Monday, September 2, 2013

Insects and critters in New Jersey - a photo essay from this summer

False Potato Beetle (Leptinotarsa juncta)
A dead False Potato Beetle (Leptinotarsa juncta) was waiting for me, dead, outside the door to my office building one day. It is similar to the infamous Colorado potato beetle, but its stripes are brown, black and white.

galls on grape leaf (Vitis)
Some amazing galls by some unknown insect on grape leaves in our garden.  Each yellow 'bottle' was about 1 cm long.

sunflower and fly
This is a fly (2 wings), not a bee (4 wings), sunning itself in the sunflower.

caterpillar of Amorpha juglandis (Walnut Sphinx)
LA found a small, but distinctive, larvae of a walnut sphinx (Amorpha juglandis).  Spinxes are big moths that fly at night. This was the first photo from New Jersey in the, a great online photo guide!

We also saw two mosquitoes in the last week that looked like the invasive Asian tiger mosquito.  I am less happy about that. They were tiny, flew during daytime, and have black and white-striped bodies and legs. They can spread diseases, that is their problem (and ours).

I love all the life in our garden, even if it sometimes bites and stings. This morning the fog had made all the spider webs visible, like white cotton thread.  Giant praying mantis are hanging out in the butterfly bush, aiming for the big swallowtail butterflies.  In the garden, too many marmorated stinkbugs are creating problems... it is always something.

More insect photos are coming soon! 

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