Monthly Archives: June 2014

Common Checkered Skipper

I saw a common checkered skipper, Pyrgus communis, yesterday.  It was the first of the year for me. There were at least two of them, drinking nectar and getting moisture and minerals from mud alongside the road to our place. … Continue reading

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The Experiment is on Hold

In a previous post I mentioned that I had been looking in the spittle of dogwood spittlebug nymphs for the larva of an insect called the spittlebug fly.  I further refined my search with some special tools:   I could clip … Continue reading

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Looking for Critters

Yesterday and today  I had the pleasure of attending a bioblitz at Whiterock Conservancy. Bioblitzes are events in which a number of people get together and try to identify as many species of particular groups as they can within a … Continue reading

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My Favorite Butterfly

If I had to pick my favorite butterfly I would come up with a list of a little over a hundred, which is by coincidence about the number of species we have here in Iowa. The least skipper, Ancyloxpha numitor, … Continue reading

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Blowing Bubbles

There are a group of bugs called froghoppers whose larval stages blow bubbles out of their rear ends.  The bubbles are sticky and cover the animals.  This provides a certain amount of protection from predators.  If you look closely you … Continue reading

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I Can’t Walk Past a Puddle, Part 2

I just got back from a short vacation that I took with one of my sons.  We went to Duluth and along the North Shore area (along Lake Superior) of Minnesota.  Duluth is a very photogenic city.   As we … Continue reading

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Six-Spotted Tiger Beetle

Six-spotted tiger beetles are out in some numbers now.   They are a wide-spread species, and are named for the six small white spots that are present on the elytra.  Except that the ones around here are mostly unmarked. The … Continue reading

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The Chase

Summer azures have multiple, overlapping broods in Iowa, according to The Butterflies of Iowa by Schlicht, Downey, and Nekola.  These seem a little worn and battered.   In the world of tiny butterflies these are no spring chickens.  In fact, … Continue reading

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I Hate Almost

I was out in the reconstructed prairie taking pictures of the blue-flag iris when I saw a snowberry clearwing moth.  I tried to get some pictures but it moved fast and stayed on the other side of the flower. It … Continue reading

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Quite a Rack

Male mosquitoes feed on nectar rather than blood, and have a feathery antenna.  This one seems pretty distinctive but maybe it isn’t.  There seem to be a lot of similar mosquitoes in the unidentified section on bugguide. It even spent … Continue reading

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