Monday Bugday

July 14th, 2008

Beautiful weather this week with cool mornings and warm days.  So different from previous year’s drought that many plants and flowers are still blooming.  Hard to believe we’re in the middle of July already.  But I’ve heard the first cicadas for the year already.  It surprised me yesterday while was walking the property.

Lots of other insects out now too.  Here’s a neat looking Katydid of some type on the young boy’s hands.  Doesn’t its wings look just like a leaf?  He found it and wanted to pick it up.  First he asked, “Does it bite?”  “Ah, no it’s like a grasshopper,” I reply.  “Does it sting?” he wants to know next.  “No, it can’t sting,” I say.   “Okay then,”  he says, and picks it up for a picture. 

Katydid species

Of course other bugs are not so pretty.  Here’s a Great Black Wasp I think, sitting on a milkweed leaf.  This one was about an inch and a half long! According to Ted of Beetles in the Bush, this is actually called a mydas fly, probably Mydas clavatus. He posts a little more about it below.  Isn’t it great that other bloggers will stop by and help clarify confusion!  Nature’s rhythm is in full swing with many insect species out now.

Great Black Wasp on milkweed leaf

And our honey bees are still at work on a host of different flowers.  I found another reason to let the grass grow a little longer. Seems that the clover blooms a lot more if I let it, and the bees go right for it.   Maybe we’ll have a little honey this year after all.

Honey bee on white clover

7 Responses to “Monday Bugday”

  1. The next digital camera I get will have a macro lens. I have one for my 35mm but the cost and time associated with it have it gathering dust on a shelf. My point and shoot digital one is just so quick and easy, albeit without a macro lens.

  2. I went through several smaller digitals that just didn’t work well enough, and finally got a decent one. I need a dedicated macro too however. For now I use a telephoto, or instead get up real close and friendly with the critters, and then use software to crop and zoom. Photos are better, but there’s always room for improvement! :)

  3. You know, I’ve had a digital camera for several years now and I still keep forgetting about cropping a larger high resolution picture as an alternative to a macro lens. With telephoto do you use a tripod? My point and shoot can’t take anything with the zoom because it just blurs. What’s your camera? I’ve been thinking about a Canon Rebel or something similar but haven’t wanted to fork over the $ quite yet.

  4. Hi Beau — I just found your site through Roundrock Journal. The picture of the “big black wasp” is actually a type of fly called a mydas fly, probably Mydas clavatus if it has a yellow/orange band around the waist. Mydas flies breed in decaying wood, where they prey upon other insects within the wood. The adults are probably also predaceous but would not capture and feed on something so large as a katydid, I don’t think.

    Best regards — Ted

  5. Hi Ted! Thanks for the clarification… I wondered if it was related to the robber fly? Now that I remember, I did see a flash of reddish color on the abdomen, so I’ll bet you got it exactly! I’ll correct the post… :) Ed- I don’t use a tripod either normally; My camera is a Nikon D-50, one if the better investments I’ve made simply because it’s easy to use. It is quite large however, and there are times I don’t bring it along based on the size. Those little digitals are pretty handy!

  6. Tristan Neal

    Actually, katydids can bite hard enough to leave a cut in your skin.

  7. Hi Tristan- Catching up here- but I didn’t know that? I’ve always picked them up, but will think twice now :) Thanks for coming by and commenting!

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