Thursday, August 7, 2008

Moths at a light: Hartt Island

And now for something completely different ...

We were part of three families who took their RVs to Hartt Island Campground in July, a beautiful spot situated on the St. John River west of Fredericton. There was a giant set of double floodlights that illuminated the wharf and area all night that attracted hundreds if not thousands of moths. This is a poor attempt to show the activity at the light.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Two new dragonflies

Yesterday (16 July), I photographed some dragonflies at the bog in the University of New Brunswick woodlot, which I accessed at lunchtime from the forestry complex. The one with the black marks on the wings is a Common Whitetail (Libellula lydia); the other is a Chalk-fronted Corporal (L. julia). (Lydia and Julia! Someone must have had some fun naming these.) These are males, and have developed a white colouration called pruinescence. Both species are in the Skimmer family, LIBELLULIDAE.

The first whitetail was sitting on a chain-link fence on my property on 15 June. I was trimming grass when something made me stop. I'm glad I did, because I was able to photograph my first whitetail in New Brunswick.

Monday, June 30, 2008

Three new moths

I continue to take many images of moths at my porch light and elsewhere. They're piling up, and it will take a good while to id them all. Here three geometrids from earlier this spring:
7213 Small Phoenix
7329 Variable Carpet
6321 Black-banded Orange
The latter moth (#6321) is a small day-flying moth that looks rather like a tiny butterfly.
(The numbers are called Hodges numbers, and are used to identify every moth in North America.)

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

My First Luna Moth

I walked out my front door Saturday morning, and took pictures of two moths on the wall. I turned back to see what else was there, and nearly jumped out of my skin. There was a large Luna Moth (Actias luna, Family Saturniidae), beside the front door! It was so low down that its tail was curved out along the concrete. I left it there all day, but on Sunday I transferred it to a hanging planter that I had just purchased. On Monday it had moved to the opposite side of the planter, but on Tuesday it had disappeared.

Saturniid adults exist only to mate. They do all their eating as larvae, and come out of the pupa without mouthparts. After mating, they just wait around to die, their purpose completed. Perhaps this one has found another safe place to rest for awhile.

Thursday, May 22, 2008


I've been quiet for some time, busy with many things and with going through 4000 insect images. Here are some images of bumblebees. On May 11 I found this bumblebee sitting on my front doorbell. Perhaps it was warming itself using what little energy the light gave off. The other two images are of a Common Eastern Bumble Bee - Bombus impatiens and a Tricolored bumblebee - Bombus ternarius.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Great Golden Digger Wasp from Maine

Slim pickings at this time of year. However, I am gradually going through my unidentified pix from the last 2 years and throwing some in to BugGuide for identification. We vacationed in Maine last August, and I saw this large wasp actively searching for prey around a little hole in the sand on a trail around the lake at Ferry Beach State Park, Old Orchard Beach. I consider Maine pix to be acceptable for a blog on New Brunswick insects - it's close enough. This wasp is a Great Golden Digger Wasp (SPHECIDAE Sphex ichnumoneus). I watched it for about 30 minutes, but couldn't get any great pix as it would not stay still.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

A few mammals

This is a downtime for insects, so maybe I'll show you some mammal pics. This cooperative chipmunk often hangs out on the knob set up in a friend's garden. There have been at least three little brown bats resting for days during late summer at the side entrance to the Atlantic Forestry Centre where I work. I have pics of all of them. And finally, this raccoon was caught robbing my bird feeder last week. I'm going to have to move the feeder out of reach.