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Recent Bug Adventures

The BugLady has been out with her camera, walking non-aerobically and peering into plants. The “peering” has resulted in some interesting (if blurred) sightings (her macro lens is getting a bit cranky). Amazing things have been happening on milkweed, probably spurred by a banner crop of aphids on the leaves.

An Album of Crab Spiders (Family Thomisidae)

The Album of Crab Spiders celebrates these beautiful creatures at work and at play.The name of the game is camouflage. Crab spiders practice sexual dimorphism, with males considerably smaller and leaner than females.

Green Lynx Spider (Family Oxyopidae)

The Green Lynx Spider occupies grasslands, scrub, edges, gardens, and other open spaces south of a line from Maryland to California and well into Central America. Like other Oxyopids, GLSs have long, bristly legs, each ending with three claws, a tapering abdomen, and a flat face with eight eyes. GLSs young and old are carnivores, enjoying a buffet of wasps, bees, moths, flies, bugs, and beetles that they encounter on vegetation.

Bugs without Bios V

The BugLady dedicates Bugs without Bios episodes to insects about whom, despite all the words that are floating around out there, she can discover only a little information.

The 12 Bugs of Christmas

In lieu of the usual bug biography, the BugLady presents The Twelve Bugs of Christmas—a tribute to a dozen insects (a Baker’s Dozen, really) that were photographed this year but not featured in a BOTW. Let the singing commence.

Big Orb Weaving Spiders (Family Araneidae)

Orb Weaver Spiders have been practicing their craft for some 140 million years. With more than 10,000 kinds of Araneids worldwide, they account for about a quarter of spider species. OWs will often tackle prey that is larger than they are if it gets snagged in their web. They first paralyze it with a toxic bite, then wrap it, and later eat it.

Bugs without Bios IV

The BugLady has many pictures of bugs about whom she can’t find enough information to write a complete biography. Here are three more of them.

6-Spotted Fishing Spider (Family Pisauridae)

Six-Spotted Fishing Spiders are found in wetlands, especially wetlands bordered by lots of vegetation, and they’ve developed multiple ways to get around within their habitats. There are 100-plus members of the genus worldwide, nine of those species in North America—four live in still water; four in streams, and one is found in trees. SSFS can dive underwater, and can easily take a tiny fish and can stay submerged for more than thirty minutes.

Bug Mysteries

The BugLady takes lots of pictures as she moseys around—flowers, landscapes, a surprising number of people, and, of course, all manner of bugs. Bug pictures may stall in the BugLady’s X–Files, awaiting identification—some for a long time. Here is a selection from the X–Files. In some cases the BugLady knows part of the story; in others, even less.

Mullein Watching

The BugLady has always enjoyed mullein plants (Verbascum thapsus). Oh, she knows that they’re sun-slurping aliens whose mission is to blanket the earth at the expense of native vegetation, but they produce cheery yellow flowers, and they stick out of grassy fields like skinny saguaro cacti.