Now that the cool weather has arrived, we had a low push through yesterday that has dropped the highs into the 50s and 60s, I should catch you up on some critters I’ve seen this Fall. I’d been waiting on a book to identify the damselfly on the right, a Common Spreadwing. I found it clinging to a weed on the hillside while I was waiting on the geothermal installers to finish for the day.
Without knowing it’s common name, I call this the Halloween Jumping Spider. It was difficult to get a clear shot, as he was very aware of my presence and would zip around the back of the grass as I approached. I should point out that I have an unsophisticated non-SLR digital camera, and I have to get VERY close to take these pictures, or take them at a VERY high resolution and crop them down. This was one of those cropping cases, because it just wouldn’t let me get really close.
The last of the annual cicadas have emerged. This is the husk left over from the last instar (insect stage of development). Odo keeps trying to grab the adults. They’re awkward flyers and they make a lot of noise; very attractive to a dog with little hunting skill.
I found this Rough Green Snake on one of my morning walks around the block, just to let you know that we do have snakes here. The snake was about two feet long, but about as thick as my pinky finger. The Rough Green, as oppose to the Smooth Green, is more arboreal, and when I moved it off the road it slithered across the top of the foot high grass.
I don’t get to photograph many moths. They often don’t stay still long enough, but I caught this one feeding in my basil. It has the odd name of Hawaiian Beet Webworm Moth. It’s only around in the Fall and it’s larvae feed on plants in the beet family. Where the Hawaiian part comes in, I have no idea, since we’re towards the western edge of it’s range.
Another feeder on my basil plants, an American Lady. This is a migrant making a quick stop for a meal. A lot of the migrating butterflies were passing through just ahead of the strong cold front. They were mostly Monarchs but obviously not all. Sitting on the front porch I have watched numerous species stop for a quick pick me up at the local mud puddle.
One of which was this beauty. This is not a monarch, it’s a Viceroy. It’s a Monarch mimic. It was thought to only have deceptive coloration, but it may also contain noxious chemicals like the Monarch does. In our area it more closely resembles the Monarch Butterfly, but in Florida it mimics the Queen Butterfly (a relative of the monarch). I should be clear the Viceroy is not closely related to the Monarch.