Nature Finds: Bugs

  

Something about the air yesterday had just a hint of fall.   The peach and black cherry leaves are turning beautiful colors already and the autumn flowers have buds.  It is still very hot and humid, but there was just a little breath of change underneath it all.  We found lots of good bugs this week:

 These whip scorpions love the barley!  I think I was stung by one a couple of weeks ago.  I thought it was just an ant sting until my whole foot swelled up!  Every day I find a couple of these guys around the goat milking stand – usually in the barley bin or nibbling the last bits of barley out of the food dish.  In fact, June Bug got a swelling under her chin last week that I treated as if it were bottle jaw, but it didn’t seem quite like bottle jaw.  The swelling looked asymmetrical, and I think she might have been stung on the face by one of these.  She is better now, but she looked like a really ugly alien for a week.

Praying mantis, of course.  I like the way it blends in with the angles of the little oak branches it is sitting on.

This is a Checker White butterfly.  My dad the butterfly expert  was excited to see this photo.  He says that it is becoming very rare in Florida.  He has also been trying to find a Cabbage White butterfly for years now.  He thinks they are not in Florida anymore.  

A beautiful scarab – we are building up quite a dung-beetle population in the pastures, which is great not only for biodiversity but also because when they bring the manure underground it prevents the parasites from starting their life cycle again.

I thought that this was a leopard moth, but I’m not certain!  I will have to ask my dad (or I guess I could look it up.  It’s easier to just ask my dad!)

We think this huge insect is a Cicada Killer Wasp.  They are solitary wasps who hunt cicadas and store them in burrows for their larvae to eat.  They themselves survive on nectar.  This was a new insect for the farm! 

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