Monthly Archives: September 2012

The Horizons of Butterfly Conservation

I have done a little work on the conservation of butterflies, and I think there are three areas that need to be worked on.  I call those areas “horizons.” The first horizon is the conservation of rare butterflies.  Rare butterflies … Continue reading

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Drawn to Flies

I find my attention drawn to small flies on flowers like this goldenrod. I think it is Toxomerus geminatus.

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When Plants Fail

I usually enjoy late September, although there seems to be something missing this year.  We have a plant called New England aster, Aster novae-angliae.  It is one of the native prairie plants, but it is also often planted along roadsides … Continue reading

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Red Admirals are Migrating

Red admirals are among the few species of butterflies that have a two-way migration.  In Iowa this year we had huge numbers of this butterfly early in the summer, then their numbers went way down. Friday I saw six in … Continue reading

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Suddenly, it is autumn.  It wasn’t yesterday. Autumn has the nicest days of the year.  But it also comes at a time when lots of other things are happening.  Do we have time to get outside and enjoy the days? … Continue reading

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Dragonflies in the Grass

Small dragonflies have been flying in the grass of our yard.  Not quite so many that I would call them a swarm,  but a dozen or two.  Their flight is not so rapid and overwhelming as some of the others … Continue reading

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Mourning Cloaks

There seem to be more mourning cloak butterflies, Nymphalis antiopa, flying around than one would normally expect for this time of year.  They perch in the trees and feed on fallen apples. Soon they will squeeze themselves into a tiny … Continue reading

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A Feather-legged Fly

I saw this unusual fly the other day.  It is fairly distinctive, and easily identified as Trichopoda pennipes.  This fly lays eggs on other insects–mostly stink bugs– family Pentatomidae.  The larva burrow into the host and later emerge and pupate.  … Continue reading

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Lacebugs are small, odd-looking insects that mostly live on the undersides of leaves, where they suck the juice from the plant. They are called lacebugs because they are covered with a transparent shield-like structure that looks sort of like lace. … Continue reading

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Getting Some Sap

This spring red admiral butterflies were very common.  Now, not so much.  But this individual was taking sap from a tiny crack in the bark of a bush in our yard today.  

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