Another week, another zebra. The BugLady had fun chasing this dynamite little insect along the banks of the Milwaukee River at Waubedonia Park in mid-summer (it likes to perch on the undersides of leaves). She had never seen one before, but after a few false starts, she discovered that it’s a Zebra Caddisfly.
The BugLady loves these fancy little flies and their habitat preferences, for the damp and the dappled are similar to hers. Dance flies are abroad in June and are one of the BugLady’s “nemesis bugs.”
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.
People often ask the BugLady what her favorite bug is, and although there’s a crowded field for second place, the Tiger Swallowtail is the hands-down winner. Most Impressive Bug? The Black horse fly (Tabanus atratus) (family Tabanidae) is certainly high on that list, and although she knows that it’s (probably) not going to pursue her (they generally stalk non-human mammals), just seeing one always gives her a bit of a start.
‘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!
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.
Introducing three unsung (but worthy) bugs, whose definitive biographies have yet to be written.
ENTYLIA CARINATA (no common name) is a treehopper in the family Membracidae (from the Greek membrax meaning “a kind of cicada”) (to whom they’re distantly related).
The BugLady has always been blown away by macro photographs of horse fly eyes. Spectacular. And excessive. (and – why??) Then BugFan Debra sent a picture of a buffalo treehopper that had pretty special eyes, too.
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.”
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.