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Field and Swamp: Animals and Their Habitats

        

July 2008

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Durham, NC  7/27/08

   
Young Gray Treefrog or Copes' Gray Treefrog: note green on top. Gray Treefrog or Copes' Gray Treefrog Shield-backed bug (Homaemus parvulus)

 

     
Lace bug (Tingidae family) Soft-winged flower beetle, genus Collops, family Melyridae. About 5 mm long.  ID thanks to John and Jane Balaban.      

Hoop Pole Creek Trail, leading off Atlantic Station Shopping Center, Atlantic Beach, NC  7/23/08

   
Post-mating Seaside Dragonlets: the male stands on the female's head for a while afterward so she can't mate with any other males. Adult male Seaside Dragonlet.  See other dragonflies. Young male Seaside Dragonlet    

 

   
Zebra Heliconian.  There were at least 20 near the trail entrance at around noon that day, all in frantic motion.  See the Butterfly Index. Male Yellow-and-Black Argiope.  See other spiders. Spider wasp    

Theodore Roosevelt State Natural Area Nature Trail, Pine Knoll Shores, Carteret County, NC  7/23/08

 
White Ibises.  See other wading birds. Golden Silk Spider Dog-day Cicada  

 

     
Sand Fiddler Crabs.  See other crustaceans. Mating tiger beetles (Cicindela marginata) Tachinid Fly      

Pine Knoll Shores, Carteret County, NC 7/23/08

I learned some new things about Northern Mockingbird family dynamics.  Fledglings continue to hang out with a parent, behaving a lot like small children.  They stray some distance away from the parent, making "Tsee!  Tsee!" sounds that I'd learned to associate with baby mockingbirds still in the nest, while their parent comes to investigate things like photographers that alarm them.   In the third photo below, an adult is shown checking me out (and at the time decided I was no big deal and flew off.) 

   
Fledgling Northern Mockingbird.  See other songbirds. Another fledgling Northern Mockingbird Adult Northern Mockingbird    

 

Osprey, flying over a dock on the Bogue Sound side.  See other raptors. Mostly Laughing Gulls, with a couple of subadults.  Photo by Karl D.  Gottschalk. Picture-winged fly

Pine Knoll Shores, Carteret County, NC  7/22/08

 
Male Red-winged Blackbird Young European Starling Male Great Blue Skimmer Gray Catbird, with prey  

Fort Macon State Park, Atlantic Beach, Carteret County, NC  July 21-22, 2008

 
Eastern Beach Tiger Beetle Zebra Heliconian.  There were many of these (at least ten), mostly flying wildly around. Drone Fly Bee fly (Chrysanthrax cypris)  

 

   
Adult sharpshooter (Oncometopia orbona) Late-instar nymph of the species on left (Oncometopia orbona).  I saw an adult try to protect a nymph by moving next to it and placing its leg over it, but lost the photo. Passionflower    

Pine Knoll Shores, Carteret County, NC  7/21/08

 
Rabbit in swamp, was eating leaves Glassy-winged Sharpshooter Willet Eastern Beach Tiger Beetle

Durham, NC  7/20/08

     
Variegated Fritillary Male Yellow-and-Black Argiope      

Durham, NC  7/18/08

 
Young Brown-headed Cowbird. It was light brown; the blue color is apparently an artifact of flash photography.  ID thanks to Harry LeGrand and Bill Hilton  

Durham, NC  7/17/08

 
Tarnished Plant BugYou can see part of the beak in this ventral view. Young male Eastern Pondhawk (close-up).  See other dragonflies. Megachilid bee Grapevine Beetle.  Photo taken at night.  

Durham, NC  7/16/08

   
Male Eastern Bluebird same Eastern Bluebird Thread-waisted Caterpillar Hunter.  See other wasps.    

Fayetteville, NC  7/16/08

   
Scoliid wasp (Campsomeris plumipes), Fayetteville, NC, 7/16/08.  This was a big wasp, about an inch long.   Photo by Kathryn Cox.    

France, 6/21/08

 
This is a big slug that was photographed somewhere in France.  The photographer has asked me not to give his name.  

Durham, NC  7/15/08

Xenox is an apt name for this strange species of bee fly.  They made their debut in my neighborhood in large numbers recently for no known reason.  One took a shine to our black mailbox and buzzed around my head when I was cutting back the rosebushes nearby.   They are big (about an inch long) and sound scary, but are entirely harmless to humans.

       
Bee fly (Xenox tigrinus)        

Durham, NC  7/14/08

   
Eastern Mud Turtle, in a recently mowed field. Male Common Whitetail.  See other dragonflies. Male Blue Dasher    

 

   
Least Skipper.  Look up other butterflies and skippers.  Learn how to identify butterflies and skippers.  See photos of ~35 common North Carolina butterflies. Male Eastern Bluebird Brown Thrasher, peeking through the leaves    

Durham, NC  7/12/08

Brown Prionid, photo taken at night.  See other beetles. Green Lacewing larva (see legs on top of white mass).  See also part of abdomen. Wasp (Scolia nobilitata) Sweat bee Robber fly

Durham, NC  7/11/08

 
Eastern Box Turtle  

Durham, NC  7/10/08

 
Green June Beetle (Cotinis nitida) in flight Bee fly (Xenox tigrinus) Bee fly Blue-tipped Dancer (Argia tibialis).  See other damselflies.  

Penny's Bend Nature Preserve, Durham County, NC  7/9/08

 
Common Wood Nymph. See other nymphs and satyrs, or visit the Butterfly Index. Courting Silvery Checkerspots Little Wood Satyr Gemmed Satyr  

 

American Lady Silvery Checkerspot Hanging-thief robber fly (Diogmites angustipennis) Clay-colored Leaf Beetle Cryptocephalid beetle (Bassareus clathratus)

Durham, NC  7/7/08

 
Cocklebur Weevil.  See other beetles. Delta Flower Beetle Delta Flower Beetle.  Note the lamellate antennae, characteristic of scarab beetles. Sweat bee  

 

     
Corinnid spider (Castaneira genus), moderate-sized spider Rhopalid bug      

Durham, NC  7/7/08

   
Brown Prionid (Orthosoma brunneum).  This beetle looked brown to me.  This photo was taken at night, and use of the flash showed that the beetle's body surface reflects red light, perhaps just as male Mallards' head feathers reflect green light.  I wonder if this is part of the beetle's strategy to deflect infrared light, since its large body (about 2 inches long) is otherwise vulnerable  to overheating in this hot weather. Acanaloniid planthopper nymph.  Photo taken at night. Another view of the acanaloniid planthopper nymph pictured on the left.  You can see there are really two white "tails" coming out.    

 

     
Thread-waisted wasp (Eremnophila aureonotata), Durham, NC, 7/7/08, trying to access nectar in Trumpet Vine flower buds.  You can see the mouthparts attached to the bud if you click on this thumbnail. Same wasp (Eremnophila  aureonotata) as on left. Crambid snout moth      

Southpoint Swamp, Durham County, NC  7/7/08

     
Female Halloween Pennant.  See other dragonflies.        

Durham, NC  7/4/08

Acanaloniid planthopper nymphs create a special camouflage with white fibers that they produce from the rear.   Somehow, they manage to cover themselves all over with it eventually.   These nymphs were only two of a group of at least a dozen, some covered all over and others not at all.  There was a lot of excess fiber, too.

   
This a typical view of an acanaloniid planthopper nymph, with its little white "tail" just getting going. This is what happens to the white stuff: it eventually covers the nymph, but you can make out its basic features.  The head is on the right; you can see the ridged rear half in the center of this photo. Here is the whole picture: the "covered nymph" is in the middle, with the foot of another nymph with just a little white "tail" on its head.    

 

   
Three views of Spined Assassin Bug nymph.  At left, you can see the long beak and fearsome forelegs.  At right, you can see the many spines.        

 

 
Bowl and Doily Spider Chloropid fly (Thaumatomyia genus) Spider Male Familiar Bluet (Enallagma civile).  See other damselflies.  

Johnston Mill Nature Preserve, Orange County, NC  7/3/08

Delta Flower Beetle Click beetle (Agriotes genus maybe) Mystery beetle Lauxaniid fly Ambush Bug

 

Tumbling flower beetle Tumbling flower beetle Fowler's Toad Jumping spider Maybe a Silvery Checkerspot caterpillar, Johnston Mill Nature Preserve, Orange County, NC, 7/3/08

Durham, NC  7/2/08

   
Horse fly (Tabanus trimaculatus) Probably a beetle larva (I'd guess the lightning bug beetle family, Elateridae) Sweat bee (Augochlora pura)    

Durham, NC  7/1/08

Sweat bee (Augochlora pura, Halictidae family Casebearer beetle larva.  You can see little feet at the bottom of this tower of fecal matter. Scarab beetle, Euphoria genus.  This beetle was caught in a deserted spider web.  When I rescued it, it manifested its hunger. Long-legged fly Basilica Spider

 

 
Dogbane Beetle Click beetle (Agriotes lineatus).  Photo taken at night. White-lined Burrower Bug, 1 or 2 mm long Male Citrine Forktail.  See other damselflies.  

 

   
There are four net-winged beetles here.  It's possible that it's a mating couple and two interlopers, but I wouldn't put down money on it! Gray Hairstreak and a gold-colored sweat bee.  Look up other butterflies. Male Horace's Duskywing.  See other spread-winged skippers.    

Duke Gardens, Durham County, NC  7/1/08

Adult male House Sparrow feeding fledgling.  See other songbirds. Painted Lady Young male Mallard.  Note transitional plumage:  an adolescent in the most literal sense!  See other waterfowl. Cicada Killer.  See other wasps. Checkered skipper (Pyrgus genus)

 Copyright © 2008 by Dorothy Pugh.  All rights reserved.  Please contact for rights to use photos.

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