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)
There were quite a few of these reddish tortoise beetles feeding on this banana plant.
They feed on the large leaves, scarring them in a distinctive way.
Here you can see one munching its way forward, carefully feeding only between the leaf veins.
Did you notice the little hitchhiker above? Looks like some sort of parasitic wasp to me. I suspect this is probably a female beetle, and the wasp is just hanging out until she lays eggs, which the wasp will then parasitize. Here’s a closer look.
They’d often fly away from me once I started taking pictures, but it was no trouble to find another one.
I like finding velvet ants, but boy are they tough to photograph in the field. They don’t stand still unless they’re hidden. This crop is the best I could do for this one. I saw one other one like this.
Wasps in the family Pelecinidae are distinctive and easily recognized by that long thin abdomen. I’ve see them closer to home as well, but I can’t recall if I’ve ever gotten a decent photo. I do remember chasing after quite a few in vain or watching as one teased me from someplace just out of reach. I got lucky with this one.
What I thought was a red marking turns out to be a small mite.
There’s only one genus, Pelecinus, for this family. There appears to be at least two described species in the tropics.
This beetle looks like a buprestid to me. The interesting thing is that it’s splitting this leaf lengthwise. In the second photo, you can see where the cut starts in the upper right. That would seem like an odd way to eat, so I suspect there’s some other purpose. Is anyone familiar with this behavior?
There’s also what appears to be a small wasp hanging out on the elytra.
When I spotted these paper wasps alongside the trail, I only halfheartedly took a few shots. Mostly, I just didn’t think I’d be able to get an attractive photo out of it. So when I was reviewing my shots, I just about deleted all of them, including this one.
At the last second though, I noticed something unusual in the photo. I call these sorts of discoveries where I notice something in the photo that I didn’t realize was there when I took it “easter eggs.” It happens often enough that I just decided to add a new category for that here on my blog.
As usual, I was working in the yard when I got distracted by some sort of dramatic natural scene. This time, I noticed that some magnolia blooms were literally crawling with tumbling flower beetles. Mostly, there was a lot of mating going on amongst the beetles. Then I noticed this little wasp that kept approaching various beetles, usually resulting in the beetle running off. Finally, she found one that was less wary. Above the wasp is closing in. Below, it appears she eventually made contact.