by Carl Strang
A couple days ago I put a finish on the floral season at Mayslake Forest Preserve. Today I’ll shake a few late insect photos out of the camera. We’ll start with some Odonata.
At Mayslake as elsewhere, hundreds of common green darners paused in their migration to hunt above the prairies and meadows. Migrating south is thought to be worthwhile for them and other large, strong dragonflies as they can extend their breeding season and spread their genes over a larger area. The various saddlebags species also migrate. Here is a UFO shot of a Carolina saddlebags that graced the mansion lawn area one day.
A darner that shows up in a lot of places late in the summer is the shadow darner.
That vertical perching posture is typical. Common milkweeds have been hosting a late-season caterpillar, the milkweed tussock caterpillar.
They are larvae of a tiger moth. I’ll close with a predator. This Chinese mantis assumed a cheerleading pose.
Then, it began to groom its hunting apparatus.
Earlier I showed an egg mass, which is how the species overwinters. Soon all the insects will be going into their various dormant forms to survive the long, cold, dry months of winter.