Archive for the 'Insects' Category

17
Sep
08

Goldrenrod Galls – Sept 17 2008

Here are good examples of insect galls on goldenrod

The top bushy gall is caused by the goldenrod gall gnat which stops further stem growth.

Other galls are the spherical bulges lower on the stem of the plant called goldenrod ball galls.  Created by the gall fly larva, these homes are invaded by birds in the winter like chickadees and downy woodpeckers.  It’s even possible to identify which type of bird ate which larva by the hole that is left on the gall.  These larva are also invaded by ice fisherman who use the larva as bait.

The goldenrod gall moth also produces a gall that is elliptical in shape.  Here’s a how it avoids freezing to death in the winter.

Goldenrod seems to have a difficult life.

If you’re interested in more information I’d suggest “The book of Field and Roadside” by John Eastman.  It’s an excellent resource concerning plants and there common insect associates.

For more on goldenrod galls

 

17
Sep
08

Praying Mantis – Sept 17 2008

I find this praying mantis in the meadow just east of the red oak preserve.

16
Sep
08

Insects on goldenrod – Sept 16 2008

Insects seem to love goldren at this time of the year.

Insect on Goldenrod - Sept 16 2008

Wasp on Goldenrod - Sept 16 2008

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2 insects on Goldenrod - Sept 16 2008

Bumblebee on Goldenrod - Sept 16 2008

15
Sep
08

Caterpillars on Mulberry – Sept 15 2008

 

10
Sep
08

Burying Beetle Eating a Mouse – September 10, 2008

As I’m walking home I spot the carcass of a mouse. It is moving slightly. I take a closer look and I spy two beetles(hairy burying beetles I presume) digging underneath the mouse. I realize that this is the same insect that I had observed on July 17, 2008. Golden Nature Guide (p112)states that there have been reports that some of the larger of these beetles …”dig under the carcass o f a small animal till it falls into the hole and is actually buried to serve as food for the larvae…” Very interesting.

Carrion Beetle - September 10 2008

05
Sep
08

Spider Eating a Walkingstick – Sept 5, 2008

As I’m heading home from work I notice this spider eating a walkingstick just outside the nature center. This seems like quite a good size meal for this spider.

Spider Eating a Walking Stick

30
Aug
08

Bumblebee on flower – August 30 2008