Posts Tagged ‘proboscis’

Zebra Swallowtail butterfly

August 7, 2019

A Zebra Swallowtail butterfly (Eurytides marcellus, Protographium marcellus) was spotted along the Potomac River at Riverbend Park, Fairfax County, Virginia USA.

29 JUL 2019 | Riverbend Park | Zebra Swallowtail butterfly

Notice the Zebra’s proboscis is extended and inserted in wet mud and sand along the shoreline of the river.

Adults take nectar and (males only?) take fluids from damp sand. Source Credit: BugGuide, Species Eurytides marcellus – Zebra Swallowtail – Hodges#4184.

Copyright © 2019 Walter Sanford. All rights reserved.

Time series: Purple Milkweed (Parts 3, 4)

March 18, 2019

Purple Milkweed (Asclepias purpurascens) flowers were photographed on 06 and 10 June 2016 near a large vernal pool at Huntley Meadows Park in Fairfax County, Virginia USA.

Kevin Munroe, former park manager at Huntley Meadows, designated Purple Milkweed as a “plant of interest” due to the fact that it is officially a rare plant species in the state of Virginia (S2).

Part 3

These plants are covered with ants, lots of ants!

Later, a single Great Spangled Fritillary butterfly (Speyeria cybele) was feeding on the same milkweed plant, along with lots of ants.

Part 4

Lots of Great Spangled Fritillary butterflies (Speyeria cybele) were observed feeding on the milkweed. The next two photos show the same individual in two poses.

The proboscis, a specialized structure that enables butterflies to siphon liquids from flowers, is shown clearly in the next two photos.

An Eastern Tiger Swallowtail butterfly (Papilio glaucus) was feeding on another cluster of milkweed flowers. Eastern Tiger Swallowtail is the State Insect of Virginia. Really, who knew there are official state insects?

The last photo is my favorite in both galleries.

Related Resources

Copyright © 2019 Walter Sanford. All rights reserved.

Time series: Purple Milkweed (Part 2)

March 15, 2019

The following Purple Milkweed (Asclepias purpurascens) flower was photographed on 01 June 2016 near a large vernal pool at Huntley Meadows Park in Fairfax County, Virginia USA.

The milkweed is covered by a cornucopia of insects including ants (one ant can be seen in the full-size version of the first photo), what I think is some type of weevil (the darker insects featuring a curved proboscis that reminds me of an elephant trunk), a cool looking metallic gold-green bee, and what I think is a species of Crane Fly.

As it turns out, my tentative identification of the Crane Fly is incorrect.

The crane fly is actually a [species of] Stilt Bug [from the Family Berytidae]. I can tell by the clubbed antennae and distally enlarged femora. Source Credit: Natalie Hernandez, member of the BugGuide Facebook group.

The gold-green bee is shown more clearly in the full-size version of the following photo. Masumi Palhof, another member of the BugGuide Facebook group, thinks the bee might be a Silky Striped-Sweat bee (Agapostemon sericeus).

Related Resources

Post Update

The weevil is in the subfamily Baridinae (commonly known as “flower weevils”), maybe Odontocorynus umbellae or O. salebrosus. Source Credit: Ted C. MacRae, Senior Entomologist & Science Fellow. Beetles In The Bush [blog].

Copyright © 2019 Walter Sanford. All rights reserved.

A Wheel Bug is a real bug

September 30, 2016

All bugs are insects; not all insects are bugs. True bugs are classified in the Order Hemiptera. A practical example may help to illustrate the distinction.

Dragonflies and damselflies — my first loves in the Class Insecta — are classified in the Order Odonata. They are insects but not true bugs. Make sense?

A Wheel Bug (Arilus cristatus) spotted at Huntley Meadows Park, Fairfax County, Virginia USA.

15 SEP 2016 | Huntley Meadows Park | Wheel Bug (Arilus cristatus)

Wheel Bug (Arilus cristatus) is a true bug in the Family Reduviidae (Assassin Bugs) that preys on pest insects. Notice the red proboscis below the head of the Wheel Bug — a non-retractable structure that is used to pierce and suck the life juices from prey.

A Wheel Bug (Arilus cristatus) spotted at Huntley Meadows Park, Fairfax County, Virginia USA.

15 SEP 2016 | Huntley Meadows Park | Wheel Bug (Arilus cristatus)

This is one crazy-looking bug — the “wheel” on its back reminds me of Stegosaurus!

A Wheel Bug (Arilus cristatus) spotted at Huntley Meadows Park, Fairfax County, Virginia USA.

15 SEP 2016 | Huntley Meadows Park | Wheel Bug (Arilus cristatus)

A Wheel Bug (Arilus cristatus) spotted at Huntley Meadows Park, Fairfax County, Virginia USA.

15 SEP 2016 | Huntley Meadows Park | Wheel Bug (Arilus cristatus)

A Wheel Bug (Arilus cristatus) spotted at Huntley Meadows Park, Fairfax County, Virginia USA.

15 SEP 2016 | Huntley Meadows Park | Wheel Bug (Arilus cristatus)

A Wheel Bug (Arilus cristatus) spotted at Huntley Meadows Park, Fairfax County, Virginia USA.

15 SEP 2016 | Huntley Meadows Park | Wheel Bug (Arilus cristatus)

Related Resource: All bugs are insects, but not all insects are bugs, a blog post by The DragonflyWoman.

Copyright © 2016 Walter Sanford. All rights reserved.


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