Category Archives: Insect Love

Insect Love: Tiger crane flies

The other day I came across this pair of tiger crane flies (Diptera: Tipulidae: Nephrotoma sp.) mating on my lawn. Although crane flies superficially resemble large, scary mosquitoes they do not bite. Most don’t even eat. Adults typically live just … Continue reading

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Insect Love: European snout beetles

After emerging from winter and their pupal cases as adults, european snout beetles (Coleoptera: Curculionidae: Phyllobius oblongus) waste no time getting to work on the next generation. In the spring they mate and feed on the foliage of sugar maples and … Continue reading

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Insect Love: Large milkweed bugs and nymphs

The birds, the bees, and the large milkweed bugs (Hemiptera:  Lygaeidae:  Oncopeltus fasciatus): First this: Then this:

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Eastern cicada killer mating swarm

Here’s a video of eastern cicada killers (Hymenoptera: Crabronidae: Sphecius speciosus) mating. Their activity attracted my attention, so I put myself in the middle of the mating swarm with hundreds of these buzzing around. Considering that they’re one of North … Continue reading

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Insect Love: Banded longhorn beetles

In the dense foliage of summer it can be difficult to get through the ground cover of floodplain forests here in southeast Michigan. While out along the River Raisin last week, I found a dry creek bed that offered some … Continue reading

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Broad-winged damselflies mating

The other day I recorded these broad-winged damselflies (Odonata: Calopterygidae) mating along the River Raisin near Blissfield in southeast Michigan. When mating, a damselfly male grasps a female behind the head with clasps on the end of his abdomen. The … Continue reading

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Insect Love: Horned squash bugs

As with much of the country, it’s been rather hot and dry here in southeast Michigan.  The nearby River Raisin has been very low, so the other day I took advantage of the empty, exposed banks to hike along the … Continue reading

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Insect Love: Narrow-winged damselflies

Twice in the past week I’ve seen hordes of narrow-winged damselflies (Odonata: Coenagrionidae) engaged in mating along nearby waterways. On Sunday there were many along Mill Lake at Waterloo State Recreation Area near Chelsea, Michigan. Then yesterday I saw even … Continue reading

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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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Insect Love: Large milkweed bugs

Large milkweed bugs (Hemiptera:  Lygaeidae:  Oncopeltus fasciatus) are often found on (surprise!) milkweed plants.  The individuals above were mating on the flower head of a swamp milkweed (Asclepias incarnata, Asclepiadaceae) in a southeast Michigan floodplain forest. As members of the … Continue reading

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Insect Love: Signal flies

When checking out some squash bugs on zucchini plants, I noticed a couple of mating signal flies (Rivellia sp., Platystomatidae).  These insects get their name from their tendency to wave their wings as if signaling.  The two shown here weren’t … Continue reading

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Insect Love: Japanese beetles

Japanese beetles (Popillia japonica, Scarabaeidae) emerge in June and begin feeding on a wide variety of plants, skeletonizing the leaves.  They’re well-known pests of many garden and agricultural plants. Upon emergence they release a pheromone to attract others to their … Continue reading

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Insect Love: Fireflies

Despite common usage, it’s not accurate to call these lightning bugs or fireflies since they are neither true bugs (order Hemiptera) nor flies (order Diptera).  I think they should be called “lightning beetles” or “fire beetles” since they’re members of … Continue reading

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Insect Love: Lady beetles

I’m going to go ahead and call these lady beetles (order Coleoptera, family Coccinellidae) and not ladybugs.  True bugs are in the insect order Hemiptera, so it seems inaccurate to refer to lady beetles as “bugs.” The pair above are … Continue reading

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