Midsummer Report

The BugLady would like to dedicate this episode to the late (great) Cornell Professor Richard B. Fischer (January 19, 1919 – August 7, 2005) who taught the BugLady how to sneak up on insects (no bobbing or weaving, just slow and steady and straight ahead.

Springtime Darner (Family Aeshnidae)

Springtime Darners (Basiaeschna janata) are not mosaic darners (genus Aeshna); they are a monotypic genus—the only member of their genus in the world. At about 2 ¼” to 2 ½” (females are larger than males) they are a bit smaller than the mosaics. Springtime darners are commonly seen cruising around in woodland clearings, and along sunny edges of lakes, bogs, and slow streams in eastern North America.

Big Emerald, Little Emerald (Family Corduliidae)

Most Emerald Dragonflies are dark with long, slender abdomens, metallic iridescence, a somewhat hairy thorax, and big, green eyes that meet at the top of the head. They are strong fliers that patrol tirelessly at the edge of woods and wetlands; and they often form feeding swarms as high as 30 feet off the ground.

Green-striped Darner (Family Aeshnidae)

There are 20 or so Aeshna darners in North America. The Green-striped Darner (Aeshna verticalis) is a Northeastern darner, found from Minnesota/northern Iowa/southern Canada to Nova Scotia to New Jersey; it is rarely found south of Ohio. Its life story is similar to that of other mosaics.

The 12 Bugs of Christmas

It’s time again for the Annual “Twelve Bugs of Christmas” event (and, coincidentally, episode #350 in the series, by the BugLady’s numbering). Here are a (Baker’s) dozen insects that will not be getting (or who have already had) their own BOTWs. Feel free to hum along, and have a lovely Holiday.

Summer Summary

As the Bug Season winds down, the BugLady would like to celebrate summer by sharing a baker’s dozen of the pictures she’s taken in the past few months.

Red Saddlebags Dragonfly (Family Libellulidae)

Red Saddlebag Dragonflies is in a large group of often-flashy dragonflies. They are definitely migratory, traveling south along the Lake Michigan shoreline each fall with masses of Green Darners. Life begins when eggs are deposited in the warm, quiet, shallow waters of a lake or pond (they are known to use temporary/seasonal/rain ponds where fish are absent). Males patrol territories, flying and hovering over areas as large as 3,000 square feet.

The 12 Bugs of Christmas

With apologies to Olde English Folk Songs everywhere, here is the Second Annual Twelve Bugs of Christmas, featuring a Baker’s Dozen that were photographed this year but that did/will not appear in BOTWs. These pictures are a tribute to the joy of stumbling into the right place at the right time.

Cup Plant Cosmos

The BugLady spent some very warm days among the Cup plants, those jumbo prairie plants whose opposite leaves join around the stem resulting in a small reservoir that often holds rain water or dew. The undersurface of the tender top leaves of many Cup plants were wall-to-wall with (insert creepy adjective here) red aphids—a cast of thousands—and there were some very cool supporting actors.

Chalk-fronted Corporal Dragonfly (Family Libellulidae)

Chalk-fronted Corporals are dragonflies whose range includes the northern half of the U.S. and southern Canada. They typically emerge in huge numbers in early May. On cool, spring days, hundreds of CfCs may congregate on/over warm road surfaces. CfCs like swampy, marshy, boggy wetlands with plenty of decaying plant material in it and they can abide somewhat acid water.