Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Kids' Bug Collection

It is always good to start the day out with scenery like this:
These standing rocks looked like creek bed guardians:
We found that mormon crickets eat grasshoppers. I meant to get a picture of that, but didn't.
There were hundreds of mormon crickets all over. Here are 3 more:
This is a borer beetle. Non-native borer beetles are destroying many forests in Utah and there doesn't seem to be a good solution to the problem.
This is a robber fly. They sound like WWII airplanes when they fly. Robber flies prey upon other flying insects including honey bees, which they catch in the air and inject with venom. They then suck out the insides like a spider. These look like they might be a young dragonfly, but they are not related to dragonflies. They actually eat adult dragonflies that are much larger than themselves. There is another robber fly photo coming up in this post that looks like a bee, but is just a common variation.
These scorpions are common to Utah's deserts:
The beautiful markings of a dragon fly:
Another dragonfly that has a great wing color (I put the dragonfly against white to make the color pop out):
Dragonflies are not actually flies.
Tiger swallowtail:
Wounded dragon. Sometimes this happens when the kids try to catch these guys.
A young buck that seemed to have very little fear of people:
Thermoregulating sage lizard:
Side-blotched lizard keeping an eye on us:
I took these pictures as an afterthought. I was looking for snakes and my son was looking for bugs.
Cabbage white butterfly. These never stay still.
Pulling back some bark revealed ant tunnels:
The ants quickly began moving the eggs to safety:
Is this a bee? No, it is another robber fly.
The robber fly landed near the ants and I wondered if it would eat one.
The pattern of this rocky mountain parnassian butterfly cannot be seen until it is caught and held still. When it flies it simply looks tan.
A parnassian that is ready to get back to the flowers of the meadow:
A beautiful piece of living art:
With some silver underneath:
A tiger swallow tail that was lacking it's swallow tails. Though it had a tear on one of the rear wings, it appeared that the swallow tails were not ever formed:
A front shot showed some blue near where the wing tails should be:
This one was smaller, but had it's wing tails and was in perfect shape:
The diversity of butterfly colors and patterns is incredible. I think that a person could study butterflies their entire life and still require a field guide for complete identification.
This one had white on the wing's edges:
A shot from the bottom. Crazy eyes:
This little guy had a spectacular pattern when its wings were open, but it wouldn't cooperate for a picture of that.Another variation of the cabbage white butterfly:
White admiral butterfly:
The wings were showing some wear:
Box elder bug hangout:
If anyone can identify the above and below plants, please do so in the comments.

Another white admiral:
A mushroom cookie growing out of a log:
Some red under the tattered white admiral's wings:
A white admiral with less mileage:
Some really large slugs were found out in the morning moisture. These were huge & spotted:

Friday, July 10, 2009

Corn Snake Genetics

This corn snake belongs to a friend of the family:
As you can see, this corn snake is quite a bit different than any of mine. It has a broken up stripe that connects the pattern in the middle and towards the tail:
The variations in corn snake genetics are incredible. This snake is also high white and is very tame, like a typical corn.
To see an awesome variety and latest corn snake morphs, check out http://www.moreptiles.com/
Ruby is an entirely different flavor: