Gossamer Tapestry

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

Friday, June 06, 2008

Skywatch, Faux Tiger Beetles and Travel

City sky- storm clouds approaching

The weather is conspiring against me at the moment. I'm sitting at O'Hare airport waiting to go to Denver. We're currently running a little over 2 hours late. I'm meeting up with my collecting buddy John, and we're heading off for several days of chitinous goodness. We're delayed because the wind has been gusting over 40mph all day long. The weather forecast for Colorado? Iffy. I am NOT bitter. Well, not much.

We did manage to get some interesting bug watching and collecting in on the department field trip earlier in the week. I went to one spot where tiger beetles have been sighted by a department member. Signs were good on the walk in- there was lots of hot bug on bug action involving six-spotted tiger beetles.

Putting the sex in sexguttata

When we reached our goal, things started out slowly, but began looking up when I found my first tiger. It turns out to be a species that I collected last summer in Michigan.

Cicindela hirticollis - The hairy-necked tiger beetle

Later someone found a tiny tiger beetle- or so we thought. It turns out to be another species of Carabid, the marsh ground beetle (Elapherus). I had to post to BugGuide to get an ID. No wonder my tiger beetle key was failing me!

Elapherus- a faux tiger beetle

I'll try to post from Colorado. At the very least, I'll take lots of pictures and post when I get home on Wednesday. Mountains almost always seem photogenic.

Random bug pics from the field trip:

Bluet damselfly (Enallagma)

Crab spider devours a bee

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At 19:45, Blogger Pernille said...

Wonderful Sky Watch-photo. It's lovely:)

At 20:15, Blogger SandyCarlson said...

I like your sky photo, and I am intrigued by your bugs!

At 20:49, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Beautiful shots. I posted a similar bugs shot. I like them.

At 22:51, Blogger Nora said...

Happy Sky Watch!!! I enjoyed your photos, lovely colors on the BUGS contrasting with the sky one.... cheers!!!!!

At 01:45, Blogger Lilli & Nevada said...

wow great capture with the bugs there, shame on them for not being so exposed LOL

At 03:41, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nice close-ups. I liked your submission for sky watch.

At 05:54, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nice photo for SKY WATCH!
I see you know your bugs.

At 07:53, Blogger cedrorum said...

Great photos. Have a great time in Colorado. It's got to be cooler there than it is here. That Chicago photo really makes me want to come up there.

At 08:28, Blogger Tom said...

Hi Doug
Hope that wind settled down and you got on your way... this is a perfect view of a city for me.... ha! from a distance'
I must make the time to call back here to view the bugs and such.. just started to get interested in whats creeping and crawling around.


At 09:08, Blogger robin andrea said...

Nice Bluet photo, doug. I can't tell if it's the same species as the Bluet I photographed the other day. Funny thing about photography, the macro shot doesn't convey anything about size. Beautiful beetle photos, as always.

Now I'm going to have to find out what Sky Watch is all about.

Hope your Denver trip goes well.

At 16:14, Blogger Daniel J Santos said...

great view and fantastic bugs catch, well done.

At 16:18, Blogger Texas Travelers said...

Great, great post.
Wonderful Tigers.
I like the Faux guy also.

I also really like the crab spider.
Very cool find.

Hope you are having a good time,

At 06:51, Blogger Dave Coulter said...

It's phrases like "hot bug action" that keep me reading your blog. Renew my subscription! ;)

I hope you beat it out of town before the "tornaters" came through last night?

At 19:38, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I too have to find out about the Sky Watch. Hope you're not still at O'Hare.........hah. Beautiful pictures, Doug............ I'm going to find out more about what beetles we have here. I am sure I'm just not knowing what to look for. Thanks for inspiration.

At 23:20, Blogger Ur-spo said...

insects are rather pretty aren't they? fascinating animals.

At 16:01, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Lovely Photo!

At 20:13, Blogger Kathie Brown said...

Have fun in Colorado! I lived there for 6 years! I LOVE the bluet damselfly! Bluets are some of my favorite flowers, though I was a bit dismayed when my mother-in-law in Maine told me they were called "piss-a-beds" up there. I don't know why.

At 23:03, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Do you have a Flikr account? I love bug porn. I would love to peruse your collection!

In fact the kids and I find bugs and often and I think, "I bet Doug knows what it is!"


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