES (need I say more?)
American Bumble bees
Leafhopper nymph? (the brown ones with the white fuzzy things in the back)
2 Lopidea sp.
Spring Azure
3 Cicada Killers (must feature these ASAP)
3 Polistes sp.?? *This? Maybe.....
Moth Fly (Lobby)

My brains all fuzzy! >_< Apologies if I forgot any. ^^;; There were just so MANY of you today. ^_^ Must go now. REALLY pooped. -_-