Monthly Archives: July 2011

Great golden digger wasp excavating her nest

A number of these great golden digger wasps (Hymenoptera: Sphecidae: Sphex ichneumoneus) were digging nests in a sandy walkway. They provision their nests with paralyzed insect prey to feed their young. Recorded 07/26/2011 in a prairie near Clayton Michigan.

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Insect Love: Jagged ambush bugs

Yesterday I noticed the swamp milkweed (Asclepias incarnata, Asclepiadaceae) were flowering here in a southeast Michigan floodplain forest, so I took a closer look.  There was a lot of insect activity on these plants, and one thing that caught my … Continue reading

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Random Plant: Red mulberry

Native to North America, red mulberry (Morus rubra, Moraceae) is most commonly found in moist areas along streams and forest borders (Kershner et al. 2008).  A number of them grow along the edge of a particular floodplain forest here in … Continue reading

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Random Insect: Blue-tipped dancer

The other day I wrote about an ebony jewelwing damselfly (Odonata:  Calopterygidae:  Calopteryx maculata), and that damselfly was easy to identify.  The family Calopterygidae only contains eight species in North America, and each one is quite unique. The damselfly shown … Continue reading

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Plant-Insect Interaction: Swamp milkweed leaf beetle larva

A couple weeks ago I posted a video of this little swamp milkweed leaf beetle larva (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae: Labidomera clivicollis) feeding on the flower buds of a swamp milkweed (Asclepias incarnata, Asclepiadaceae).  I thought these stills were pretty good and … Continue reading

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Random Insect: Ebony jewelwing damselfly

While out in my favorite floodplain forest in southeast Michigan, I saw a few of these ebony jewelwing damselflies (Odonata:  Calopterygidae:  Calopteryx maculata).  They spent a lot of time resting on foliage, but every time I got close they fluttered … Continue reading

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Random Plant: Catnip

As a treat for my cats, about seven years ago I started growing catnip (Nepeta cataria, Lamiaceae) in my garden.  At the time I didn’t know this mint is an introduced species that became widespread across North America (Brandenburg 2008).  … Continue reading

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