Recent Mayslake Arthropods
September 11, 2014 at 6:00 am (invertebrates (other), plant-eating insects)
Tags: black swallowtail, cabbage white, Cicuta maculata, crab spider, Hemaris thysbe, hummingbird clearwing, Mayslake, Monarda fistulosa, Papilio polyxenes, Pieris rapae, water hemlock, wild bergamot
by Carl Strang
Recent walks at Mayslake Forest Preserve have resulted in some photos to share, all involving Lepidoptera. The wild bergamot have been on the decline, but still were producing enough flowers to attract the attention of pollinators.
A hummingbird clearwing bellies up to the bar.
Another flower proved to be a fatal attraction to a cabbage white butterfly, which I saw curiously dangling beneath it.
The yellow flower head of the sow thistle had been a good hiding place for a crab spider. It and its prey dangled from the spider’s safety line until the butterfly was subdued.
Enough of the spider was hidden that I could not narrow its identity beyond being in one of two genera.
Wings may be in the future for today’s final subject.
This black swallowtail is maturing on a diet of water hemlock, a plant that is quite poisonous to humans.