Goldenrod Watch – Act II

The goldenrods in the BugLady’s field are exuberant, with new, brilliant yellow flowers opening daily. Goldenrod blooms late, produces a bonanza of pollen (there’s not much nectar there), and is the embodiment of the insect enthusiast’s credo—“Looking for insects? Check the flowers.”

Way Out on the Lonesome Prairie

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.

A Cache of Crickets

Most Crickets are vegetarians, although there are forays into carnivorous, omnivorous, and cannibalistic lifestyles. They develop via simple/incomplete metamorphosis, in which the young hatch out looking like mini-adults and don’t have a resting/changing/pupa stage. Eggs are generally laid in the ground, plant stems, piles of bat guano, etc. in the fall; they hatch in spring and take 2 to 3 months to mature.

Tree Crickets (Family Gyrllidae)

Our local Tree Crickets are in the genus Oecanthus, and there are 14 or so species in North America north of the Rio Grande. Each species of TC has its signature calls, and the tempo of the call is affected by the temperature of the air around it.

A Cache of Crickets

Crickets have hind legs dramatically adapted for leaping, and many also have wings—a leap is part legs and part wings. Most are vegetarians, although there are forays into carnivorous, omnivorous, “scavenger-iferous” and cannibalistic lifestyles. They develop via simple/incomplete metamorphosis, in which the young hatch out looking like mini-adults and don’t have a resting/changing/pupa stage.