Remember to think of this site if you have good wildlife photos to share!
We have submissions from several readers today, with their captions indented. The first is from Charlie Jones, who would like an explanation for a blue grasshopper:
Since you showed photos of a blue frog, I thought you might be interested to see photos of a blue grasshopper that my daughter Hannah photographed about 45 minutes north of Laramie, Wyoming.I’ve tried (as an amateur) looking for a blue grasshopper species native to the region, but without success. Is it a mutant of a species that is normally green, or perhaps an aposematic blue grasshopper, or is this a blue species that likes to live on the mythological Wyoming bluegrass?
This tale of zombie grasshoppers comes from Ray Perrins:
Please find attached a submission for your website category Wildlife Photos: a nice example of the mind control sometimes seen by parasites/pathogens.While walking with the family through local fields on the Somerset Levels (UK) this April we noticed that almost every grass stalk had a number of flies on them, up to 8 per stalk. The flies were dead and in a characteristic position with legs clasped to the grass and wings extended. The abdomens looked distended and there was a white substance emerging (look closely at the lower two flies). This looks like a case of an outbreak of the pathogenic fungus Entomophthora muscae. The infection causes the fly to adopt this behaviour when near death to ensure optimal spread of spores to infect the next generation of flies. I’m not sure what the flies are, possibly yellow dung flies Scathophaga stercoraria. A pleasant day for us, but carnage among the dipterans!
Leo Glenn has a bear!
As you mentioned your tank is a little low, I thought I would share a few photos of a young American black bear (Ursus americanus) who showed up in our back yard a couple weeks ago. We see a fair number of bears here in rural western Pennsylvania, but I don’t think I’ve ever been this close to a wild bear. He was small enough that we were nervously looking around for his mom. This may be his first year on his own. He was completely fearless, more like a neighbor’s dog, clearly nosing around for some noms. He stopped to pick a few currants from our currant bush, and stood up to sample a few mulberries from our mulberry tree before ambling back into the woods.