The Many Shades of the Spangled Fritillary

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.

Great Spangled Fritillary, Natural Light, 2020-08-09
Great Spangled Fritillary, Yellow Reflection, 2020-08-09
Great Spangled Fritillary, Pink Reflection, 2020-08-09
Great Spangled Fritillary, Orange Reflection, 2020-08-09

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 instead originates from the fact that the heads of these flies are always wider than the thorax.

Physocephala tibialis, a.k.a. Thick-headed Fly, 2020-08-04

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.

Lepidophora lutea, a.k.a. the Hunchback Bee Fly, 2020-08-04

Juvenile Green Herons

My wife spotted four juvenile green herons at the end of the fishing dock on Bath Pond. Here is a picture of two of them. At first glance I thought they were American Bittern, but the body posture and the yellow around the eye confirm them as Green Heron.

Juvenile Green Heron, Bath Nature Preserve, 2020-07-29

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.

Orange Meadowhawk, Bath Nature Preserve, 2020-06-30
Eastern Pondhawk, Bath Nature Preserve, 2020-07-25
Eastern Amber Wing, Bath Nature Preserve, 2020-7-25
Common Whitetail, 2019-06-01
Red-Tailed Pennant (tentative), Bath Nature Preserve, 2020-07-25