Posts Tagged 'insects'


PsychidaeOn a young Baldcypress in a still-industrial stretch of Plymouth Street: several of these bag worm cocoons. These are the egg cases of a Psychidae family moth. From a distance they look like cones or some other part of the tree itself. Small twigs are glued onto the surprisingly, or, actually, not so surprisingly, tough cocoon silk. These are, after all, supposed to survive winter, predators, and enraged arborists.

Silent Nests

Revealed by the thinning of the leaves, two more Bald-faced Hornet (Dolichovespula maculata) nests:Dolichovespula maculataDolichovespula maculataNote the differences in the color pattern of the wood-pulp paper between the above nest and the one below. I have some paper that is predominately reddish, but the one above is the usual pattern I see here in Brooklyn. The all-gray one below is unusual looking.Dolichovespula maculataBoth of these were nearly twice as large as the one I recently discovered in Prospect.

Update: I saw three more of these in Prospect Park today.

Shadow Darner

Aeshna umbrosaAs November nears, the dragonflies are starting to be very scant above the ground. On Saturday, I saw a single Common Green Darner in Green-Wood. Yesterday, I saw this Shadow Darner (Aeshna umbrosa) at Little Stony Point up in Cold Spring. A new species for me, IDed with help from the Northeast Odonata FB crew. Paulson says this is “usually one of last species of autumn.” Besides a bumblebee, this was the only visible insect there. This afternoon, I saw about half a dozen Common Green Darners patrolling a very sunny lawn in Prospect.

All that glitters


Milkweed, Milkweed Beetles


After merely a summer dies the hornet

Dolichovespula maculataUnless she’s a queen. A Bald-faced Hornet (Dolichovespula maculata), caste unknown, unexpectedly by the front door buzzer.

I rarely see this species, but I know they are neighbors. A local nest was revealed by the fall of leaves a couple of seasons ago. The wood-pulp paper nests are abandoned in the fall and not reused, making them safe for removal and adding to your bookshelf. Fertilized queens squirrel themselves away for the winter, to start again the generations next year… if they make it through the winter.


Pyrrharctia isabella

Locust Borers

Megacyllen robiniae…making more Locust Borers (Megacyllen robiniae). This wasp-like longhorn beetle feeds on goldenrod and lays its eggs on Black Locust (Robinia pseudoacacia) trees, into which the larvae bore…

Yellow Bear Crossing

Spilosoma virginicaYellow Bear caterpillar (Spilosoma virginica), a.k.a. Virginian Tiger Moth. The very long hairs here are key to identifying this species, since they can be quite variable in coloration, starting cream to yellow and darkening with age, some becoming black. We saw a few of the older ones as well on the paved trails at Fresh Kills Park Sunday.

This was the third or so annual “sneak peak” at the erstwhile landfill transforming into the city’s newest park:Fresh Kills

Some More Southwestern Insects

i9The largest beetle I’ve ever run across. It was wider than my thumb. Giant Palm Borer?
i15Like the butterfly below, this dragonfly was deceased.Danaus gilippusQueen male (Danaus gilippus) and the spider who caught him.i7
i11This stink bug — genus Eleodes? — has assumed the position and is ready to spritz us with noxious spray.i8
Euptoieta claudiaVariegated Fritillary (Euptoieta claudia).i17


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