The silvery spots (or “spangles”) of the Great Spangled Fritillary are just like shiny little mirrors. With the right angle, they will reflect the colors around them. These pictures are all of the same butterfly as he sampled the many flavors of zinnia in our garden.
Category Archives: Insects
Tiger Bee Fly
Large and exotic, this fly is actually harmless to humans with neither a bite nor a sting. The female lays its eggs in carpenter bee nests, where the fly larvae seek out and devour carpenter bee larvae before they can mature and escape.
Everything butterfly-related is a running a little late this year because of the cold spring. Normally I would see these in July, but now they are here in August. I’m not going to complain.
Ahh, skippers. So many, so very hard to tell apart. In this case, I feel confident in my id.
Physocephala tibialis or Thick-headed Fly
Identification is tentative but probably correct or very close. It’s a wasp-mimic, but the eyes are distinctly those of a fly. It was strikingly beautiful in the field. It’s not a great photo, but its one of only two I got before it flew away. The colloquial name, while amusing, is not a pejorative but …
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Hunchback Bee Fly
An interesting fly in both appearance and behavior. Something like the “Brown Cowbird” of insects, it will lay its eggs in the nest of wasps. The unsuspecting wasp stocks the nest with provisions for its own larva, but this fly’s larva gets fed instead.
Clearwing Hummingbird Moth
As the name implies, this is a moth that bears a passing resemblance to a hummingbird when seen with the naked eye. The wings beat very fast, just like a hummingbird, and I was fortunate to capture an image where they could be clearly seen.
The Many Colors of Dragonflies
These identifications should all be taken with a grain of salt, which is to say– the best that I could do.
I’m not qualified to identify most dragonflies; there are too many species (over three-thousand) and many that look very much alike. However, I’m fairly confident that this is a Blue Dasher male, possibly a fresh hatching because the eyes don’t look fully developed.
Great Spangled Fritallary
In general, butterflies have been few and far between this year. Many people have noticed, and there is speculation on causes from the unusually cold spring all the way to the nefarious “climate change.” So far I’ve only seen one of these in my yard. (And yes, that’s Poison Ivy that the Fritallary is resting …