Sunday, August 24, 2014

Royal Tern, Litchfield Spit South Carolina

We enjoyed a wonderful trip to Litchfield by the Sea, South Carolina the week before last.  It's our one week the boys look forward to year round. It's really our last hurrah for the summer.  Preschool starts up next week for both boys, and so does Megan's semester.  It'll be fall before I know it!


Saturday, July 05, 2014

Japanese Beetle - Popillia japonica

It seems they're having a banner year in our backyard.  Here they feast on the leaf of red raspberry.


Friday, July 04, 2014

Female Common Whitetail - Plathemis lydia

Our yard isn't a mecca for dragonflies.  They seldom visit, but every once in a while, they do make an appearance.  This common whitetail was a surprise as it hovered in and out of the bottlebrush grass.  Since I had been photographing absolutely tiny insects, pointing the lens toward this dragon made me feel I was shooting a giant.


Wednesday, July 02, 2014

Red Aphids- Genus Uroleucon?

This year, I haven't found any of the yellow colored, non-native Oleander aphids, but we do have a fairly nice colony of these red aphids.  Perhaps these belong to the genus Uroleucon?  It seems there isn't much information readily available about aphids. Perhaps aphids are the next big thing.  Do I see a aphidapalooza festival in the future? Probably not, but they are fascinating creatures, though. These individuals are feasting on my double flowered green-headed coneflower, Rudbeckia laciniata 'Hortensia'.  This Victorian era "heirloom perennial" has been passed through our family- our clone originated from relatives in northeast Indiana.  Calling it an heirloom perennial seems to be a bit out of place, however, since I also read that it was affectionately known as "the outhouse plant".


Monday, June 30, 2014

Red Milkweed Beetle

This year we are hosting at least one Red Milkweed Beetle (Tetraopes tetrophthalmus, I believe).  Up close, they sort of look like some type of deranged teddy bear.  This individual has been feasting on swamp milkweed, seriously stunting the plant.


Sunday, June 29, 2014

Common Eastern Firefly - Photinus pyralis

I suspect that the humidity was so high this evening, that this "lightning bug" had to prepare its wings for its nightly flight.  It took several warm up runs leading up to sunset.  Each time I thought it would take off, but no, it was just getting ready.

Also- check the previous post, I've updated it with the help of


Saturday, June 28, 2014

More Insects from the Backyard Native Plant Gardens

Hyphantria cuneata - Fall Webworm Moth - Hodges #8140

Dark-Winged Fungus Gnat (Sciaridae)

Glyphipterigid sedge moth- possibly the genus Diploschizia

All awaiting I.D.'s via


Monday, June 23, 2014

Leaf Miner Fly

While most gardeners despise a pest that takes advantage of a prize plant, I relish it.  In fact, I plant natives to provide homes for things like this leaf miner fly in the family Agromyzidae.  Thank you to John Carr for helping place this to family.  Isn't is fascinating?  This tiny fly is resting on the tip of a leaf blade of Mondarda fistulosa, wild bergamont.  I've never observed it before, but it is tiny, no more than a few millimeters from head to folded wingtip.


Saturday, June 21, 2014

A Syrphid Fly Saturday Night


Syrphid Fly

Syrphid fly.


Friday, June 20, 2014

Some Type of Plant Bug with Red Eyes

This one is pretty cool!

That's it for now.


A Yellow "Inch Worm"

10 points to the whomever guesses what plant this little bugger is eating.  He wasn't any thicker than a mechanical pencil lead.


Common Green Bottle Fly

It's time to look for bugs in the backyard again.