Chinese Mantid, Tenodera aridifolia, on Elvira’s window. Easily four inches long. This is a late summer classic, at least since 1896, when these Asian natives were first introduced into North America. There have been many introductions since, as these all-purpose predators will eat anything they can get their “preying” hands on; of course, that also means insects beneficial to your garden, too.
Posts Tagged 'Nantucket'
Tags: ants, insects, invertebrates, Nantucket
Hymenoptera, the insect order that includes the wasps, bees, and ants, are named after their “membrane wings.” But ants don’t have wings, at least not in the colony, where such appendages would get in the way. The reproductives, males and virgin queens, however, do have wings. The queens break their wings off after mating flights and start new colonies. The males, or drones, die off after their work is done. Last week, a subtle glittering in the grass caught my eye. It was this colony all a-flutter.
The familiar caterpillar of the Isabella Tiger moth (Pyrrharctia isabella), better known as the Wooly Bear. We usually run into these in the fall, around the time of the first frosts, often crossing the road. (Why did the Wooly Bear cross the road?) But they have several generations a year on the East Coast, and this inch-long specimen may be the first of the spring. Or it could be one that has over-wintered.
As with all elaborately patterned caterpillars, the coloring here suggests this might not be so good for you. Warning, warning! Caterpillars not so defensive opt for camouflage. Some people are allergic to the hairs, or setae, of this species.
Seen earlier this week on Lover’s Lane, Nantucket. Why did the Wooly Bear cross Lover’s Lane?
A return to Squam Swamp.While silvery gray predominates this time of year, there are other colors of note:
A scrim of ice over autumn’s leftovers.
Blue-green stained wood, caused by a fungus.
Moss gone wild.
A mild night, and the outside light brought in these moths. The flash overexposed this one, creating the ghosts on the double paned sliding door.Not enough light on this one, but check out the barbs on the rear set of legs.
It was unusually warm last week, in the last month of what has turned out to be the hottest year in American history. I saw butterflies and a bat, and heard the plop of frogs hurrying to cover as I approached.