Harry and I recently hiked to the Rock Garden, one of our favorite spots at Natural Bridge State Park. Among other things we enjoyed seeing a Six-spotted Tiger Beetle (Cicindela sexguttata). It doesn’t look at all like a tiger – the name refers to the fact that they hunt other insects.
Harry and I recently went to Natural Bridge State Resort Park near Slade, KY, one of our favorite places to hike. Our spicebush (Lindera benzoin) is blooming (read last year’s spicebush post), and I was pleased to find it scattered through the woods as well.
I often review my photos at the end of the year and I found a few from last summer that I’d like to share.
How about this Grapevine Beetle (Pelidnota punctata)? I was surprised and delighted to know we had such a striking creature in our backyard.
My husband, Harry, was working in the backyard and called my attention to an interesting insect he had discovered. It was a Wheel Bug (Arilus cristatus) and the unique spiky wheel-like formation on its back is the source of its common name.
I’ve been using the photographs I took recently of the insect show on the Rough-leaved Goldenrod (Solidago rugosa) to try to identify the insects I saw.
I was surprised to discover that what I thought was an iridescent green fly was actually a sweat bee (Augochloropsis metallica).
And this interesting-looking insect is a Feather-legged Fly (Trichopoda pennipes). It doesn’t fit my mental image of a typical fly, and it’s considered a beneficial insect. I’ve not found any information on what function the leg “feathers” serve.
I wouldn’t have guessed this Yellow-collared Scape Moth (Cisseps fulvicollis) was a moth, either. It is apparently widespread over much of the U.S., feeds on flowers by day and is attracted to lights at night.
I’m not sure which is more challenging – getting good insect photographs or identifying the subjects later. I’ve got a lot to learn on both counts, and I look forward to discovering more about all of our backyard visitors – large and small.
What plants, birds, insects, etc., are you noticing in your backyard?
P.S. Click on the images to see a larger view.