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Thursday, August 5, 2010

Insects at Northlake

Because of recent rains, it'd "cooled off" here some since yesterday, so Charles and I went for an early hike at Northlake Nature Center. Of course, "cooled off" here is still pretty brutal (even now it's about 99F with humidity. This is our "cooled off.") At least there was an occasional breeze. I'm breaking up the photos from our hike (& breakfast, afterwards,) into 2 posts. This first one focuses on some of the insects we saw...

The rains had raised the level of the bayou significantly. As a result, a colony of big, black ants were traveling all along a fallen log, carrying larva to higher ground.

One of a few North American millipedes. This one's about 4" long (depending on your display settings, this photo's about life size.)

One of dozens of blue dashers.

Possibly a laughter moth caterpillar. If you can refute this, please do leave me a comment.

A blue mud dauber, hunter of the dreaded black widow spider.

A small, banded woolly bear caterpillar.

Okay, okay, so these 2 Louisiana crawfish are technically crustaceans. We still know them as mudbugs (as well as "the other white meat.")

More pictures next time--stay tuned!


Erik Donald France said...

Awesome shots and critters and denizens. Admittedly, the millipede creeps me out, but it's visually stunning.

JR's Thumbprints said...

When I supervised an insect program for elementary school kids, they loved the banded woolly bear, or at least I thought so because every kid identify it.

JR's Thumbprints said...

Missing a "could." Uggh.

Charles Gramlich said...

Interesting how many of the millipedes there were.

timethief said...

Excellent shots. The millipede one was amazing. The blue dasher I identify with ... lol :D I have a thing for dragonflies. ;)

Let's Paint Nature said...

I love the caterpillars, but you have to be tough to be out in that heat!

Scott said...


Great pics, as per usual!

Katy said...

Hey, Lana. You and my husband could be buddies. He likes taking pictures of creepy crawlers as well!

Lynda Lehmann said...

I can do without an encounter with that millipede, Lana! Four inches seems huge.

A "laughter" moth? Again, I'm amazed at how many species you recognize.

It cooled off here today, too, thankfully, and there's even a breath of autumn in the air.

Marvin said...

Crustaceans and insects are fairly closely related. Who should quibble?

Love the millipede. Great photos!

Maalie said...

Superb picturee representing the Insecta, Myriapoda and Crustacea! A great little study of invertebrate biodiversity - nice :-)

Abraham Lincoln said...

This is a nice post. I like that crawdad photo. They will carefully steal your bait when you are fishing. So when they hung on too long and I landed one, I used their peeled tail to fish with. The small sunfish loved it.

We had a blue dasher here and by the time I went to get my camera - like greased lightening - he was gone when I got back dragging my oxygen tank and my camera.

Never heard of a laughter moth. What does the butterfly look like?

Lana Gramlich said...

Erik; Believe me, the millipede creeped me out, too--it was on a railing that I was about to put my hand on!

JR; Oddly, I never knew the name of them until the past year or so!

Charles; Kind of freaky how many millipedes there were, really!

TT; Thanks. I hear you on the dragonfly. You'd love it here for that. You can't take 2 steps w/o seeing one, it seems!

Christine; Tough, or perhaps stupid. *L*

Scott & Maalie; Thank you kindly. :)

Katy; The creepy crawlies move slow enough to get shots of (& unfortunately there weren't many other animals around--or visible, at any rate.)

Lynda; Yeah, the millipede's kind of freaky. I certainly wouldn't want one ON me!
It's not that I always recognize species, but I'm a decent researcher with some really good sources. ;)
Please do send us some breaths of Autumn. Many hundreds of thousands of them. It's like a hot, wet sponge around here now. Ugh!

Marvin; Thanks. That's what I figured, too. Insect/crustacean, toMAYto/toMAHto. ;)

Abe; Of course, down here crawfish aren't bait, they're a party-inducing feast. I'm not big on them, myself (but I'm more used to them as bait, too.) Sorry you missed the blue dasher, but where there's one, there's often more than one! To see the laughter moth, click on the link I provided.

eileeninmd said...

Lana, cool post on the bugs and the crawfish. The millipede is creepy. I have the hardest time trying to get a decent shot of a dragonfly. You got a great shot.

celticmusicfan said...

You make insects look like eye candies

Travis Cody said...

As you know, I'm not an insect person. They are creepy and should not be allowed.

However, I have to say that the photo of the ants carrying the larvae was interesting.

Chrissy said...

I am smiling at this post, bugs fascinate me and i don't usually freak out as long as they are not big and jumpy and land on me! Dragonflies amaze me, I didn't realise just how hard they clash when they are seeing each other off the patch. Great shots Lana :D

Lana Gramlich said...

eileeninmd; Thanks. There are so many dragonflies in the bayous that it's hard not to get decent shots of them!

celticmusicfan; Thank you. :)

Travis C.; I hear you, but as a nature nut (particularly in the hot, humid South,) they're just a near-constant reality. At least I didn't post any spiders this time! ;) *L*

Chrissy; Thanks, hon. Like you, I don't mind bugs too much, so long as they're not on me. We're blessed with the variety of dragonflies down here. I've seen so many different colored ones. They're like flying jewels, so lovely!

Slugyard said...

I was following around a blue metallic bug the other day (without camera unfortunately) and had no idea what it was. Now I know it was probably a blue mud dauber, and more importantly, I probably have some black widows around...yikes.

Michelle (artscapes) said...

Great photos... You must have a good macro! I always loved the fuzzy banded caterpillars. LOL!

Lana Gramlich said...

Slugyard; You might not have black widows--blue mud daubers DO eat other things, too! BTW, is a great resource for identifying unknown insects.

Michelle; Thanks. :)

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