Posts Tagged ‘molted’

Evening Light

I just found out from my son that I goofed on the identification of this insect. It’s a mantis fly, not a praying mantis. I didn’t even know there was such an insect. The abdomen shape differs between the two. The veining of the wings of a mantis fly’s wings is square and is long in a praying mantis’).

I usually see green or brown praying mantises,

… and this one turned out to be a mantis fly.

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This one doesn’t fit in either color category.

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It looks like it molted recently and is waiting for its exoskeleton to dry.

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Two Unknowns

I found these once before, a few years ago. I can’t remember what they are and haven’t found them online.

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They aren’t a caterpillar. They just look like one.

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They preferred the undersides of the leaves for safety reasons.

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Many leaves on the vine were rolled.

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The pictures were taken three weeks ago.  The top two in this picture had recently molted.

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I’m not even sure what kind of vine this is.

It’s a shame their name isn’t a pattern on their back.

I welcome any information concerning this mystery.

Thistles … Have Visitors?

What was this crab spider thinking? How did it even get on the tip of this thistle bud?

How can prey get to it?

Thistles have bloomed for a while out in the middle of my weed patch because there’s more sun light there. I’ve been watching the shorter ones growing on the south side of the weed patch. They are getting more sunlight now that the sun’s moving farther south.

The pattern on the buds looks like it’s been stitched, and I’ve photographed it often.

Only tiny insects could crawl around on these plants.

The words hostile environment come to mind.

I checked the spider in the evening, and it was gone. I assumed it lowered itself on a strand of silk … wonder if it lowered itself onto the bud in the first place?

These pictures are from the next evening.

This one was on a different bud. It didn’t like the attention, and

it did a quick side-step, angling downward. It also angled its body outward.  I assumed this posture was meant to threaten me by making itself look bigger.

Then it resumed its patient-waiting position.

I didn’t see the tiny jumping spider at the base of this bud until I saw the picture on the computer. Obviously, thistles have more activity around buds than I expected, and will have even more when they bloom.

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Then I found more interesting things around the thistles this evening. (the next night).

This spider’s pale coloring and faint markings makes me think it recently molted.

Three of the thistles changed dramatically in the last 24 hours. If you look close, about a third of the way up, you’ll see a tiny darkish winged insect.

The prey here looked like maybe a beetle. It was a 16th of an inch at the very most.