Friday, September 30, 2016

Hornworms minus one

Earlier this week, I posted a tongue-in-cheek ode to a chubby Tomato Hornworm feasting on what was left of our tomato plant. The next day, I discovered that we had not one but THREE! 

Sadly (at least, I think so), I happened to notice awhile ago that one is dying. I don't know what caused the huge wound on his back....Oh, I bet a bird pecked at him/her! Poor thing. This one wasn't able to outbrain our birds! The other two are doing just fine. 

Community cafeteria

Moth extravaganza

Melonworm moth (Diaphania hyalinata)...Caterpillars feed on melons, cucumbers and squash plants.
James left the back porch light on last night. I happened to be walking past from re-filling hummingbird feeders when I glanced up saw the moth above. Hmmm. Pretty! So I went into the house to get my camera and a step stool. I ended up taking photos of EVERYONE. I don't think I'll be able to identify them all, but I wanted to at least share the different kinds and patterns. If I hadn't stopped and noticed, I never would have appreciated what was right in front of my eyes. Enjoy! (Some of my images are fuzzy. Sorry! It was a challenge shooting some of these guys because they were high up.)

Chime in with IDs if you recognize any. I'll credit you!
Likely an emerald, maybe blackerry looper?
Interesting body shape, eh? Then I noticed another one under the roof eave (below).

A weevil of some kind. One oddball in every bunch!

Southern pink moth
 (I've seen this species before)

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Tadpoles in our stock tank

September 29 2016 I'm going to TRY and take short video clips of our tadpoles every other day or so. This was my first attempt.

Do over! Take 2!

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Go ahead

Go ahead, buddy. Chomp on what's left of our tomato plant. And, OH, yes, I can see you! You may think you blend right in, but I spotted you with my raptor-like eyes. You'd better thank your lucky sunbeams, too, Tomato Hornworm, that you landed on OUR plant and not someone else's. 'Cause then you'd be SQUISHED, SQUASHED and SPLATTERED faster than you could blink (if you had real eyes, that is, other than those weird ones on your backside). 

Good luck, T.H. Best to you! You're gonna need it if you hope to outbrain the birds around this place. If you make it, then we look forward to seeing you turn into a Carolina sphinx moth (Manduca sexta). See you later!

Lichen moth

This pretty insect on our goldenrod caught my eye awhile ago. It's a black-and-yellow lichen moth (Lycomorpha pholus). Yellow? This one was definitely REDDISH ORANGE. says this about the species: "Larvae feed on lichens. The strictly diurnal adults are often found on flowers of dogbane (Adpocynum, Apocynaceae), goldenbush (Ericameria, Asteraceae) and goldenrod (Solidago, Asteraceae).....The red color pattern is thought to be mimicry of poisonous Lycid beetles, such as Calopteron."

Stock tank surprise!

 TADPOLES!  First time EVER! 
Lots and lots and lots of tadpoles!

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Grasshopper feet

Yesterday, a BIG grasshopper appeared on our dining room window and climbed around on the glass. At first, I didn't think anything about it. Then I thought, Hmmm, I wonder if it has feet similar to a jumping spider's? See, the feet of jumping spiders (and other spiders) have dense tufts of hair called scopulae, which enable them to walk up walls and other sheer surfaces. These scopulae adhere using an extremely thin water film on the surface, like a piece of wet paper might stick to a mirror. 

Now I'm no expert, but I'd suspect that a grasshopper must use a similar trick. So I fetched my camera and took some shots. The photos aren't that great, but you can see the wide round pad on each foot, which must adhere to a surface like scopulae do. Thus, our grasshopper guest was able to climb up our window. Cool!