Readers’ wildlife photographs

May 18, 2015 • 7:45 am

We have contributions from two readers today. First, Joe Dickinson sent some “non-avian wildlife” (his term) from a recent trip:

From a recent road trip to Nebraska, here are some shots of non-avian wildlife.  First, a golden-mantled ground squirrel (Callospermophilus lateralis) that approached me at a vista point along US 160 in southern Colorado, probably hoping for a handout.

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Then, from the wonderful Lauritzen Gardens in Omaha, an eastern cottontail (Sylvlagus floridanus), a tiger swallowtail (Papilio glaucus) and, for something rather different, a giant monarch butterfly (Danaus plexippus) constructed from Legos (part of a special exhibit).

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Finally, for comparison, I’ve included an actual monarch photographed in Stinson Beach, CA a few years ago.

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Here are some dragonflies from John Harshman:

These are photos of flame skimmers (Libellula saturata), which for some reason like to sit on clothespins in my back yard. The first two are the same male, and the third is a female. The pattern in the hindwing veins that looks like a foot is diagnostic for the family Libellulidae.

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9 thoughts on “Readers’ wildlife photographs

  1. I wonder why the dragonflies so enjoy the clothes pins. The way their faces appear, they look like they are smiling about them. 🙂

    I like dragonflies. They are such hunters yet they don’t bite humans (though I imagine they could and have).

  2. Very interesting pictures. The golden mantled ground squrrl is extremely handsome.
    And of course any day with good bug shots on WEIT is a good day for me.
    I hope to be contributing soon. I have some lined up already.

  3. I do hope we are able to reverse the current decline of Monarchs. Glycophosphate needs to go. I lived in Wyoming for a while, so I’m familiar with the squirrel and cottontail- lovely mammals.

    Dragonflies are spectacular- the fractal-like patterns in their wings is true eye-candy. Around here, they like to land on our deck hand-railing. Sometimes a dozen will be perched on the rail at the same time…soaking up the rays I think.

    1. Yes, they often do that.
      Dragonflies will use various postures to speed up the process of heat exchange. If they want to warm up more quickly they tip their wings down to touch the deck. If they need to cool off, their wings and their abdomen will be held up higher in the air.

  4. One more thing about the last picture. For years, paper wasps have favored my clothespins in search of wood fibers, and in that picture you can make out the grooves they have made in removing those fibers. Extra bonus insect!

  5. Joe and John, thanks for the great shots!

    That cottontail appears to be lighter and more mottled than the ones I see in Michigan.

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