Here are some fun insects that can be found around the Natural Lands.
Black-Winged Damselfly – Calopteryx maculata
Goldenrod Soldier Beetles – Chauliognathus pensylvanicus
Garden Spider – Argiope aurantia
This is an orb weaver that makes complex webs of concentric circles. Also found in gardens as name implies. Females are up to 3″ in length including legs and 3-4 times larger than males. They only breed once and males are often consumed by the female after mating. He courts her by “plucking” her web strands.
Monarch Butterfly – Danaus plexippus
This monarch butterfly is feeding on Blazing Star, a native prairie plant. Monarch butterflies lay their eggs on milkweed. They are famous for traveling very long distance every year, with the North American monarchs ranging from southern Canada to northern South America.
Rusty Patched Bumblebee – Bombus affinis
The rusty patched bumblebee is currently listed as endangered under the Endangered Species Act as of March 21, 2017. These bees collect nectar and pollen from flowering plants found in prairies and grasslands.
Ten-Spot Dragonfly – Libellula pulchella
Larvae and adults are fearsome predators, pursuing most anything they can kill and eat. Larvae are known to kill and eat small fish while adults have been recorded to kill hummingbirds. One reference said: “were the larvae 8-16″ long as they were 300 million years ago, humans would be attacked swimming in fresh water”. However, usual prey are both larvae and adult insects. They kill many mosquitoes in both larval and adult stages. Dragonfllies hold their wings spread while resting.
Tiger Swallowtail Butterfly – Papilio glaucus
Virginia Ctenucha Moth – Ctenucha virginica