Posts Tagged 'insects'



Chrysalis

September 17th. I noticed this chrysalis hanging by silken threads in the doorway of a mausoleum. I thought it was Eastern Tiger Swallowtail.
September 18th.
Parenthetical: there was a spider right next door.
September 21st. I don’t know what’s going here. Breached by something?
October 5th.

For the first time, the wealthiest Americans paid a lower overall tax rate last year than the middle class. Why? Decades of tax cuts. The rise of tax dodging. And the Trump tax cut.”

Butterfly Reprise

What a year for butterflies! All these were seen in the last two weeks. I’ve now seen 28 species in Kings County, according to iNaturalist. Plus one skipper, oh those bedeviling skippers, only identified to genus level.

I meant to post this yesterday, but I screwed up the scheduling. It was 94F on Wednesday and the butterflies were busy. Yesterday dawned at 55F and the temp didn’t stray much from there all the daylight hours. Definitely not butterfly weather.

Under the Lilac Bush, Again

Remember the Wasp Lilac? Cicada-killer Wasps and a few other wasp species, but mostly Cicada-killers, were sucking the sap from this one bushy specimen in Green-Wood. Well, more than one lilac, actually, since the one nearby was also being suckled at.
A month later, I happened to look again, and now it’s the turn of the European Hornets.
Vespa crabro is another big, burly wasp. I usually see one or two patrolling places with lots of pollinators. They are rather generalist when it comes to prey.
And they also clearly like the sugary stuff.
Cleaning. The fastidiousness of big killers like these is something to see.
Those mouth parts! These are serious jaws. And that tongue, at least I think it’s the tongue, looks very hairy.

Citrine Observation

Six years after spotting a male Citrine Forktail at Brooklyn Bridge Park, I spotted one in Green-Wood this week. This is my second record.

Ischnura hastata is one the smallest of the damselflies. They like “densely vegetated pond and lake edges, grass seepages, and quiet streams,” according to Ed Lam. The site at Brooklyn Bridge Park fits that profile. Green-Wood doesn’t. But the species also gets around: strays are sometimes found far from water. Sure, there’s water in G-W, but the nearest “Water,” as the ponds are called, is very orderly, completely without vegetated edges

Odonata Central had one ten-year-old report of this species in Kings County (Brooklyn). I added mine to that database. I wasn’t aware of OC when I spotted the one in Brooklyn Bridge Park. Over at iNaturalist, there are now two observations for Kings County, although one of them is questionable: it hasn’t been confirmed to research grade; the picture isn’t clear enough; I can’t tell.

Meanwhile, my observation at Brooklyn Bridge Park isn’t counted for Kings Co. because, by a fluke of history, the Kings County line ends at the low tide mark. New York County (i.e. Manhattan) claims the piers the park is built on! Say what? This is a technical point, true, but on iNaturalist the county lines are the county lines.

Same day, nearby, this female Bluet (Familiar is the usual option, but…) was snacking on what looked like a fly.

A lot of patches went un-mown this year in Green-Wood. They’re seeing what results, along with folks from Cornell U. One thing that results: the invertebrates! Walk though the grasses and forbs, and tiny things shoot away from you, grasshoppers and katydids bound away helter-skelter, moths flutter in a whirl, and occasionally the exotic Odonata shows up.

P.S.: I wrote about odonating for the summer issue of the Clapper Rail.

Cats!

When a body meets a body coming through the…
Apiaceae.
Black Swallowtail caterpillar fit to pupate.
The Asteroid, AKA Goldenrod Hooded Owlet.
A reprise of the Common Buckeye caterpillar.
Five were seen in the same small patch.
The blue spines!
Our old friend the Monarch. On the same day, two days ago, a female was laying eggs nearby. This has not been a great year for Monarch caterpillars in Green-Wood.
An addendum to last Friday’s post on Tiger Swallowtails.
This is a brand new chrysalis.

***
This is hard to read, but the unspeakable has become our reality.

Nine-Spotted Lady Beetles

Do you remember when the Flatbush Gardener released Nine-spotted Lady Beetle larvae in his native meadow garden? Coccinella novemnotata is the New York State insect, but it is almost non-existent now in the state. In fact, the species is hardly to be found anywhere in the east. Cornell’s Lost Ladybug Project has been working to both document and re-introduce the species, which may be endangered by all the god-damned invasive lady beetles introduced by people thinking they’re doing a good thing.Anyway, no sign of that original release in 2016 were ever seen again. This week, FG tried again, this time with both adults and larvae. (Same plump larva under flash above and natural lighting, below.)
How will they fare? Some neighbors are receiving them too, to spread the wealth up and down the block. This is a unique part of Brooklyn, with substantial houses on suburban-style lots. It’s good and tree-y, but has an awful lot of lawn, which is habitat for very little. Flatbush’s all-native species yard, front and back, really stands out, but there is some creeping diffusion of his model nearby.
There were very robust specimens, packed with aphids. In both senses: the containers — available here — come with food for the little beetles, and they evidently eagerly partake of said food. Yum, aphids!It was very drizzly-misty that evening, rather more than a mizzle at some points. The adult beetles quickly tucked themselves out of the way under leaves.
Good luck, little ones!

Tiger, Tiger, Burning Bright

I’m missing the egg stage, but otherwise here’s the run:
The first few instars of the Eastern Tiger Swallowtail mimic bird droppings. This one was on the nearly horizontal surface of a magnolia leaf, right out in the open. Finally saw one!
The caterpillar is green in youth. Or is that middle age?
Old age, or…
…the the start of something new?

These images represent multiple years and different individuals. I found them all except for the green instar, which was a sample taken by an entomologist at the BioBlitz on Saturday; what a illustration of how it blends in with the green of a magnolia leaf! The late instar was on the sidewalk in my old neighborhood, under a tuliptree (which is a rare street tree here, but found in all our woods). The pupa was just something I ran into. “Found” suggests intentionality: of course I’m always looking for life, but fairly haphazardly. If I see something, I say something. Only the bird-turd form was a reward of some intentional close examination of several sapling magnolias. Having seen the ento’s specimen, I said to myself, now where would I find some magnolias? At around a centimeter long, it was most difficult to photograph.


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