Sunday, April 24, 2016

HumBug: Unicorns, Fairies and Damsels

Posted By on Sun, Apr 24, 2016 at 4:58 PM

click to enlarge At last, an anise swallowtail.
  • At last, an anise swallowtail.
Some time ago I mentioned what I think of as my “Unicorn Species,” insects I know, have seen, are impressive in some way, but of which I have yet to get a good photo. Just a few days ago, with my brand new camera in hand, an anise swallowtail (Papilio zelicaon) landed on an old Cecil Bruner rose in my yard. I've watched this before and while they're attracted to rose flowers, insects seldom hang around long on them. I suspect they produce very little nectar. I got three quick shots and it was gone. These are a bit smaller than the more common western tiger swallowtail, and have one solid bar of black across their wing instead of stripes.

click to enlarge The ocean spray bush, soon to be in bloom, is a popular insect hangout. - ANTHONY WESTKAMPER
  • Anthony Westkamper
  • The ocean spray bush, soon to be in bloom, is a popular insect hangout.
There are fairies in the woods now, too. If you find yourself near an ocean spray bush (Holodiscus discolor), look up. Near the top of the bush, if you're lucky, you might see tiny black and white moths hovering and milling about. The day flying fairy moth (Adela septentrionella) is remarkable in that their antennae length exceeds their wingspan several times, especially among the males.
click to enlarge A teensy fairy moth with its elegant antennae. - ANTHONY WESTKAMPER
  • Anthony Westkamper
  • A teensy fairy moth with its elegant antennae.

To round out the catalog of currently flying insects hereabouts, down near the ground, perched on a lone stalk of grass or a dandelion head, a tule bluet (Enallagma carunculatum), a tiny damselfly, may put in an appearance.   
click to enlarge The tule bluet damselfly perches on a dandelion stem. - ANTHONY WESTKAMPER
  • Anthony Westkamper
  • The tule bluet damselfly perches on a dandelion stem.

  • Pin It
  • StumbleUpon
  • Favorite
  • Email

Tags: , , ,

Speaking of...

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Readers also liked…

more from the author

Latest in News Blog

© 2017 North Coast Journal

Website powered by Foundation

humboldt