Monthly Archives: July 2013


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The Cicada Killer

This large wasp, Sphecius sp. is called the cicada killer because it captures and paralyzes cicadas, then buries them in a hole and lays eggs on them. It is large and intimidating, but not quick to sting.

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The Viceroy

This is a viceroy, Limenitis archippus.  Biology classes often use it as an example of Mullerian mimicry.  In this type of mimicry, both species are distasteful to their potential predators.  It used to be used as an example of Batesian … Continue reading

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A monarch butterfly visited our flowers yesterday. I have heard talk about monarch numbers being lower than average this year.  In my experience, the numbers of most species of butterflies are low this year.  Monarchs are not noticeably rarer than … Continue reading

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Butterflies are Nouns, Dragonflies are Verbs

Teresa Green made a comment on one of my posts about how imaginative the common names for dragonflies are, compared to those of butterflies.  I had not thought about it before, but it is true. Butterfly common names are largely nouns, … Continue reading

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The Orange Sulfur

This is an orange sulfur, Colias eurytheme.  This is normally a very common butterfly in Iowa.  This year they haven’t been so common though. Normally, they seem a little more yellow, and a little less orange.  But the sun was … Continue reading

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Shoe Butterfly

My sons are working detasseling jobs this summer.  Seed corn companies hire high-school and college aged kids to pull the male flower–the tassel–off of a corn plant to prevent pollination.  The corn plants are pollinated from rows of corn of … Continue reading

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Bugs that Bug Me

I enjoy taking pictures of insects, but that hobby comes with a little bit of risk.  If you go in the tall grasses you are likely to run into ticks, chiggers, and mosquitoes. But deer flies are the worst.  Especially … Continue reading

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Ant Lion

I got a photo of an ant lion today. I have been chasing bugs in Minnesota.  And bugs have been chasing me.

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The Summer Azure

Summer azures have been uncommon this year, but I did get a photo of this one.  I got a view of the spectacular blue dorsal surface of the wings, but I was not fast enough to get a photo of … Continue reading

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