2017 Fauna Roundup!

October 30, 2018 Animals, Nature 0 Comments

Well, I really did mean to get this posted much earlier in the year! The last few months have been busy, though, and my website usually gets neglected when that happens. But finally, here is part II, the follow-up to my 2017 Flora Roundup post…

▲ A Green Anole or Carolina Anole (Anolis carolinensis) about to scurry behind a downspout. They’re so fast…which just makes me want to chase them more! Photographed in late February.

▲ Same lizard, different angle. Although Green Anoles do change color (from green to brown and back to green), they are more closely related to iguanas than chameleons.

▲ One last look at the Anolis carolinensis!

▲ A Great Blue Heron (Ardea herodias) just a little too far away. Taken about 40 minutes before sunset in mid-May (while surrounded by a chorus of frogs). Photographed in mid-May.

▲ My nemsis come July every year, a Squash Beetle (Epilachna borealis) (on a female cucumber flower). Photographed in early July.

▲ A Great Blue Heron (Ardea herodias), with a fish in its mouth, and a Great Egret (Ardea alba). Photographed in early August.

▲ My macro lens is only a 1:1 lens, which means I can’t magnify insects this small. But I couldn’t help but try to get a few shots of this ladybug. Ladybugs (or ladybirds in Britain) are members of the Coccinellidae family,

▲ This fuzzy little guy (or gal) is a Fall Webworm (Hyphantria cunea) in the caterpillar stage! I saw quite a few of them on this particular outing. Photographed in late August.

▲ Another Fall Webworm caterpillar (Hyphantria cunea) peeking out from behind a fallen leaf.

▲ A Fall Webworm caterpillar (Hyphantria cunea) heading somewhere…

▲ A lovely, female Yellow Garden Spider, sometimes known as Zipper Spider (Argiope aurantia). I was lucky to find this large female hanging out in the low, shrubby plants near the Chattahoochee River. I spent about 20 minutes taking pictures and was fortunate enough to watch her wrap up a snack for later (photos below). Photographed in late August.

▲ I took these pictures with my 105mm macro lens. I wanted the shallow depth-of-field to blur out the background, but ended up also getting a shallow depth-of-field on the spider, a female Yellow Garden Spider, sometimes known as Zipper Spider (Argiope aurantia).

▲ A much better blurred out background! A Yellow Garden Spider, sometimes known as Zipper Spider (Argiope aurantia).

▲ A female Cloudless Sulphur butterfly (Phoebis sennae) on a thistle. Photographed in late August.

▲ Do you know what these are? I would love to ID them… Update (April 2019): I think these are Boxelder Bugs (Boisea trivittata). They’re very similar to and often confused with Red-Shouldered Bugs (Jadera haematoloma), which tend to be on or near Golden Raintrees. Since I don’t think there were any Golden Raintrees in the area where I saw these bugs (in the nymph stage) I’m going with Boxelder Bugs. There’s also one marking that makes me go with Boxelder Bug over Red Shouldered Bug.

▲ A (rather difficult to photograph) katydid (a member of the family Tettigoniidae). More on North American katydids, and how to distinguish the sound they make from crickets! Photographed in mid-September.

▲ A very common Painted Lady Butterfly (Vanessa cardui) on a pink Zinnia. Photographed in late September.

▲ A tightly cropped photo of a Painted Lady Butterfly (Vanessa cardui). They look like they only have two pairs of legs but the the third pair is there somewhere, tucked in! Photographed in late September.

▲ I see these Spiny Backed Orb-Weavers (Gasteracantha cancriformis) everywhere starting in late summer and continuing into the fall. There are still some in the yard now. These spiders can have either pale yellow or white abdomens. The pale yellow version will always have black spines, but white version can have red spines. This one is a female (males are smaller and have fewer, stubbier spines). Photographed in late September 2017.

▲ The underside of the Spiny Backed Orb-Weaver (Gasteracantha cancriformis). Photographed in late September.

▲ A Carpenter Bee on the Salvia. They love salvia. From the genus Xylocopa. Photographed in late September.

▲ I originally thought this was an abandoned hive made by Paper Wasps, spotted near where I run (after the leaves fell off the trees in early winter). But it turns out that it is more likely a hive made by Common Aerial Yellowjackets (Dolichovespula arenaria) or Bald-Faced Hornets (Dolichovespula maculata), which are not actually hornets.