Friday, July 27, 2012

Sexing Polygonia spp. And Other Nymphalini Ponderings

From last morning.....from Wednesday's catch R.I.P my lovely you will be missed.

Ok I can't stand the wondering any longer.

On Wednesday I had the second most epic bug hunt ever (posts up later) in my beloved park for National Moth Week (Happy NMW everyone!!) and found a bunch of Nomophila nearctica flitting about the grasses and I captured 2 of those.

And of course the butterflies were as present as ever. I captured Polygonia comma and Polygonia interrogationis (1 of each) from that wonderfully lepidopteran/hymenopteran infested Elm tree that must've been leaking some sort of sap or resin (although I didn't see a thing) because they were all over it. *.*

All of this of course led to questions and realizations. I realized that as far as telling "who's who" the big ones are interrogationis and the smaller ones are comma. And they were both mixed in with each other on that blessed tree.

Which led to the questioning.........

Do Polygonia interrogationis & P. comma ever hybridize with each other? 

If populations are high enough and the "conditions" (whatever they are) are just this possible? Be it I've yet to observe Polygonia spp. mating (GOD how I hope to one day) I have to wonder.......

Are Polygonia spp. Nocturnal?

Don't worry I haven't lost it... :P

I've observed Polygonia interrogationis (?) flying around Kentucky Coffee Trees (Gymnocladus dioicus) at dusk. I have no idea what they were doing but it looked like it could the territorial dances.......Pairs of them were spiraling upwards and chasing each other perching on leaves, darting through the trees.

It was around 7:00-7:30PM around the time the sun starts setting. Sky was still blue but it was dimming fast so I couldn't stay too long lest I worry friends/family ^^

But what were they doing tat late? I've witnessed similar behaviors during the day but.......and then the P. interrogationis and P. comma that I had caught had more or less lulled me to sleep one night. They were fluttering around the pavilion thingy like crazy (it was late-ish 11:00?) and I just laid there on my bed and watched them until I fell asleep.

What's going on????

And last but not least.....

How does one sex Polygonia spp.?

Peterson's Field Guide to Eastern Butterflies depicts both summer and winter forms of Polygonia comma and P. interrogationis but not where I could use it to determine what I have so I was wondering.......greatly.

Would appreciate if someone could shed some light on all of this. They never cease to out do themselves.......such amazing creatures.

*Goes to do more research*

Friday, July 13, 2012

Odonate Wonders

From yesterday:

Little jewels!!

Territorial battle yes?

One more.....♥

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Cicada Mania

Tibicen tibicen (chloromerus)


It had turned around and flown up towards the trees (not on video) and this sighting took my breath away. Literally.

I cannot stress to you how happy I am about this. I had found 2. First one was on it's way to Cicada Heaven (I kept it naturally) and the second was captured in this video. My suspicions have been confirmed. =)

They had started singing about a week or so earlier. 

I hope to see more. God bless you!!

They continue to out do themselves.......what next?! ^^♥

Monday, July 09, 2012

Moth Night #2

So tonight I must stress that the Heteroceran diversity is simply outstanding. I'm convinced that they know it's "their year" so to speak and they've gone all out.

Add the fact that Mother Nature has been greatly helping them along with all this heat and you have a stunning recipe for Lepidopteran epicness. I went moth hunting again tonight on my terrace and........

Catocala sp. Trying to figure out which. It's a beautiful specimen

FINALLY! Halysidota harrisii My babieeeeessssss *.*

Like a goddess! Mythimna unipuncta 

Best. Roommates. Ever.

Did I mention that my terrace is infested? ^^*

Wednesday, July 04, 2012

Fieldguide To The Insects of Morningside Park Part 3

Vanessa virginiensis 

Continued from this entry.

Butterflies/Moths (Lepidoptera):

65. Mourning Cloak (Nymphalis antiopa)
66. American Painted Lady (Vanessa virginiensis)
67. Questionmark (Polygonia interogationis)
68. Pug Moth (Eupithecia sp.)
69. Elm Spanworm (Ennomos subsignaria)

Beetles (Coleoptera):

70. Propylea quatuordecimpunctata
71. Lucidota atra
72. Photinus pyralis
73. Charitodella sexpunctata bicolor
74. Chlaenius tricolor (?)Still wondering definitely Chlaenius sp. 

True Bugs (Hemiptera):

75. Orthotyline mirids
76. Four Lined Plant Bug (Poecilocapsus lineatus)

Grasshoppers/Crickets (Othoptera):

77. Scudderia sp.

Flies (Diptera):

78. Delphinia picta
79. Rivellia sp.


80. Limax maximus
81. Mesomphix globosus