I think I've been driving some of my Facebook chums nuts with my prolific bug photos lately, and I know my flickr stream is wayyyyy overpopulated with invertebrates. In an effort to minimize the overbugginess here, I'll pile on the recent discoveries in one post here. No spiders. If you really want the spiders, or share my interest in critters, head on over to wee beasties and see what else I've discovered lately. Two major highlights:
I'm beginning to think my sister-in-law attracts large, interestingly-colored beetles - a reputation she earned with me two years ago when she happened upon a Calosoma scrutator, AKA "fiery searcher", AKA "caterpillar hunter." I feel like I never find bugs that cool on my own. For a second I considered taking credit for the giant millipedes we met last summer, but then realized, no...found by a friend. Bummer.
Anyway, the click beetle. My three-year-old was eager to handle the elator and seemed interested in its hinged construction as well as in its pointy mandibles. One moment he was gingerly testing the jaws with his finger, as if testing a hypothesis, and the next...well, it's safe to say that my bug lover will not be touching the pinchy bits of any beetle again any time soon. His fascination with beetles continues unabated, though, and he has happily identified several pictures of click beetles that we've seen in the past week. Funny how you never notice something, and then once you're introduced to it, it's everywhere.
I've been stalking this tiny guy in my garden. He's a red-banded leafhopper, Graphocephala coccinea. I had found an oak treehopper a few days before and while identifying it was wishing to find something more colorful, so I was excited to spot this one while hunting a praying mantis in the same herb patch. Oh, tarragon in the sun smells good.