Tuesday, July 18, 2017


I've been taking lots of photos lately so I thought I'd split off the bugs. Most people are happy enough with butterflies and dragonflies, but beware, if you scroll down too far you'll be into the spiders :-)

Aphrodite Fritillary butterfly

I think this is a Fritillary butterfly, maybe an Aphrodite. I saw it fly by and land out of sight. So I crept up slowly, closer and closer. But I couldn't see it, maybe it hadn't landed? I walked closer and it spooked and flew away. It landed nearby on a brick wall. I slowly moved towards it, taking photos as I went in case it flew away again. But this time it put up with me getting close enough for some good shots.

I didn't even make it off the front steps of our house for this next one - a cute little (1 cm) furry moth on the wall.


This one I chased around on the lower dirt trail beside the river. It refused to sit still for long, but at least it kept landing by the trail where I could photograph it. I submitted this one to iNaturalist with a tentative id of an Eyed Brown, but I was soon corrected that it was a Northern Pearly-eye. Many butterflies have very different patterns on the top and bottom of their wings, but this one was quite similar.

Northern Pearly-eye butterfly

There are lots of dragonflies and damselflies around. I try to photograph a variety. Because they are territorial, they often return to the same hunting perch which helps a lot in photographing them. I think this is a Four-spot skimmer. (confirmed on iNaturalist)

Four-spot skimmer dragonfly

Four-spot skimmer dragonfly

While I was photographing this dragonfly I spotted this nearby. I think it's a Crane Fly of some sort. They look a bit like a giant mosquito, but they don't bite (thank goodness!)

crane fly (?)

And last, but not least, the 8 legged ones. I was walking by the backlit lilies when I noticed the silhouette of a spider. It turned out to be a Harvestman (which aren't technically spiders). Many of these are missing a leg or two but this one still has all eight.


Not sure what kind these next two are.



Of course, my favorites are the fishing spiders. After multiple years of observing them, I finally saw one eating. It had one of the small damselflies by the head. I also saw what could be leftovers beside others, damselfly wings beside one, and water beetle wing covers next to another. They are mostly nocturnal hunters which is presumably why I don't see them eating much. It's hard to pin down what fascinates me about these spiders but I don't seem to get tired of observing them.

I was crouched down by the pond (I'm sure people wonder what I'm looking at) searching for spiders when I realized this one was on the edge of the concrete within inches of my feet. This is another female with egg sac. The egg sac starts out white from the newly spun spider silk, but it soon turns this shade of gray/brown. I can't quite figure out how they hang onto the egg sac. They don't appear to use their legs.

fishing spider

Once the eggs are ready to hatch the female makes a "nursery" web to protect the young spiders. At the Innovation Place Pond they seem to do this on the concrete side of the pond. Here's one batch of babies. It's a bit tricky to get the spiderlings in focus when they're surrounded by web. They also tend to start dispersing when you get close with the camera.

fishing spider babies in nursery web

There are a couple of corners of the pond where I tend to spot them. It usually takes a few minutes to see them, even when you know what to look for. Although they don't appear especially camouflaged, they tend to blend in quite well. One day I thought there were none around and by the time I was finished I'd spotted four of them within a square foot of pond. Here's one hiding in plain sight. They seem to like to be in a position where they can duck under the water if threatened.

fishing spider

See all 22 photos

No comments:

Post a Comment