July insect gallery

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July insects

These are a few insects I found on a walk last week through Hanlon Creek Conservation Area (Preservation Park) behind our house.

The ruby meadowhawk, Sympetrum rubicundulum, is the dragonfly I see most commonly in these meadows. The female, which I posted here last summer, is golden.

Ruby meadowhawk

Skippers are Lepidoptera with characteristics that distinguish them from both moths and butterflies. Their antennae are backward-hooked, rather than fine and club-shaped like those of most butterflies. Moth antennae are varied, but commonly feather- or comb-shaped. Skippers have relatively small wings and large, compound eyes. Like moths and unlike most butterflies they have a plump thorax to house strong wing muscles.

Duskywing

They are traditionally classified in their own separate superfamily. However, recent research indicates skippers are closely related with other butterflies.

They are often drab. Species can be difficult to tell apart. One of these is too damaged to work out, but the brassy iridescence of its scales is quite attractive. The other is plainer but in good shape, a member of the genus Erynnis, duskywings.

Common eastern bumblebee with a smaller bee

A bumblebee, probably the common eastern Bombus impatiens, shared a flower with a smaller bee. The robber fly is an agile flyer and effective predator on other winged insects.

The common red soldier beetle, Rhagnonycha fulva, found in a Convolvulus arvensis flower on our back fence, is a species introduced from Eurasia.

Common red soldier beetle

They are predatory on other insect and can often be found on top of flower clusters looking for pray. This individual seems to be drinking nectar, and is covered with bindweed pollen.

 


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