Purple-lined Sun Moth caterpillar

2014 July 30

Our neighbor across the street found this medium-sized, rather colorful caterpillar eating her Hydrangeas on July 22, 2013, and thoughtfully brought it over to me to identify.

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Tortricid Moth Eggs, and Little Frogs

2014 July 26

Sandy found this patch of green eggs on a lilac leaf on July 21, 2013. The patch was about a centimeter in diameter (about the size of a fingerprint).

I tried keeping them to raise up, but they never actually hatched, so this is as far as we got. The fact that it was on lilac didn’t help much, I didn’t find anyone reporting similar eggs on lilacs. From general appearance, a likely possiblitity looks like some type of Tortricid moth. This is a substantial family of smallish moths, and the caterpillars tend to roll up leaves to hide in while they eat them.

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Grasshopper Nymph – probably Melanoplus

2014 July 23

On July 18, 2013, the girls found this little grasshopper nymph that had gotten into the house. So, I perched it on a blossom of one of Sandy’s house orchids for photos.

This was no more than half-grown, there aren’t even any noticeable wing buds yet.

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Cherry Fruitworm

2014 July 19

Our little sour cherry tree that we planted about four years ago[1] has finally started bearing significant enough amounts of fruit for us to actually harvest it. Unfortunately, this also means that there are enough cherries to attract the various fruit pests. When we picked the cherries in July of 2013, a large fraction (maybe half) had one of these burrowing around in the middle:

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Deer Fly with Red Eyes

2014 July 16

This Deer Fly was trying to bite me on the head while I was biking home on July 17, 2013. I managed to catch it without killing it, so that the eye colors wouldn’t fade.

This is a rather dark, almost black deer fly, unlike a lot of the other species which are lighter colored. I’ve noticed that, in general, northern insects tend to be darker colored than their southern relatives, probably so that they will warm up faster in the sunlight.

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Stone Centipede

2014 July 12

Sam and Rosie found me this nice Stone Centipede under a rock on July 12, 2013.

I posted about these before, way back in 2008. The pictures at the time were actually fairly good, but a bit piecemeal because I couldn’t get detail of the whole body at the time. So these pictures are more to show the whole centpede at once.

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Thin Green Inchworm

2014 July 9

So, let’s go straight from the sawflies that we had last time (with more legs than a standard caterpillar) to something with less legs than average – an inchworm. This was on the same mulberry bush as the two green sawflies, and was about the same size (and, in fact, you can see the sawfly larva as a blurry background figure in this next picture).

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Sawfly Larvae

2014 July 5

Today, we have three different sawfly larvae. These look superficially like butterfly/moth caterpillars, but are actually more closely related to bees and wasps (and you can tell what they are from the fact that they have too many legs, and often have very un-caterpillar-like eyes). The first one is a light green specimen that we got off of our mulberry bush on July 12, 2013 by putting a sheet under the bush and hitting the branches with a stick.

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Bark Louse Nymph

2014 July 2

This one was a tiny insect (less than 3 mm long) that we found by beating the mulberry bush on July 12, 2013.

The black patches on the face look like eyes, but they aren’t. The eyes are further up on the sides of the head. It had the buggiest “bug eyes” I’ve ever seen on an insect. If the eyes stuck out any further, they would be on stalks.

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Mating Stink Bugs – Probably Webworm Destroyers

2014 June 28

Here’s a couple of stink bugs I found mating on July 12, 2013.

They look very like the predatory stink bugs I’ve been calling Webworm Destroyers, because of the carnage they wreak on the types of caterpillars that make silk nests. If we look at their undersides, we see that they have the fairly stout, flesh-stabbing mouthparts that are typical for predatory bugs (as opposed to the long, needlelike mouthparts that are more typical of the ones that suck plant juices).

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