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Buggy Bugs

Today we went on a nature walk and we found lots of insects we never really noticed before.
All things six-legged are the topic of our nature study this term, so our eyes were bent downward, searching the ground around our feet for signs of this particular kind of life.  It’s incredible what goes on all the time around us while we are completely unaware.  In just a short time we found a surprising variety of insects.
American Grasshopper

These guys are everywhere  this time of year!  As the girls and I walked down a lane through one of our farm fields, we were constantly accompanied by the sound of whirring wings, and the sudden “flick” of grasshoppers jumping from their sunny perches.  This particular grasshopper remained in one spot long enough for me to get a shot, but he swung around to the underside of the stem he had landed on when he eyed my camera coming closer.  Can’t you see him looking warily out of the corner of his eye?!  And I’m betting you didn’t know that grasshopper’s ears are on the side of their thorax, underneath their wings.

Long Horned Grasshopper
You can’t see it on this picture, but the antennae on this variety of grasshopper are very long and thin. We read that it is a particular kind, distinct from the commonly known American grasshopper.

Albino Caterpillar?
Not really sure what kind, but Megan thought he looked like he might be sick (since he’s so pale!).

These were all over the place too.
Sphinx Caterpillar
Something green slithering in the grass at the roadside caught my attention.  Not that he was moving that fast.  I’m a bit surprised I noticed him through all the stalks and weeds.  But sure enough here was this big, handsome fellow!  We managed to corral him into a ziploc bag we had with us, and now he’s happily munching on tomato leaves and Virginia creeper inside our butterfly habitat.
The sphinx moth caterpillars actually burrow underground during the pupal stage to form their cocoon, so I’m not sure we’ll get to witness his transformation.
Anybody know what kind of critters these are?  Kind of funky-colored, aren’t they?

We were loading up our gear on to the back of the pick-up when Allison spied this beauty on the floor of the machine shed.  Such a lovely shade of green, don’t you think?


3 thoughts on “Buggy Bugs

  1. Awesome pictures and what variety you found!Could the albino caterpillar be a Yellow Bear (Virginia Tiger Moth)?The funky colored ones, I think, are Plant bug nymphs (Niesthrea louisianica). I found it by typing "white spots" into the bugguide.net website and then looking for a similar picture.Enjoyed your post. Thanks!Sarah

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