The BugLady has trouble wrapping her head around the idea of a non-native butterfly, especially one that’s considered a pest. What could be more benign than a butterfly? But, there’s the non-native Cabbage White butterfly (there’s even an alien orchid that’s considered invasive in some areas – read this for more about that). Of course, when butterflies are listed as a pest species, it’s because of the dining habits of their caterpillars. This week, the BugLady takes a look at the European Skipper Butterfly.
In past years, the BugLady has taken off during the month of May or June to refresh her sadly depleted “BOTW Future” file with new images of emerging insects, and she plans to do that. BUT – she’s also in the process of moving out of a house that she’s lived in for 40 years (rule of thumb – if you haven’t seen it/thought about it/used it for 10 years or so, you probably don’t need it). St. Vinnies’ is thrilled. The BugLady is thrilled that she’ll go forward with about 1/3 of her present worldly possessions.
It’s hard for us to wrap our minds around how populations of an organism that occurs by the millions (like the horseshoe crab, of recent BOTW fame) could be threatened. And yet.
The BugLady is inching through her skipper butterfly pictures, staring at the ones she’s simply labeled “skipper” and trying to attach names to them. Early results suggest that she does not know the secret handshake yet.
The BugLady is busy writing about shagbark hickory (for the Friends of the Cedarburg Bog) and Short-eared Owls (for the Western Great Lakes Bird and Bat Observatory), so here are some items about insects, some of which were sent to her by alert BugFans.
Lately, The BugLady’s been thinking about prairies. She led a walk at Riveredge Nature Center’s excellent “Knee Deep in Prairies” celebration, and she spends a lot of quality time on the prairie because she loves its ever-changing palettes and patterns. By some estimates, the biomass of the insects on pre-settlement American prairies equaled that of the bison. Here are some pollinators and predators and plant feeders of the prairie – and the flowers they visit.
Northern Pearly-eyes are generally described as shade loving butterflies of forest glades and edges, not found on flowers in sunny meadows. They “may be active early a.m. or late p.m. when they court,” and several sources said that they may come to light at night.
With a lower case “t,” technicolor refers to something that is vividly colorful. But long before the creation of color motion pictures, nature has been demonstrating the word’s meaning. Especially when it comes to bugs!
The first brood of Eastern Tiger Swallowtails is sailing around the BugLady’s skyscapes. Brood I has it tough—they weather the winter and early spring as a chrysalis, hitched (stitched) to the base of a tree trunk, exposed to bitter cold by the lack of snow and chilled by long, cold, wet springs. Many die. And yet, here they are—looping through the air and instigating Brood II.
“The Twelve Days of Christmas” is an English carol that was probably borrowed from the French and that was originally an acapella chant/call-and-response/children’s memory game. It first appeared in writing in 1780, and there were (and still are) many variations of it, though the words were more-or-less standardized when an official melody was finally written for it in 1909.