Beetles of this family are elongated and usually found on flowers or stems. The adults of some species are nectarivores while some may have short-lived adult lives during which they may not feed at all. The head is triangular and the antennae are long, thick, and serrate. Many of them are brightly colored, usually reddish, as a warning to potential predators of their inherent toxicity. The predaceous larvae grow under bark or in leaf litter.
Also known as the bush hopper, the common bush hopper is a species of skipper buttefly found throughout India and parts of Asia. Like most butterflies the bush hopper feeds almost exclusively on nectar which it finds on flowers and other plants. Also like all skippers the common bush hopper flies in a unique “skipping” pattern.
The tiger beetles are a large group of beetles known for their aggressive predatory habits and running speed. The fastest species of tiger beetle can run at a speed of 9 km/h (5.6 mph), which, relative to its body length, is about 22 times the speed of former Olympic sprinter Michael Johnson,the equivalent of a human running at 480 miles per hour (770 km/h).
They live along sea and lake shores, on sand dunes, around lakebeds and on clay banks or woodland paths, being particularly fond of sandy surfaces. Tiger beetles are considered a good indicator species and have been used in ecological studies on biodiversity.
The Oregon silverspot butterfly (Speyeria zerene hippolyta) once flourished in beach communities along the West Coast, but due to habitat loss they are found now in only a handful of protected areas, many of which are within the boundaries of the Siuslaw National Forest. Read about how local, state, and federal agencies are collaborating to bring the silverspot back from the brink: http://1.usa.gov/10gzbs8
… are the species known for their spectacular mass emergences every 13 or 17 years. Magicicadas occur in distinct populations, called broods, and each brood is on its own 17-year cycle. This year the show will take place along the east coast of the US, from New York south to North Carolina - corresponding to Brood II. Next year it will be Brood III’s turn, a smaller population primarily contained in Iowa and western Illinois. In all there are twelve 17-year broods and three 13-year broods, and nearly every year at least one brood, somewhere, will be emerging.
In fact, the next year *without* any mass cicada emergence will be 2022. Fortunately, despite their appearance and noisiness, cicadas are generally harmless. Adult cicadas feed on plant sap, and females lay their eggs in the stems of plants, but even these mass emergences rarely do lasting harm to plants. The emergence only lasts 4-6 weeks, while the adults find mates and lay eggs, after which they die.
Jumping Spider (Phidippus clarus) with Jagged Ambush Bug (Phymata sp.), Wake County, NC, USA
The jagged ambush bug is about 5 mm long. I took this shot on the very first annual BugGuide photo outing. The location was perfect, bugs everywhere, but it was very hot and humid so I didn’t last long.
The Argentine Cactus Moth (aka Cactoblastis cactus moth) is a small (22-35 mm) grayish-brown moth. The larvae are 25-30 mm in length and bright orangish-red with large dark spots that form cross bands. The eggs are laid in a series of up to 140 that creates a chain, looking like a stick or spine on the surface of the prickly pear pad (cladode). Upon hatching the larvae burrow into the pad and begin feeding gregariously on the tissues. This feeding consumes the cladode completely and the larvae move to other ones before pupation…
…is native to Argentina, Paraguay, Uruguay, and southern Brazil. It is one of five species in the genus Cactoblastis that inhabit South America, where many parasitoids and pathogens control the expansion of the moth’s population.
This species has been introduced into many areas outside its natural range, including Australia, the Caribbean, and South Africa. In some locations, it has spread uncontrollably and was consequently classified an invasive species. However, in other places such as Australia, it has gained favor for its role in the biological control of prickly pear cacti from the genus Opuntia…
Close up Moth Porn: Elephant Hawk Moth (Deilephila elpenor)
The Elephant Hawk-moth is a medium-sized hawk-moth, on the wing from May to July and active at dusk. Found across Eurasia. It is commonly found in parks and gardens, as well as woodland edges, rough grassland and sand dunes.
The caterpillars are seen from July to September and are very characteristic: greyish-green or brown with two enormous, black eyespots towards the head. When disturbed, they swell up to show these spots and scare-off predators. The caterpillars feed on willowherbs, fuchsia and bedstraw, and the adults feed on nectar. The caterpillars overwinter as chrysalides, hidden amongst low vegetation or in the soil…