Monday, June 14, 2010

An entomological day

Taking a quick break from St. Croix posts to look at some of the neat things I found in my backyard today - eggs.

First up, the one I'm most excited about - a Polyphemus moth egg (Antheraea polyphemus). It's rather large, rather flattened shape, about 2mm across, white on top and brown around the edges.

I found it on the underside of an oak leaf. I proceeded to search as much of the small tree as I could reach, with the aid of a chair... could not find any others. In this post I show pictures of an adult Polyphemus moth. I have never seen their caterpillar in the wild, so I'm really hoping this one hatches. Even if it doesn't, or if the caterpillar does not survive, I'm happy to have found an egg.

I also encountered the eggs of a few members of Pentatomidae - the stink bugs and shield bugs.

I believe the eggs on the right belong to the spined soldier bug (Podisus maculiventris). They were found on our quince tree. The eggs on the left were found on an oak tree.

On several of the oak leaves I examined, I saw bunches of very small eggs. Well, without any visual aids, I could only guess they were eggs, as to my eyes they were barely a bunch of little black spots.

Finally, I found a bunch with a lace bug (Tingidae) sitting guard nearby. Lace bugs are beautiful, and very small, only a few mm long. I took a few photos, and yup, they were eggs alright!

I was not sure if this was a coincidence or not, but sure enough, I saw a few more egg clusters with an adult lace bug nearby.

Lace bugs can be plant pests, but I'm debating whether I'd want to try raising a few. Could be fun.


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