Summer Survey

The BugLady is spending as much time as she can in the field (and the rest of it editing pictures) because, you know, the Summer Solstice has passed, and a little wave of warblers moved through her yard the other day, and winter is coming. Many of these beauties have already starred in their own BOTW. In a nutshell – there’s a whole lot of romance in the air.

Red-Shouldered Pine Borer

Meet another of the BugLady’s new neighbors, a handsome black beetle with red epaulets called the Red-shouldered Pine Borer. It came to her front door – well, actually, it was trapped in her front door, between the screen and the raised glass of the storm door, and its rescue involved dismantling the glass/screen assembly with one hand while holding a jar beneath the beetle with the other (empty flip-top Parmesan cheese containers make excellent bug jars). Five days later, it happened again, with the appearance of the red individual.

Gold and Brown Rove Beetle

July is turning out to be Beetle Month, and here’s a beauty. It’s a Rove beetle, family Staphylinidae, a beetle family that rivals the weevils (and the Ichneumonid wasps) for the title of largest animal family (and scientists are still discovering new species). It will lose its place if a proposal to divide the Staphylinidae into four families gains traction.

Thistle Head Weevil

Another week, another alien beetle eating an alien thistle. The BugLady found this pair of weevils while she was chasing Thistle tortoise beetles (clearly, it’s a weevil that gets a lot of mileage out of its food plant). And, in the “Ain’t the Internet Grand” category, a Google search for “weevil on thistle” resulted in a quick ID.

Thistle Tortoise Beetle

The BugLady was wandering the trails at Forest Beach Migratory Preserve recently when she spied a lovely green Thistle Tortoise Beetle on Canada thistle. Tortoise beetles have made previous BOTW appearances in the form of the Mottled tortoise beetle in 2014 and the Horsemint tortoise beetle in 2016. After she saw an adult, the BugLady started looking for larvae on some of the scruffier-looking plants.

Stag Beetle Lucanus Placidus

The BugLady now lives on the edge of a sand dune, with some pine and spruce around the edges, and she’s looking forward to meeting her new six and eight-legged neighbors. This stag beetle is the first species to step up (thanks, BugFan Becca, for the fancy footwork).

Lightning Beetle Again

OK – this is a love story of sorts. It’s an episode that originated in 2009, and it has already been rerun once and now rewritten again. But…..the BugLady just returned from southern Ohio, where she co-led a workshop about Bugs and Wonder (an unappreciated, sometimes suspect, and insufficiently-entertained state of mind) (and mostly we could say that about the bugs, too). We trawled the prairies and woods for bugs during the day, and at dusk and into the night, we hunted for fireflies.

River Damsels Revisited

The BugLady is still on hiatus but plans to get back in the saddle soon. She spent a magic day at the river recently, where the bushes were sparkling with Ebony Jewelwings. This is a slightly modified version of an episode from 2011 – some new words, all new pictures.

Crayfish Revisited

Still in the process of moving, and it’s May, so another re-run. The BugLady dusted off another decade-old episode (yes, BugFan Laurel – 10 years!!!) and added new pictures and information. And yes, as always, the BugLady is using a rather inclusive definition of the word “bug.”

Bumble Bee Redux

The BugLady has been out enjoying the spring warbler migration, and as she searches the branches for birds, she’s also loving the soundtrack – the echo of Wood Thrushes and the buzz of early bumblebees. She wrote this episode ten years ago, and then in 2014, she “Celebrated Bumblebees.” Here’s an updated version of the 2008 episode – some new words, all new pictures