On Guard

The insects are becoming more obvious now that the weather is warming up.  I’m hearing the crickets and grasshoppers and seeing more beetles.  This shield bug was holding on to the end of a large dandelion.

shield-bug-on-dandelion-spring

Blue Bottle

There are some very slow, dumb, and dead house flies appearing.  I don’t care for them inside but I leave them alone outdoors.  This is nearly black fly and deer fly season but this little fellow was just sunning himself on a leaf.  The color makes me think of a blue bottle, but I don’t really know.

green-fly-leaf-spring

Ladybug

This is the first ladybug I’ve seen.  It was a cold day – and snow came later – and there wasn’t much in the way of insects.  Swallows were flying all over the place and I saw this small dot of red.

ladybug-green-leaves-spring

Fly Away Home

This lady bug was enjoying the sun as I went home today.  I’m not sure what plant it was resting on but it was nice to see a really deep, red ladybird.

Ladybird, ladybird, fly away home.

Unknown Insects

One of the goals of this blog is to learn about what I see but I still come across things, particularly insects, that I am not even sure how to go about identifying!  I’ll have to ask my 5th grader, I’m sure he knows.

This looks like an American Dagger Moth ( Acronicta americana ) larva, based on a larger version I saw elsewhere.  It was just possible to see the small black spines poking out of it.  The top end was quite red.  The odd photo shows it dangling from a thread, dropping from a tree limb above onto the path.

Possible American Dagger Moth larva suspended by a thread above a walking path.

Further along the path, I was looking at some unusual wildflowers.  On a tall green plant, I saw this insect.  At first I assumed it was a dragonfly, but (as I now know), they have 4 wings, and this one clearly has two.  It is also somewhat furry looking, so I’m not sure if it is a dragonfly that has lost its wings, or a moth or something else.

Furry, two-winged insect. It looks a bit like a dragonfly but the missing wing pair makes me wonder what it is.

Box Elder Bug

I’ve seen these bugs swarming before but finally got a snap of them.  I am not sure what this weed is – it’s got an intriguing batch of leaves growing at the top – but they were all over it.  These are nymph box elder bugs (Boisea trivittata) (I’m thinking “tween”) so not yet full size, so I may have the identification wrong.  I think the fully mature bugs with the black on their backs are quite pretty, if a bit irritating in hordes.

Box elder nymphs on green weed