Readers’ wildlife photos

June 23, 2021 • 8:00 am

Please send me your wildlife/street travel photos; there’s always an aching need.

Today’s photos come from Christopher McLaughlin, whose words and captions are indented. Click on his photos to enlarge them.

Rudbeckia hirta, aka Black-eyed Susan, very close up. I suppose this is the floral equivalent to conjoined twins. I include this not because it is a great photo but a bizarre subject. I would love to know what’s going on here. (Bates County, MO, Battle of Island Mound State Park.)

Satyrium calanus, the Banded Hairstreak, at least according to iNat, feeding on the common milkweed, Asclepias syriaca. I rely on the iNaturalist app and its users to identify many species or at least back up my hunches, so readers please correct me if I am wrong. (Bates County, MO, my backyard)

Phidippus princeps, the Grayish Jumping Spider, again according to iNat, perched upon a lilac stem. The little dude’s about the size of half a shelled peanut but brimming with personality. Just look at that punim! Adorable. (Bates County, MO, my backyard)

Terrepene ornata, the Ornate Box Turtle. . . notice the ladder and the gutter in the background and the leaves adhering to the turtle’s carapace. I found this little butthead INSIDE the gutter’s downspout, having climbed into the lower part, up the bend and then a few inches up. I had to take of the bottom part of the downspout, then climb the ladder with a hose on full blast to dislodge the adventurous little twerp. Quite the rescue effort. I only wish I had taken the photo of its guilty little butt and hind leg dangling out the bottom end of the gutter. (Bates County, MO, my gutter!)

And finally, I believe this to be Comandra umbellata, the delightfully-named Bastard Toadflax. I don’t typically like common names (even those that don’t promote white supremacy) but this one’s ok with me. (Vernon County, MO. Gay feather Prairie Conservation Area)

7 thoughts on “Readers’ wildlife photos

  1. Very lovely pictures.

    I love the name “Grayish Jumping Spider” because it makes me imagine the people giving it its common name. “What do you want to call this here jumping spider?” “I don’t know…it’s a jumping spider. It’s a spider that jumps.” “Well, yeah, but we can’t just call it ‘the jumping spider’, because there’s lots of jumping spiders!” “Okay, well…I don’t know, what’s unique about it?” “Well…it’s cute.” “Most jumping spiders are cute, though. They’ve got those big, round eyes and look sort of like muppets.” “Okay…huh. Well…it’s sort of…grayish…” (Pause) “Okay, fine, that’ll do.”

  2. Good stuff! Thanks for sharing. (Also: agree with #1 on the “grayish” name. Delightfully non-specific.)

  3. A very interesting set. I wonder if the black eyed Susan has some kind of gall forming insect or pathogenic fungus or something since the center don’t look normal. Love the #$$## box turtle. I see those and they are always fun to interact with.

  4. You did good saving that little turtle twerp. Crazy what critters will get themselves into. My canine recently had endoscopic surgery to remove grass from her tonsils!? She wouldn’t stop gagging, we were scared shitless, took her to the emergency vet. Damn. All is good, relief.

    But you had no emotional connection to the turtle, so again, kudos for your very good deed!

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