Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Posts Tagged ‘insect

Tumbling flower beetle on American basket-flower

with 25 comments

My first photo stop on May 1st was at the old Merrilltown Cemetery on Burnet Rd., at whose edges in past years I’d photographed plenty of American basket-flowers, Centaurea americana. Though it was still early in the season, a few basket-flowers had opened, and on one of them I found this tumbling flower beetle.

© 2017 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

May 22, 2017 at 5:00 AM

Euphoria on a Texas thistle

with 15 comments

In a comment yesterday on the recent post showing plants flowering on the Blackland Prairie, Lisa asked whether I had a closeup of a Texas thistle. I answered that I might show a current picture of one in the days ahead. Now let me be more decisive, take the thistle by the thorns*, and post a photograph I took on May 6th of a Cirsium texanum in Cedar Park. Burrowing euphorically into the flower head was a Euphoria kernii beetle.

–  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –  –

* Technically speaking, a thistle has spines or prickles rather than thorns, but you wouldn’t want me to pass up a good alliterative alternative to “take the bull by the horns,” would you?

© 2017 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

May 11, 2017 at 4:46 AM

Black swallowtail caterpillar

with 35 comments

When I wandered out onto a piece of the Blackland Prairie on the west side of Heatherwilde Blvd. in Pflugerville on April 30th, I noticed that one of the prairie parsley plants (Polytaenia nuttallii) was host to the caterpillar of an Eastern black swallowtail butterfly (Papilio polyxenes). You can learn more about this species in a Wikipedia article.

© 2013 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

May 8, 2017 at 5:01 AM

Green on green in the greenbelt

with 17 comments

green-larva-on-buffalo-gourd-leaf-1421

In the greenbelt off Taylor Draper Ln. on October 7th I found what I think is the larva of a moth on a leaf of what I know is a buffalo gourd vine, Cucurbita foetidissima.

© 2016 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

November 14, 2016 at 4:45 AM

An intact snout but a frayed rear

with 20 comments

snout-butterfly-on-goldenrod-flowers-0755

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

The things we forget

with 43 comments

Woolly Bear Caterpillar on Gaura Flowers 1562

I recently searched my archive for a certain photograph, and in the process I discovered a set of pictures I’d forgotten all about that showed a woolly bear caterpillar on the flowers and buds of some gaura. Here’s one image in that set from May 6, 2010, on the Blackland Prairie along the Austin-Pflugerville boundary line.

© 2016 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

November 5, 2016 at 4:56 AM

To bee or not to bee…

with 14 comments

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

%d bloggers like this: