I hope you enjoy taking a closer look at some of the things I find interesting.
- North America (155)
- South America (171)
- Amphibians (10)
- Frogs and Toads (10)
- Arachnids (41)
- Fungi (3)
- Insects (215)
- Ants, Bees, Wasps and Relatives (44)
- Barklice (1)
- Beetles (27)
- Butterflies and Moths (55)
- Cockroaches (2)
- Dragonflies (1)
- Earwigs (1)
- Flies (20)
- Grasshoppers and Relatives (9)
- Mantids (3)
- Net-winged Insects (7)
- Termites (5)
- Thrips (1)
- True Bugs (57)
- Walkingsticks (1)
- Webspinners (1)
- Mammals (2)
- Millipedes (1)
- Polyxenids (1)
- Plants (3)
- Reptiles (13)
- Velvet Worms (3)
- Amphibians (10)
I usually don’t have the patience to stalk butterflies. The colors on this one were just so vibrant that I spent about 20 minutes chasing after it.
Even the undersides of the wings, while definitely muted, are attractive (to me anyway).
Glasswing butterflies lack scales on parts of their wings, leaving those parts transparent.
Though similar looking, this is not the species (Greta oto) commonly found in many of the butterfly houses I’ve visited. That one’s range doesn’t extend into South America. This is probably a closely related species. I was surprised there are so many that look very much alike. Check out this Florida Museum of Natural History page on the tribe Godyridini to get an idea.
I’ve seen variations on this pattern for tortoise beetles throughout Central and South America. I often see the species referred to as target tortoise beetles, though a quick google search seems to confirm my suspicion that that common name applies to many different species across several genera.
These ants have quite effectively corralled their herd of honeydew producing treehoppers.
There’s a lot to see here if you look carefully. First, it looks like quite a few of the life stages of the treehoppers are present. There’s the dark adult in the center, an early instar in the bottom center, and the majority appear to be middle instars.
In the detail below, you can see the ant on the right has just taken a drop of honeydew and the dark adult has a drop waiting.
I just couldn’t pass up this interesting looking fly. Flies are a difficult order, and I quickly gave up on narrowing down any sort of id.
This should be an easy one. The next one should be a bit more difficult.
I really like the flashy colors on this large stink bug.
I encountered a handful of these tiger beetles. At least, I think that’s what these are. I hope I don’t embarrass myself.
Most of them were up in trees and bushes as suggested by the first photo. I only encountered one on the ground.
From a distance, I mistook the first one for a large ant. Indeed, they move more like an ant than what I expect from a tiger beetle. I believe they may in fact be mimicking ants, and I found some references to back that up. None gave even a general identification though, so I wasn’t able to search for any online photos.
Did you find the critter hidden in this image?
Ted C. MacRae did and correctly identified it as a stick grasshopper in the family Proscopiidae. As a reward, my next post will be a tiger beetle.
If you still need help finding it, here’s an outline and a cropped version.
Hopefully this one was bit more challenging. I didn’t spot the critter in this setting. It was originally higher up in some foliage and only jumped to the ground in a failed effort to escape my photographic pursuit.
Note the short antenna which makes it easy to distinguish these from walkingsticks.
Here’s an ant in the Formica genus tending a caterpillar in the Lycaenidae family. The ant has just taken a drop of a sugary substance produced by a gland at the rear of the caterpillar. Here’s a shot from about 10 seconds earlier where you can see the drop sitting atop the gland and the ant fast approaching.
I’m not sure what flowers these caterpillars are eating, but they are pretty well camouflaged settled in among the flower buds. Once I spotted the first one, I started looking for them and found quite a few wherever I spotted these flowers.