Goldenrod Watch

The BugLady’s advice for the day is: Find yourselves a big clump of goldenrod and start looking. Bring your camera. Bring a lawn chair. What will you see?

Swamp Metalmark (Family Riodinidae)

Swamp Metalmark populations are in trouble, and the species is listed as rare/endangered in the areas where it is known to live. Why? Its habitat needs are very specific (location, location, location); its caterpillar eats a single, uncommon species of thistle; the adults nectar on only a half-dozen or so flowers; and they don’t stray far from their never-common-and-increasingly-rare habitat.

Wood Nymphs – Part 2 (Family Nymphalidae)

The Common Wood Nymphs have a “bouncy” flight. The adults generally feed on non-flower matter like rotting fruit, tree sap, dung and carrion, and the larval food plants are grasses and sedges.

Wood Nymphs – Part 1 ( Family Nymphalidae)

The Browns/Satyrs/Wood Nymphs (BSWNs) are a group of butterflies that can be a bit troublesome to identify in the field. As the name implies, they tend to be gray-to-brown, and the eyespots on their wings are their main markings. Adult Browns don’t stray far from the habitats that support their caterpillars.

Small Blue Butterflies – Azures and Tailed Blue (Family Lycaenidae)

Today’s episode considers three small, blue “look-alike” butterflies—the Spring Azure and the Summer Azure, often referred to as the Spring Spring Azure and the Summer Spring Azure, and the Eastern Tailed Blue. The Spring Azures have long been considered to be one large and gloriously diverse species made up of several sub-species. Now they’re thought by many to be a number of full species.

Spring Dragonflies

A genuine, sometimes tentative, sign of spring in the Cedarburg Bog is the reappearance of dragonflies, but the first sightings may not be of local individuals. Common Green Darners migrate south in fall and repopulate the north country each spring. The Green Darners that deliver the spring lay eggs that hatch into naiads that take the whole summer to mature. These offspring will make the trip south in fall. Chalk-fronted Corporals are northern dragonflies that emerge in early May.

Cabbage Whites and Sulphurs (Family Pieridae)

Cabbage Whites/Cabbage butterflies are among the first butterflies to appear that have actually emerged from a chrysalis in the current year, and they are followed soon afterward by the closely-related Sulphurs. These medium-sized (2” wingspan) white or yellow butterflies may be monochromatic or they may add black wing tips and some spots. Adults are strong fliers that nectar at a variety of flowers. They are most active during mid-day in open/cleared/weedy/cultivated/fields/meadows/gardens/road edges in cities and suburbs and rural areas

Painted Lady (Family Nymphalidae)

The Painted Lady Butrterfly can be seen in temperate areas on five continents and may have the biggest range of any butterfly. Not only does it live in a lot of places, it migrates to even more. Look for PLs in open, sunny areas—fields, road edges, gardens, dunes. There the adults sip nectar, especially from thistle and clover flowers, and males defend their territories from perches. PLs fly north in mid-spring and there are probably two broods per summer here. Eggs are laid on caterpillar food plants like hollyhock, nettle, lupine, plus thistle and many other plants in the aster family

Red-spotted Purple (Family Nymphalidae)

Red-spotted Purples (RSP) are found in semi-sunny situations like stream and forest edges, woodland paths, and forest openings. In those habitats, adult RSPs feed on sap, rotting fruit, animal dung, and carrion, but they rarely visit flowers. They are seen from around the start of June through the middle of August. Males are very territorial, and they sit sentinel on vegetation, awaiting the appearance of females.

Milkweed Critters Revisited

This week’s BOTW is another of those retreads from the olden days when BOTW was brand new. If you are a Charter BugFan, you’ll note that exciting new species, pictures and information have been added.