Bug of the Week

Adventures at Forest Beach

Forest Beach Migratory Preserve is a repurposed golf course north of Port Washington (WI), owned by the Ozaukee Washington Land Trust. It’s mainly grassland, with woods and some brushy areas, and it was designed to serve as a stopover/refueling “bed and breakfast” for migrating birds. Water hazards were turned into small ponds, more ponds were dug, and tall grass prairie plants were planted.

Psorophora Ciliata aka The Shaggy-Legged Gallinipper

Psorophora Ciliata aka The Shaggy-Legged Gallinipper photo

Remember the clouds of little floodplain mosquitoes in September of 2018?  Floodplain mosquitoes take advantage of pools left by seasonal rain, and August of 2018 was soggy (the BugLady collected more than seven inches of rain in her rain gauge that month). Populations of most dragonflies were in their fall decline, so no help from that quarter, and outdoor events in September involved lots of swatting. The BugLady guessed the genus, and an entomologist confirmed that her mosquito is “consistent in appearance with Psorophora ciliata.

The Fiery Skipper

Fiery Skipper side view on purple plant

The Fiery Skipper is one of a pair of distinctive skippers that was featured in a BOTW in 2013. It’s an uncommon migrant to Wisconsin, but the BugLady saw 11 Fiery Skippers decorating the vervain flowers at Waubedonia Park recently, and they seem to be having a good year statewide, so she decided they deserve a more complete biography.

Aster Treehopper

Aster treehoppers (Publilia concava) are found in the eastern half of North America. The BugLady usually sees them on goldenrods, but they can also be found on several other species in the Aster family, and the (winged) adults may move to woody plants.

A Species on the March

In mid-July, the BugLady ran into BugFan Freda. Freda introduced her to the Slender Bluet and the Lilypad Forktail, two rare (in Wisconsin) damselflies. A week later, at the north end of the Cedarburg Bog, The BugLady photographed a damselfly that turned out to be a mature female Lilypad Forktail.

Stilt-legged fly

Stilt-legged Fly

The BugLady had a “Stop the Presses” moment as she was writing this week’s BOTW. When she hiked down to the mailbox, she saw a fly that she had never seen before, from a family she’s never seen before, skating over the top of a leaf, and she bumped it to the head of the line.

Once upon a Fungus

When the BugLady was walking in the woods at Riveredge the other day, she found some plate-sized, stocky, very aromatic, gilled mushrooms growing out of the ground. Then, she saw something moving on the rim of an “over-the-hill” fungus.

Summer Survey 2019

The BugLady hopes that you’ve been getting out on the trail and drinking in the lushness of the summer. Subjects of this summer’s survey include wasps, aphids, syrphids, and katydids.

Tree Crab Spider

The BugLady was checking around the edge of a gravel parking lot near the Ozaukee Washington Land Trust’s Lake Twelve property when she found this beauty She had two immediate reactions: 1) what is it? And 2) it looks like an octopus clinging to a reef!

It’s National Moth Week (soon)

Here (the BugLady looked up the collective noun for moths) is a whisper of moths. Mostly porch moths; mostly under-biographized; mostly, to borrow a term from birders, “LBJs” – Little Brown Jobs. Subjects include White Spring Moths, Bruce Spanworms, and Bronzy Macrochilos.