Wednesday, January 16, 2013

June, 2011

Here is a continuation of my review of 2011. The month of June.

Sulphur-tipped Clubtail, Gomphus militaris, male. This species barely enters the SW corner of Arkansas, and is one of the many species Charles Mills was first to discover in the state from his very strategic center of operations at Lake Millwood. Cheryl and I found this one just to the north in Grandview Prairie.

A bright and pretty Phaon Crescent.

Double-striped Bluet, Enallagma basidens, male.

Checkered Setwing, Dythemis fugax, immature.

Spangled Skimmer, Libellula cyanea. I like the bright headlights on this one. Dragonflies, with their long stiff wings, are always picking up bits of web floating in the air.

Prince Baskettail, Epitheca princeps, female. Here's another species that flies by the hour over water and never lands to give you a chance to photograph it. But we have discovered that on very hot days they eventually begin to overheat, and go deep into shady woods to cool off.

Here below is an adult male, with bright green eyes. Look how nicely its color and pattern blend into the dappled light and dark.

Sawflies are very primitive wasps whose larvae feed on plant material and look just like small moth or butterfly caterpillars feeding on leaves. The larvae tend to be gregarious and can strip leaves at an incredible pace.

Here is the head of a dragonfly (a Blue Dasher, Pachydiplax longipennis). That "smile" is the last thing many small flying insects see. Note the thousands of lenses on the wrap-around eyes.

Jade Clubtail, Arigomphus submedianus, male. This is the second of the three Arigomphus species in the state (I showed a picture of the blue-eyed Stillwater Clubtail, A. lentulus, in the preceding blog). This one features green eyes, and a red tail. One more to go. But the last one is scarce.

Jade Clubtails mating.

Royal River Cruiser (Macromia taeniolata), immature female.

Tufted Bird-dropping Moth caterpillar, Cerma cerintha.

Tufted Bird-dropping Moth, Cerma cerintha. A number of moths are patterned to resemble inedible bird droppings when they are landed.

A powerful robber fly, Triorla interrupta, eating a katydid.

Here is a more formal portrait of a Jade Clubtail.

And of a Spangled Skimmer.

And of a Widow Skimmer, Libellula luctuosa.

This very small wasp has paralyzed a jumping spider several times bulkier than it is and is lugging it vertically up the front wall of my house to a cell it has made inside the eaves. It will secrete it there and lay an egg on it. I think the confrontation between these two is, for its size, the equal of the dramatic confrontations between tarantulas and the giant Pepsis wasps that attack them.

Cloudless Sulphur caterpillar, yellow form.

White-dotted Prominent caterpillar.

The black instead of red at the end of the abdomen shows that this, after a long search, is the male of the Bayou Clubtail (A. maxwelli), the third and scarcest of the Arigomphus dragonflies.

Here below is a female Bayou Clubtail (A. maxwelli), with immediately following, for direct contrast, a female Jade Clubtail (A. submedianus).

That was for me a nice ending for the month of June.

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