Today we have insect and spider photos from reader Emilio D’Alise. His notes and IDs are indented, and you can enlarge his photos by clicking on them.
All of these were taken in Monument, Colorado, where we maintained multiple flowerbeds with diverse annual and perennial flowers. This allowed for many successful Bug Safaris. Here’s a small sample from one hour worth of ‘hunting’ on a July day of 2015.
Goldenrod Crab Spider (Misumena vatia): The first fellow (likely a fellow because of the small size, but it could also be a gal) was on an unopened bud of a Stella D’Oro plant, and quickly scampered out of sight. The next specimen was inside one of the flowers and just sat there, posing for me.
Common Green Bottle Fly (Lucilla sericata): Despite an apparent color mismatch, the description fits: “light metallic yellow-green or coppery green overall.” I’m not a big fan of houseflies (although they too can be fascinating at the macro level), but the flies I come across in flower gardens are interesting and, dare I say, beautiful.
Ladybugs (Coccinellidae) are varied and widespread, and I’ve yet to be completely sure about identifying individuals. For instance, the first photo looks to me as a Coccinella septempunctata or seven-spot ladybug. The next two photos show it encountering what I think is a Harmonia axyridis or Asian ladybeetle . . . but I could be wrong. I thought they were going to fight, but it looked like one kissed the forehead of the other and then went on its way.
Beetles can be tough to identify (the insects, not the members of the band), as exemplified by this handsome fellow which, despite previous and current efforts, I still can’t identify. I have some candidates, but nothing I’ve seen quite matches it. At best as I can guess, it’s a type of Click Beetle.
Now, this guy (or gal) looks fierce, and, in fact, when I’m near a bug I don’t know, I’m always weary . . . but I needn’t have worried as I’m not a cricket. That’s right; it’s a Steel-blue Cricket Hunter (Chlorion aerarium).
Lastly, swallowtails are some of my favorite butterflies. They can sometimes be difficult to distinguish between the Easter and Western Swallowtails, and the Canadian Swallowtail is often misidentified as one of those two . . . but this one was easy; it’s a Two-tailed Swallowtail Butterfly (Papilio multicaudata). I first spotted it on the Yarrow, then the daisies, then some other flowers, but it never stopped long enough for me to snap a photo. I followed it from the backyard to the front yard where it gave me exactly two half-second opportunities to snap these two photos.