Meanwhile, Back at Mayslake
September 14, 2012 at 6:25 am (botany, ecology, plant-eating insects)
Tags: Agalinus purpurea, Boltonia latisquama, differential grasshopper, false aster, friary demolition, marsh, Mayslake, Melanoplus differentialis, Melanoplus femurrubrum, old witch grass, Panicum capillare, purple false foxglove, red-legged grasshopper, river bulrush, Scirpus fluviatilis
by Carl Strang
Lately I have been reporting mainly on singing insect researches I have been conducting on vacation time in Indiana and Illinois. When working, though, I have continued my practice of lunchtime preserve monitoring at Mayslake Forest Preserve. The stream corridor marsh still has no standing water.
Dense grasses and river bulrushes have been transpiring all the recent rainfall.
One of the zoned vegetation rings is dominated by old witch grass, which last year was present only in a few small patches.
I have found new species there to add to my preserve lists, all the same.
Purple false foxglove plants have appeared at both the north and south edges of the marsh.
Another addition is Boltonia, the false aster.
Scattered in the dense, coarse, river bulrushes are differential grasshoppers, a relatively large species that likes wet places.
The olive-green color and black herringbone pattern on the femur are distinctive.
Up at the former friary site, the soil now is safely held together by a mix of weeds and fast-growing prairie plants.
The site on August 10
This area has its common grasshopper as well.
These appear to be all red-legged grasshoppers, a smaller and relatively weedy insect species.
I’ll be back to reporting on Mayslake more regularly soon.