Mayslake Insects Update
June 21, 2013 at 6:18 am (dragonflies and damselflies, insects (other), plant-eating insects)
Tags: Bombus auricomus, Carolina saddlebags, eastern amberwing, Erynnis baptisiae, foxglove beard tongue, Lestes rectangularis, Mayslake, Penstemon digitalis, Perithemis tenera, Polites themistocles, slender spreadwing, tawny-edged skipper, Tramea carolina, wild indigo dusky wing
by Carl Strang
We’re at the edge of summer, and bees and butterflies and Odonata are center stage. Skippers have been appearing at flowers.
Earlier in the season there were wild indigo dusky wings. This is one of the skippers that typically rest with wings open.
This week a new skipper appeared in Mayslake’s main prairie. This is one that closes the wings at least part way, and had practically no detail beneath.
With the wings partly open there clearly is some color on the leading edge of the forewing, and small groups of dots. It appears to be a tawny-edged skipper.
Carolina saddlebags have been one of our more consistent early season dragonflies.
The violet forehead is just visible in this back-lit individual.
So far the only spreadwing damselflies I have seen have been slender spreadwings.
Slender spreadwings continue to be common this week.
In the past few days a number of dragonflies have made their first appearances of the season.
One of the recent species is the eastern amberwing. I like the way the light projects a distorted image of this male’s wings onto the rock.
Early bumblebee colonies have begun sending out workers.
This bee was diving into the foxglove beard tongue flowers so quickly upon landing that flight photos were needed to show sufficient detail for identification. The black basal abdominal segment followed by two yellow ones is one clue. The trace of yellow on the back half of the dorsal thorax is another.
The other details are consistent with an identification of Bombus auricomus.
New insects will be emerging frequently for the next couple of months.