Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Posts Tagged ‘entomology

A red theme

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Wanderers through countryside with lots of prickly pears (Opuntia engelmannii var. lindheimeri) know that the cactus often attracts certain bugs. This is one of those, Narnia femorata, on a tuna, or fruit of the prickly pear cactus, in the Zilker Nature Preserve seven years ago today. The bug is a nymph in one of its early instars, which are the developmental stages that the larva of an insect passes through. Click below if you’d like a closer look at the bug as it appeared in a different frame.

Although Texas in the summer of 2011 was suffering one of its worst droughts in decades, when I recently looked back at my archive for August 12th of that year I saw that I went photographing in four locations that day and ended up with hundreds of pictures, like this one along Scenic Drive of ripe snailseed fruit (Cocculus carolinus):

I also found from looking at my archive that I went out taking pictures on 19 of the 31 days in that torrid August of 2011. You could say that I lived up to the motto of the USPS (United States Photographic Service): “Neither heat nor drought nor sun nor sweat stays these intrepid image gatherers from the due documentation of their appointed rounds.”

© 2018 Steven Schwartzman

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Written by Steve Schwartzman

August 12, 2018 at 4:49 AM

Katydid nymph on yucca flower

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Katydid Nymph on Yucca Flower 5892

Click for greater clarity and size.

For the second post in a row, here’s a view from the Wild Basin Wilderness Preserve in Austin. The picture, which dates back to June 20, 2013, shows what I think is the nymph of a katydid, but if anyone knows otherwise, please speak up. The petal is definitely that of a yucca, probably Yucca rupicola. If you’d like an overview of how that species looks when it’s flowering, you can skip back to another post from 2013.

© 2018 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

June 20, 2018 at 4:30 AM

An intact snout but a frayed rear

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The flowering goldenrod I photographed on the Blackland Prairie in Pflugerville on September 28th attracted many insects, including this American snout butterfly, Libytheana carinenta.

© 2016 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

November 7, 2016 at 4:56 AM

To bee or not to bee…

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male-copestylum-tamaulipanum-syrphid-fly-on-snow-on-the-mountain-7173

When is a bee not a bee? When it’s a fly masquerading as a bee and presumably gaining protection against predators that would fear the sting of a real bee. Thanks to Bill Dean, via BugGuide.net, for identifying this syrphid fly as a male Copestylum tamaulipanum. Today’s picture, which is from August 30 along US 183 in Cedar Park, also gives you a pleasant glance back at the flowers of Euphorbia marginata, called snow-on-the-mountain because of its white-margined bracts. For a zoomed-in look at the syrphid fly, click the excerpt below.

male-copestylum-tamaulipanum-syrphid-fly-on-snow-on-the-mountain-7173a

© 2016 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

October 18, 2016 at 5:00 AM

Paper wasps

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When I was out on August 30th at a property along US 183 in Cedar Park photographing sumpweed and snow-on-the-mountain, I also found some paper wasps busy working on their nest. Notice the egg in one cell.

© 2016 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

October 4, 2016 at 5:00 AM

Olive hairstreak butterfly

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olive-hairstreak-butterfly-on-frostweed-flowers-0270a

During the same September 12th outing along the upper reaches of Bull Creek that brought you the previous picture of prairie agalinis I noticed that some frostweed plants (Verbesina virginica) had begun flowering. My focus in this picture, however, was on the Callophrys gryneus butterfly that was busy on many of those frostweed flowers. The generally docile little butterflies in this species are known as olive hairstreaks or juniper hairstreaks due to the green on their wings.

© 2016 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

September 24, 2016 at 4:57 AM

Harmostes bug

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Harmostes Bug on Horesmint Flowers by Firewheel 7371

From June 8th, 2015—a year ago today—along Old Spicewood Springs Road, here’s a mostly side view of a bug in the genus Harmostes, which crowned some horsemint flowers, Monarda citriodora. The imaginary sunset in the background, whose warm colors contrasted so pleasingly with the green of the bug and parts of the horsemint that it dominated, was a firewheel, Gaillardia pulchella.

Note: I’m away from home and will be for a while. Please understand if I’m late replying to your comments.

© 2016 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

June 8, 2016 at 5:28 AM

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