Gossamer Tapestry

Reflections on conservation, butterflies, and ecology in the nation's heartland

Monday, June 18, 2007

More Coleopteran Goodness

Aster novae-angliae. Blooming in mid-June?

I did my butterfly monitoring route at the Fen today. I brought my camera with me because of something that happened last week. My favorite butterfly is out in force right now. Last week, I saw a really cool aberration. It was a female entirely lacking the yellow spots on the forewing. Naturally I didn’t have a camera with me at the time. And naturally that particular individual was nowhere to be seen on today’s trip. But I did see good stuff. Two important wetland species that I’m monitoring (the eyed brown and Baltimore checkerspot) are having really good flights this year. And I saw two mulberrywing skippers already. That’s a really rare fen species here, and I’m glad to see the population doing well. Today’s total butterfly tally: 20 species, 167 individuals in 1.5 hr. Those are very good numbers with this protocol. I also observed one really odd bit of phenology. A New England aster was in full bloom on Saturday. Plants of the Chicago Region lists blooming dates from 27 July to 20 October, yet this plant was in full bloom on 16 June- outrageous.

Baytele suturalis on prairie coreopsis

Because I had my camera with me, I was prepared for other opportunities. I have been envious of late, as other folks who are blogging about nature have posted some really nice photos of longhorn beetles, a favorite group of mine. Well, I can stop feeling left out. Here is Baytele suturalis, a beautiful little red longhorn that, as an adult, sits on flowers and eats pollen. The larvae bore into dead twigs of oak and hickory.

Baytele suturalis on ox-eye daisy

Oh, and while we’re at it, here’s a clerid beetle.

Trichodes nuttallii on ox-eye daisy

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At 12:23, Anonymous Mark H said...

Trichodes Nitalli. I swear I've seen that kid out here in mid-summer. Beautiful photos as usual, but what's GREAT, Doug, is that you're educating me on the insect world, a fascinating world.....especially knowing there were here millions of years before us, and will be millions of years AFTER we kill ourselves.

At 18:52, Blogger rodger said...

Nice photos Doug and I'm jealous of your wonderful weather. Hopefully we'll get some sun before Independence Day.

I suggest you carry your camera every time you visit the fen because we all so enjoy your fen and insect pics. And...I'm selfish that way.

At 21:17, Anonymous rcwbiologist said...

Wow, I really like that Trichodes nuttallii. I've not seen that before. Great red on black.

At 21:21, Blogger Ur-spo said...

indeed, lovely photos
insects are fascinating.

At 07:33, Blogger BentonQuest said...

Doug, you have been tagged!

At 00:40, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Those are some really good pictures! I have a hard time with close ups of little things.

I love your passion for bugs and such Doug!

At 13:51, Blogger Floridacracker said...

Great beetles. ALWAYS keep the camera handy.


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