Posts Tagged ‘eggs’

In the Rock Pile

Rocks edged all my gardens until I reduced the number of gardens and made a pile with the rocks.

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Obviously, spiders like the rock pile. The spiders living among the rocks are wolf spiders (which have a painful bite.)

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I wish I could’ve seen the spider spin this web. It’s so graceful in its simplicity.

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Some spiders will wait for passing prey in or near the mouth of the burrow.

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Taking their picture poses a problem too … they usually stay down in their tunnel.

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They do tend to blend in with their surroundings.

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Their drab coloring makes them difficult to see. They depend on camouflage for protection.

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They are nocturnal. All the webs in my rock pile are taken down every morning  and rebuilt later in the day.

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I never did get a good look at this spider … so I was never sure if this was an abdomen or egg sac.

The female carries her eggs in an egg sac, which is attached to her spinnerets. The newly-hatched young climb up on her back and stay there until they’re big enough to be on their own. I haven’t seen one with an egg sac or with young.

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A November Picture

I was looking through my picture files late one night

when my eyes beheld a strange sight …

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 a roly poly that had just molted. (An attempted rendition of the Monster Mash song. That hints at my age.)

 I just found interesting  information online on the roly poly, also called pillbug (Carmadellium vulgare).

1. Pillbugs are crustaceans, not insects.

2. They breath through gills.

3. The juvenile molts in two sections. This explains why I didn’t find any more of the shed.

4. The mothers carry their eggs in a pouch.

5. They don’t urinate and have the ability to pass the ammonia gas through their exoskeleton.

6. The pillbugs can drink the regular way and can also take water in through their rear ends.

7. Pillbugs tighten into tight balls when threatened.

8. They eat their own poop. This has to do with the loss of copper.

9. Ones that look bright blue or purple have contracted a viral infection.

10. Their blood is blue.

Surprise Observation

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A red-spotted purple butterfly flew into the oak in our front yard. It made many short stops on different leaves, acting like it was looking for a place to lay an egg. Butterflies tap their front feet on the leaf to smell it.

Obviously, I didn’t take this picture today. She moved so fast I wasn’t even going to go out and try for pictures.

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I’ve never seen them lay eggs in oaks, but my butterfly books list oak as a host tree. It moved around in the tree so quickly that I couldn’t tell if it laid an egg or not.

Oak trees hybridize, so I’m not sure what kind this one is. I know it’s in the the black oak family because the leaves are bristle-tipped.

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The female lays her eggs singly on the tip of the leaf where predators aren’t likely to find it. Red-spotted purples their eggs in wild black cherry  and willow trees.

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The little caterpillar eats the leaf along the vein. It cuts off a piece of the leaf, leaving it to dangle and draw attention away from the caterpillar.

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The caterpillar’s pattern changes as it grows.

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This caterpillar is full grown and ready to pupate.

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It looks like I should occasionally check the oak leaves for red-spotted purple eggs and caterpillars.

Snowberry Clearwing Moth

Snowberry clearwings (Hemaris diffinis) are actually a day-flying moth.

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This one must have emerged this morning. It moved a little, but didn’t try to fly while I took pictures.

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They resemble bumblebees and hover as they feed. Bumble bees land to feed, often crawling up in tube flowers.

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I’ve found their caterpillars on a red honeysuckle near my garden three years ago. They also lay eggs on snowberry (Symphoricarpos), dogbane (Apocynum), and honeysuckle (Lonicera).

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Their hornworm caterpillars are well camouflaged when they’re on leaves.

Leaf-footed Bugs

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Earlier in the summer I couldn’t remember what would hatch from these eggs in the catalpa tree.

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Several times I found these newly-hatch nymphs and wasn’t sure of them either.

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The lower leg doesn’t show in the picture. It had what looked like the beginning leg of a leaf-footed bug.

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These gathered together in the catalpa tree yesterday. They obviously are leaf-footed bugs — see the widened area on the lower hind leg. Their wings aren’t fully developed.

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This picture of an adult, and the picture above, were both taken on September 19.

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Surprise, September 25, this adult posed. It better shows all their features.

Bird’s Nest Fungi

There’s advantages to weeding in the garden ….

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like finding these bird’s nest fungi.

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I’ve found them many times over the years …. I’ve just never found them growing in an old rotting gumball.

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This unopened cup measured roughly a quarter-inch in diameter.

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A strip of rotting wood laid near a wall and had the birds’ nest fungi too.

The eggs contain the spores.

Catalpa Worms

Actually, they’re caterpillars. Fishermen call them “catalpa worms.” Last night I found the first signs of catalpa worms this sumer — two fallen, dried leaves with an empty eggs in a mass on each one.

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The catalpa tree stands 35 or so feet tall in our backyard.

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The catalpa sphinx moths lay their eggs on the underside of the leaves.

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The newly-hatched caterpillars feed on the underside of the leaves.

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They then travel in groups in search for their next meal.

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They always feed on the underside of the leaves, to stay more hidden from predators.

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Obviously, they change as they grow.

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The caterpillars molt five times before they’re fully grown.

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Even the full-grown caterpillars feed on the underside of the leaves.

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These are cocoons of a parasitic wasp. The earlier stages of the wasp feed inside the caterpillar.

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This predator appeared to be an immature bug of some kind.

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 Caterpillars ate almost all the leaves in August of 2008!!!! The tree grew naturally the next year.

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Then I lucked out that year and found a caterpillar under another catalpa that grew in the shrub border of our backyard. It was working its way under the plant litter on the ground.

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I placed the caterpillar with plant debris in a bug container so I could rear it out to see the chrysalis

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and the adult catalpa sphinx moth.