Readers’ wildlife photos

October 11, 2023 • 8:15 am

Please send in your good wildlife photos.  I have enough for about five days, but they’ll run out quickly.  Thanks!

Today we have the second part of Matt Young’s two-installment series of photos (he often posts at The Panda’s Thumb). Part 1 of the series is here.  Matt’s captions are indented, and you can enlarge his photos by clicking on them.

Jerry very kindly displayed some photographs in the category of things that are not insects in an earlier post; here are some photographs in the category of things that are insects. These pictures were likewise taken this year with my Lumix ZS200.

In August, I saw someone trying very hard to photograph what I thought was a cabbage white butterfly. On closer inspection I realized it was something else. Now, I can identify a creature only if I can either find a dead body in good condition or take a picture. I took some pictures and identified it as a checkered whitePontia protodice:

A few weeks later I snapped a picture of a cabbage whitePieris rapae – for comparison:

On the same day as I photographed the checkered white, I took pictures of some dragonflies just begging to be photographed. The picture below is a band-winged meadowhawk, – Sympetrum semicinctum – as demonstrated by the brown bands on the wings.

When I examined the photographs, I found that not all meadowhawks are alike. Below is a white-faced meadowhawkS. obstrusum – which to my eye looks identical, except that its wings do not display the brown, translucent bands.

While we are discussing dragonflies, the following picture, which I think is a vivid dancer (Argia vivida), is actually a damselfly, as you can tell by the way it folds its wings upward. It was less happy about being photographed and unfortunately lighted on a concrete path, which provides a somewhat busy background.

I got extremely lucky with this profile of what i think is an eastern tiger swallowtail butterfly – Papilio glaucus. If you look closely, you can see his proboscis (or whatever they call it) reaching out and preparing to take a sip:

Finally, two butterflies in top view: a field crescent butterflyPhyciodes pulchella – and a variegated fritillary – Euptoieta claudia.

Hot off the press. When I got into my car the other day, I saw this pale green assassin bugZelus luridus – on the windshield, so I snapped a few photographs:

This specimen is a nymph, but do not ask me for any more information. I did not think to capture it, but when I got home it was still on the windshield. It is disquieting to think that it was too dirty to take a decent picture, and we breathe that air all the time.

Acknowledgements. Thanks to Prof. Coyne for posting these 2 sets of pictures. I cannot distinguish one orange butterfly from another, but the experts at BugGuide identified the 2 orange butterflies and also verified the white-faced meadowhawk; the rest I managed to figure out myself.

6 thoughts on “Readers’ wildlife photos

  1. Some years back I was hiking along the Long Trail in Vermont and I came across a about two dozen eastern tiger swallowtails clustered in one spot. I got a lot of photos and I wondered why they were there in such abundance. I noticed they were downhill from a trail privy and maybe they were attracted by the salts leached from the privy. I put this to a call in entomology program on the radio and the bug guys agreed and said they will sometimes while looking for butterflies pee on the ground and come back later.

  2. Very good! You are using that camera quite well. Despite often trying, I have not managed to get a decent picture of the Cabbage White, as they are far too leery of me for some reason.

    1. I have to confess that I have taken to carrying the Lumix along with my Sony with the long zoom lens when I take a stroll around Walden Ponds or somewhere. The Sony can get closer with the macro lens, but I have not yet taken to rummaging in the grass as you do.

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