The 12 Bugs of Christmas

Seasons’ Greetings, BugFans,

In lieu of the usual bug biography, the BugLady presents The Twelve Bugs of Christmas—a tribute to a dozen insects (a Baker’s Dozen, really) that were photographed this year but not featured in a BOTW. Let the singing commence.

On the twelfth day of Christmas, the BugLady gave to me:

Twelve Wasps-Waiting

OK—the BugLady can’t sustain that, but BugFans may hum along on their own.


Jumping Spiders

Admired even by Arachnophobes, they can leap distances up to 50 times their length, though they unfurl a “dragline” for safety as they go. This one answers to the name of Phidippus clarus.


Bumblebee and Company

And that’s why they’re called “Pollinators.”


Darner exuviae

Before they are Masters of the Air, immature darners, called naiads, creep about underwater. Naiads leave the water at night to begin their transformation (fewer predators, moister air), leaving shed skins (exuviae) and a glint of sunshine on wings for late-risers to discover.


Crab Spider On Trillium

A warm, spring day; a small, early predator; a beautiful spot for an ambush.


A Japanese Beetle

It’s one spiffy-looking beetle – unless it’s eating your roses, grapes, raspberries, cherries, basswoods, birches, beans, strawberries, peaches, etc., etc., etc.


Two-Striped Planthoppers

They sometimes come in non-camo pink. This lovely plant-feeding leaf-mimic has the Best Nymph Ever! Looks like an Arthur Rackham drawing the BugLady saw once.


Coral Hairstreak

There’s a reason they named it Butterfly weed!


Still life: Carnivores on Yellow Flower

The BugLady always checks out motionless insects and is frequently rewarded for her troubles. Sharing may be caring (or is it the other way around?), but arthropods are notably unsentimental. Did the ambush bug get the bumblebee, or did the crab spider? (Oh yes, there is!)


A glamour shot of a Red and Green Stinkbug

Resplendent in Christmas colors, on the BugLady’s white plasticware.


The business end of a Water Scorpion

Possibly aimed at an hors d’ oeuvre…


Two Jagged Ambush Bugs spooning

A bug-magnet like swamp milkweed is a felicitous place for two lusty carnivores to hang out.


…and a Racket-Tailed Emerald in a Pear Tree

(or maybe a buckthorn)—No mystery why Dragonfly fans are Dragonfly fans.


The Bug Lady