Home Field and Swamp: Animals and Their Habitats


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April 2011

This is the first year I can remember seeing more Eastern Commas than Question Marks, although there were plenty of the latter, too.  See the 4/4 entry to see how to distinguish these two species. Two Selys' Sundragons showed up.  There were lots of inchworms (mostly not pictured).  Many species normally found in colder climates showed up, e.g., Canadian Violets, a Pearl Crescent that looked remarkably like a Northern Crescent, and Common Snipe Flies.

Congaree National Park, Richland County, SC  4/30/11

Deer Fly Creole Pearly Eye Filmy Dome Spider with fly prey Blooming Partridge berry  
Running crab spider (Philodromidae family) Prothonotary Warbler on a Bald Cypress knee Jack-in-the-Pulpit.  Small spathe dwarfed by large leaves in the middle. Bald Cypress knees  

Santee National Wildlife Refuge (Bluff Unit), Clarendon County, SC  4/30/11

White-lined Burrowing Bug Red-winged Blackbird Picture-winged fly Appalachian Brown Muscadine grape
Anole Orchard Spider Blue-eyed Grass  

Santee National Wildlife Refuge (Bluff Unit), Clarendon County, SC  4/29/11

Spicebush Swallowtail Bald Eagle Orchard Spider (dorsal view)  

Lake Marion (swamp), Orangeburg County, SC  4/29/11

Thanks to Fisheagle Tours, we were able to visit the shallowest water in the lake, full of Bald Cypresses and little islands.

Osprey in nest Cormorant Great Egret Anhingas Great Crested Flycatcher

Santee (in town), Orangeburg County, SC  4/29/11

False Garlic (looks like Nothoscordum borbonicum, but only N. bivalve has been reported inland)        

Santee State Park, Orangeburg County, SC  4/28/11

Osprey Northern Flicker      

Durham, NC  4/27/11

Today I saw a turtle (probably a Painted Turtle) chasing a crayfish in one of the many streams coming off drainage ditches in my area.  The crayfish turned around and faced the turtle displaying its red-tipped claws.  Then the turtle disappeared without a trace while the crayfish relaxed partially out of the water.  These pictures are in order of comprehensibility rather than chronology.

Crayfish Turtle, pursuing crayfish Crayfish facing turtle    

Ant-mimic spider (Castaneira trilineata)        

Durham, NC  4/26/11

Parent winged aphid (Sitobion avenae, about 2 mm long) with two newborn aphids on a Cattail leaf.  Tiny eggs on a Horse Nettle leaf      

Durham, NC  4/25/11

Seven-spotted Ladybug Beetle larva Flat-headed Pine Heartwood Borer (Chalcophora virginiensis) Bumble Flower Beetle  

Durham, NC  4/24/11


Eno River State Park, Old Cole Mill Road access, Durham & Orange Counties, NC  4/24/11

Eastern Tailed Blue American Lady Common Snipe Fly Worm Snake Jumping spider (Habronattus decorus)
Female Juvenal's Duskywing Male Juvenal's Duskywing Carolina Satyr (dorsal view) Long-jawed orb weaver Alderfly, Sialis genus

 Duke Gardens, Durham, NC  4/21/11

Song Sparrow The very last of the Wisteria flowers Mystery swan, maybe a hybrid Mystery swan spreading wings Common Shelduck

Tulips Crossvine Catfish    

Durham, NC  4/20/11

Spurge, maybe Assassin bug (Pselliopus cinctus) Blue Toadflax    

Durham, NC  4/19/11

Wolf spider, Alopecosa genus Crab spider, Xysticus genus Crimson Clover Carolina Cranesbill (Geranium carolinianum)  

Partially blooming Crimson Clover Common Vetch Wasp Cornsalad  

Johnston Mill Nature Preserve, Orange County, NC  4/19/11

Ashy Clubtail Common Snipe Fly (Rhagio mystaceus), a species normally found in colder climates Blister beetle Gemmed Satyr  
Canada Violet, a cold-climate species, as suggested by the USDA Plants Viola canadensis page for North Carolina. Green-and-Gold Foamflower Southern  Chervil (Chaerophyllum procumbens)  

Mason Farm Biological Reserve, Orange County, NC  4/18/11

Pearl Crescent.  But it has certain northern characteristics, maybe because of our cold winter or recent cold front from the northwest. Red Admiral Eastern Tiger Swallowtail American Snout  

Jack-in-the-Pulpit Ichneumon wasps mating Blue Toadflax  

Carolina Satyr Blue Corporal Eastern Bluestar    

Durham, NC  4/17/11

Barred Owl, visiting my neighborhood from the usual Barred Owl hang-out in a marshy patch of woods where people usually don't go Flea beetle, at the edge of my neighborhood marsh/former swamp Little fruit fly (Drosophila genus), at the edge of the marsh/swamp Seed bug  

Oconeechee Mountain Natural Area, Eno River State Park, Orange County, NC  4/14/11

Brown Elfin Northern Fence Lizard Common Five-lined Skink Black Swallowtail  

Carolina Saddlebags, in flight Pinxter Flower Potter Wasp Tadpoles, most likely Fowler's Toads, at pond  

Durham, NC  4/13/11

Breeding male Common Five-lined Skink Mazus japonicus Adult male Blue Corporal Common Starling  
Tadpoles in a cement drainage channel, most likely Fowler's Toads.        

Durham, NC  4/12/11

Polyphemus Moth        

American Tobacco Trail (miles 4-6), Durham, NC  4/11/11

Question Mark.  See other butterflies. Brown-headed Nuthatch Cherry tree Wisteria Cherry flowers

Durham, NC  4/10/11

Blister beetle (Lytta aenea)        

Sandy Creek Park, Durham, NC  4/8/11

American Lady Wolf spider, which walked easily on the surface of this puddle over to land Mallard family Bumble flower beetle Cuckoo bee (Nomada genus)

Orange Sulphur on Common Dandelion (note separate flower parts) Seven-spotted Ladybug Beetle, attempting to hide Forget-me-nots Canada Goose  

Mason Farm Biological Reserve, Orange County, NC  4/7/11

Grapevine Epimenis (Psychomorpha epimenis), an owlet moth Young Blue Corporal Deserted bird's nest Red Admiral Question Mark

Johnston Mill Nature Preserve, Orange County, NC  4/6/11

Selys' Sundragon Eastern Tiger Swallowtail Large Bee Fly (Bombilius major) Female Juvenal's Duskywing

Spring Azure, very worn Hermit Thrush Flower fly, Syrphus genus Velvet ant (Pseudomethoca simillima)  

Giant Chickweed Cutleaf Toothwort Rue Anemone Speedwell Sugar Hackberry

Durham, NC  4/5/11

Brown Snake (Storeria dekayi) Dogwood flowers Lily-of-the-valley    

Penny's Bend Nature Preserve, Durham County, NC  4/4/11

Here you can see the contrast between an Eastern Comma and a Question Mark: the most obvious differences are in the spot patterns on the forewings.

Female Selys' Sundragon Eastern Comma Question Mark Female Eastern Tailed Blue

Snowberry Clearwing Moth (dorsal view) Snowberry Clearwing Moth at flower Tufted Titmouse Mourning Dove  

Downy Yellow Violet (Viola pubescens) Dutchman's Breeches Early Saxifrage Rue Anemone Green Six-spotted Tiger Beetle

This Black Rat Snake was lying on a branch in the middle of the trail. It moved away, and went up a small tree.    

Durham, NC  4/3/11

Mourning Cloak  Eastern Comma Green Six-spotted Tiger Beetle (which actually has eight spots) Coral Honeysuckle  

Jordan Lake Gameland, Chatham County, NC  4/3/11

Eastern Comma  Estern tiger Swallowtail Orange Sulphur  Common Oak Moth, which I chased down the field, trying to determine if it were really a grasshopper 

Durham, NC  4/5/11

Male midge  

Durham, NC  4/3/11

Mite on Cattail leaf.  BugGuide page        

Ebenezer Church -- Jordan Lake State Recreation Area, Chatham County, NC  4/2/11

Young adult Blue Corporal Common Wood Sorrel Fly Immature pine branch with new cones  

Male Falcate Orangetip on Spring Beauty Female Falcate Orangetip Male Falcate Orangetip Female Falcate Orangetip  

Windsurfer.  These three pictures were taken by Karl Gottschalk. Windsurfer Windsurfer    

Durham, NC  4/1/11

Henbit Carolina Cranesbill      

April Fools Day (yes, we know only small minds observe it!)

For those who are concerned that this kind of gag might be misunderstand, the moth below was photographed unharmed many moons ago, and the photo liberally enhanced with Adobe Photoshop CS5, making generous use of the Healing Brush Tool.  It was much more fun than getting drunk (and no I don't do that.  I'm just naturally weird.)

A fantastic new species of moth.  Evidence suggests it was heavily chewed by giant bats in series before escaping.  Revolutionary ecological implications abound in this eleventh hour find!        


Copyright © 2011 by Dorothy E. Pugh.  All rights reserved.  Please contact for rights to use photos.