Wednesday, August 14, 2013
A Bug Post
Bugs! You either love 'em or hate 'em. I love them. Here are just a few...
Everybody knows that honeybees pollinate flowers. But lots of folks don't know that honeybees are not native. What?? Yep, they are from Europe, brought over very early by the first colonists. However, there are LOTS of native bees. Many of our native bees are solitary. This means that the female bee, once mated, works all by herself to construct a suitable place to lay her eggs and provision those eggs with food. This bee is on White Vervain.
This bumble bee was literally the biggest bee I've ever seen. Happily, it wasn't very active so I was able to take lots of pictures. So bumble bees are pretty well known, and are also native. These bees are social, but not exactly like the Honey bees. Bumble bees form much smaller colonies, and do not put away large stores of honey. Native bees also differ from their Honey bee cousins in that they can fly under cooler and wetter conditions.
Did you know that beetles can also be pollinators? I don't know if this particular one is, but maybe. It's on Wingstem by the way.
These very small beetles were hanging out in one of the pink Swamp Rose Mallows.
This is a true bug making himself right at home inside this Obedient Plant flower. These guys have been all over the Obedient Plant ever since it started blooming. You can tell if you are looking at a true bug in a couple of ways. One way is that they will have a piercing, sucking mouth part. Also, their wings when folded make a sort of 'X' shape on their back.
Flies too, can be pollinators. Again, not sure if this one in particular is a pollinator, but he sure is pretty!
Okay, a quick note here. All of the pictures above were taking with my point and shoot camera and all the picture below were taken with our site camera which is a SLR. We just got a new macro lens for it, and since I'm still learning the ins and outs of this lens, some of the pictures are not quite as crisp as I'd like. But that's what practicing is for!
This is a nymph (immature) of something, but I had to take his picture because of his awesome green eyes!
Here is another native bee, often called a Sweat Bee. They are very colorful and metallic looking. This one seemed to be taking a rest inside this flower!
This is a Hopper of some kind. There are Tree Hoppers, Leaf Hoppers and Plant Hoppers. They also have piercing, sucking mouth parts and yep, you guessed it - can hop really well to get way from predators.
I know I just posted about butterflies, but I wanted to put this picture in because it shows the Least Skipper with its wings closed. It also shows how much better a picture can be taken with the nice big macro lens!
This is a bug that belongs to a group that includes Grasshoppers, Crickets, and Katydids. Most of these guys are characterized by long hind legs that are made for jumping. Many make sounds both at night and during the day.
Okay, this is not a bug - but it would eat bugs! Here is a newly metamorphosed Spring Peeper. At the time they emerge from the pond in their newly formed froggy bodies these oh so small frogs can fit on a dime!
Anybody read MAD magazine? Does this face remind you of Spy vs. Spy? This is a Scorpionfly. They are so named because the end of the male's abdomen looks like a scorpion's tail! There are no stinging parts to a Scorpionfly however, these guys are scavengers.
Last, but not least and also not technically a bug, is a spider. Lots of us may not like them very much, but we need them to help keep that ever growing bug population down. Lots of spiders are actually very beautiful if you take the time to really look at them.
As a quick ending note, I wanted to let you know that most of the "bugs" in this post were found within about 10 feet of each other in the wet meadow. That's the other really fun thing about insects, you don't have to go very far to see lots of really cool animals!
Posted by Robyn at 2:40 PM