Eastern Comma Eggs

July 21st, 2014

While walking at the edge of woods bordering a pasture, I noticed an anglewing butterfly behaving as though it was looking for an appropriate plant for its eggs. It briefly landed and deposited 3 eggs in the characteristic chain. Unfortunately, my view of the butterfly actually ovipositing was blocked by leaves but I did get photos of the eggs after the butterfly left.

chain of 3 Eastern Comma eggs hanging from underside of leaf

The next week I finally had a chance to return to look for the eggs / caterpillars. Unfortunately, stem holding the leaf was damaged. My guess is that a deer inadvertently swallowed the eggs along with the leaf. I'm planning to examine the plant several more times in hopes that I just overlooked tiny caterpillars which may have hatched before the leaf with the eggs was eaten.

The day I searched for caterpillars, I found a group of Ensign Scales (Homoptera Ortheziidae) being tended by an Acrobat Ant (Crematogaster sp.) for honeydew.

 Ensign Scales (Homoptera Ortheziidae) with Acrobat Ant (Crematogaster)

Thick-headed Fly

July 18th, 2014

At an July 7 at 4 pm, I found this fly in the edge of the woods bordering a pasture. From a distance, its resemblance to a wasp almost convinced me but with a closer look I noticed the 2 wings instead of 4 and the shape of the antennae. I found this same species at 2 pm on July 9 on the same group of flowers. Larvae of thick-headed flies are parasitoids of bees, wasps, crickets and cockroaches.

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Thick-headed Fly, Physocephala sp., Conopidae

Mercury Vapor Light, Boone County, Missouri

July 18th, 2014

Below are a few of the insects attracted to a mercury vapor light between 9 pm June 25 and 5 am June 26, 2014.

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Dark-spotted Palthis, Palthis angulalis

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Connubial Underwing, Catocala connubialis

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Ultronia Underwing, Catocala ultronia

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Pearly Wood-Nymph, Eudryas unio

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Grapevile Looper, Eulithis

Runge Nature Center Dragonflies

July 5th, 2014

On Wednesday, July 2nd, I found 7 species of dragonflies at Runge Nature Center in Jefferson City, Missouri. The highlight was a Comet Darner at the pond with the dock on the Raccoon Run trail. Other species present were Blue Dasher, Widow Skimmer, Eastern Pondhawk, Black Saddlebags, Carolina Saddlebags and Common Whitetail. Damselflies were Springwater Dancer, Familiar Bluet, Citrine Forktail, unidentified spreadwing (Lestes sp.).

While I didn't try for photographs of the Comet Darner since it was continually in flight, I have an image of a Comet Darner from Rocky Fork Conservation Area in Boone County taken on July 25, 2003.

photograph of Comet Darner in flight taken from directly behind the insect

Sawfly Larva

June 19th, 2014

Sawfly larva approximately 1" long found in Boone County on June 17th and 18th at edge of woods bordering pasture.

sawfly larva

sawfly larva

sawfly larva

sawfly larva