May 11th, 2007

woods, Elizabeth, camera, April

Another new species IDed

We went out in the evening, and had a lovely walk which yielded plenty of decent images.  The prickly pear cactus is blooming now, strong lemon yellow changing to a lovely orange...with the last of the bluecurls and some beggars' ticks (lacy white flowers) growing up in and through the cactus clumps.  Cactus flowers are always full of insects eager for pollen and nectar, so I'm used to seeing flower scarabs, ants, bees, and wasps in them...but not butterflies.  This evening, though, an Oak Hairstreak was deep into a cactus flower when I started photographing it, though I couldn't see all the marks for an ID until it was almost to the top of the petals. 

The other hairstreaks we've IDed here include olive juniper hairstreak, soapberry hairstreak, gray hairstreak, a and dusky-blue hairstreak.   The thing to look for with this fellow is that very obvious W over the only blue spot.

woods, Elizabeth, camera, April

It doesn't have to be spectacular...

Yesterday, while out on our walk, we flushed a small cloud of pale moths from the tall grass...most fluttered weakly a yard or so then went back down in the grass, where it was hard to photograph them.  One didn't.  Today, thanks to a helpful person on (useful resource for anyone interested in insects, spiders, and other invertebrates like pillbugs and millipedes)  I found out what it was.   Lychnosea intermicata.   
In the evening, they look white until you get closer, and the delicate fern-frond antennae are so beautiful.   It brings the moth species identified up to 9.