September Scenes

The leaves are starting to fall here in God’s Country, the birds are moving, and as of yesterday it’s officially autumn (Yikes!). But there are still some bugs out there – like wildflowers, some species of insects bloom in the spring, some in the summer, and others in the fall. The imperative to reproduce is strong as the days get shorter; most insects live for about a calendar year, mainly in their immature stages, with a short-but-productive adult stage. Most leave behind eggs or pupae or partly-grown offspring to weather the winter.

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.

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.

Azure Bluet

Even in a group of damselflies that are called bluets, the Azure Bluet is an amazing color! Bluets are damselflies in the Narrow-winged/Pond Damselfly family Coenagrionidae, which also includes the dancers, forktails and sprites.

More Scenes of Summer

OK – it’s September, but the bug season isn’t over yet. Outside of wetlands, if there’s anything better than a walk on the prairie, surrounded by Big Bluestem grass, with big Common Green Darners and Black Saddlebags dragonflies overhead, the BugLady hasn’t found it yet. Here is another batch of summer images, mostly from prairies.

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.

The 12 Bugs of Christmas

‘Tis the Season for the annual Twelve Bugs of Christmas – a baker’s dozen, actually, of oddities (and wonders) that the BugLady found during the year. Let Heaven and Nature sing!

Forktails Two

The BugLady is thankful for damselflies. Oh, not always for the identification part, but for the joy of seeing them flickering through their thickety habitats and for the thrill of the photographic chase (first you have to spot them, and then the light and the background are often terrible).

Seasonal Sights and Sounds

Everywhere you look, you see adult insects, young insects, and the kinds of activity that will result in them. Here are some sights from the BugLady’s walks in southeastern Wisconsin.

Dancing Damselflies (Family Coenagrionidae)

Damselflies are found near ponds, dancers are generally associated with slow streams and rivers. Male Dancers may defend loose territories that change daily. Damselflies aquatic naiads are short and stout and often striped/patterned. Like their Mothers, most are drab brown/olive, but the Varied dancer’s naiad has a purple tinge. Their flattened shape allows them to shelter under rocks and other debris on the bottom of wetlands. They overwinter as naiads, probably in one of their last instars.