Bugs in the News – The Videos

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.

Sedge Sprite Redux

Dragonfly season can’t come soon enough. This BOTW is a renovation of a BOTW from five years ago – some new thoughts, all new pictures. Apologies – life is busy.
The BugLady is looking forward to chasing Sedge Sprites again this year. They hang out in the kinds of low, dark, inaccessible places that require contortions by photographers – places that both need a flash and are overpowered by one.

Bugs in the News IV

Ever since the BugLady started her “Bugs in the News” sub-series, alert BugFans have been sending links to articles they’ve come across. Thanks, BugFans! Alas, to view a few of these, you have to wade through some ad content.

Frosted and Belted Whiteface dragonflies

Let us usher in the New Year with dragonflies. Two of them.

Whiteface dragonflies are in the genus Leucorrhinia in the large (1,000+ species) and glorious Skimmer family Libellulidae. There are about 100 Libellulid species in North America, and seven of them are whitefaces. We visited whitefaces in 2011 in the person of the Dot-tailed Whiteface.

Bugs in the News III

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.

An Inordinate Fondness for Dragonflies

Dragonfly ancestors came on the scene some 325 million years ago, and the BugLady is certain that people were admiring them as soon as there were people. They are woven into the fabric of myth and legend in many cultures and religions and have even been used for medicine and food. What’s not to like? They come in a rainbow of colors and range in size from damselflies that are less than an inch long to hummingbird-sized darners.

Technicolor Thoughts

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!

Carolina Saddlebags (Family Libellulidae)

Carolina Saddlebags have been recorded in about 15 counties in Wisconsin, scatter-gunned throughout the state. These are primarily eastern/southeastern dragonflies that range from Nova Scotia to Texas, and they’re listed as a rare migrant here in God’s Country. Carolinas prefer shallow ponds, swamps, and lakes, and very slow streams as long as there is plenty of emergent vegetation and the water is not muddy, and they are a bit more tolerant of the presence of fish than their confreres.

Ephemeral Pond Critters Revisited

The wonder of ephemeral pools is that they are populated by animals that take this annual disappearing act in stride—animals that are prepared to dry up with the pond or to get out of Dodge (timing is everything), and therein lie many tales. An astonishing array of animals use ephemeral ponds as a place to drink, hunt, and breed, but an ephemeral pond is a challenging place to call home. The still, shallow water warms quickly (which encourages speedy metamorphoses) but contains little oxygen.

Common Green Darner, the Rest of the Story (Family Aeshnidae)

Most of our Wisconsin darners are in the famously-confusing mosaic darner genus Aeshna. Common Green Darners are one of two species of Anax darners found in the state. Common green darners are, well, very common, not just here but across the country. And Central America. And Hawai’i. And Canada. And there are populations in Tahiti and the West Indies. And strong winds have blown individuals to Great Britain, China, and Russia. The other Anax, the stunning Comet darner (Anax longipes) is a rare visitor and even rarer breeder in Wisconsin.