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Happy Pollinator Week! If you only knew how long I spent chasing this Northern cuckoo-leaf-cutter bee (Coelioxys sp.) around and around my garden, trying to get a photo that was not blurry! Pollinators do *NOT* slow down in a sunny garden.


Update: Thanks to the USGS Native Bee Lab for identifying the species as C. modesta. Apparently these bees are cleptoparasites of Megachile sp. bees, breaking into their nests and leaving their own eggs to feed off the pollen stores.

Found this adorable, dew-covered click beetle on a leaf by the moth light setup.

Found a bunch of black swallowtail caterpillars (Papilio polyxenes) NOMming my bronze fennel!

A sweet little azure butterfly (probably Lucia azure, Celastrina lucia, based on time of year and the host plants that were around) that plopped down right in front of me on the trail yesterday. Was even nice enough to stick around while I angled a few shots :-). You might want to google “Lucia azure” just so you can see the amazing blue of the upper side of the wings that gives these butterflies their name.

A Lesser Maple Spanworm (Speranza pustularia) visiting the yellow Sedum in my garden.

An awesome snowberry clearwing caterpillar (Hemaris diffinis) munching away on shrub honeysuckle.

The Pale Beauties (Campaea perlata) have started to emerge. Here’s a nice minty one :-).

I fell a little behind on Pollinator Week, so here’s a bonus BotD.


Chives are actually a decent early spring source of sustenance for pollinators. Here’s a Peck’s skipper (Polites peckius) dining on chive flowers. Chives are not native where I live, but the plants I have are well-behaved and stay in their containers :-).

Super-fluffy pink-legged tiger moth (Spilosoma latipennis). Or a tiny black-horned steer. You pick! :-)



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Found this beautiful celery looper (Anagrapha falcifera) hiding inside one of my blacklights the other night. Check out the cool stigma (white marking) - bugguide says it looks like a goldfish, I say high heeled shoe!

As you probably expected, there's going to be a few more shots of this awesome luna moth for BOTD...


Best viewed large and on black.

Common looper (Autographa precationis), Head On. :-)!

Thanks for all the tumblr votes! #TeamBeetle was the clear winner of our Moth vs. Beetle battle. I admit, I am surprised - really thought the moth folks had it.


Ok, @sp00ky-cat, here is your “big dumb carapace baby” - a GORGEOUS elm borer, Saperda tridentata.

I have this leafhopper narrowed down to either Idiocerus venosus or I. lachrymalis. Without scale, I'm stuck looking for morphological characteristics to separate the two - says that I. venosus lacks the light band on the wingtips but I can't tell for sure what that looks like...

“So close to 10,000 tumblr followers, I can taste it!”


(Golden Dung Fly, Scathophaga stercoraria)

Happy Pollinator Week! This week BotD will be featuring some of the hundreds of pollinator photos I’ve been hoarding since last year :-). This is a honeybee that got caught partying out of the hive past curfew, and ended up spending the night outside on one of my mountain mint plants (yep, insects will collect dew the same as plants if they are around til the wee hours).

A beautiful (and docile!) cattail borer (Bellura obliqua) at the light the other night.

Mmmm, tastes like blueberry!


(Gypsy moth caterpillar chewing on a leaf on my blueberry bush, July 2016)

My name’s Furry Face and I, I care what you think…


Oh April moths, so docile and chill :-)

I love these Chinquapin Leaf-miner moths (Dyseriocrania griseocapitella). So tiny, so shiny, so punk rock :-).

Finally remembered to post a fly for Friday Flyday! This is a Syrphid fly (Brachypalpus oarus) I found hovering around the leaf litter while on a walk this week. So much fuzz!


Thanks to Bob Biagi over at for the id.

D’awwww, cute little fishfly puppy!!! *pat* *pat* *pat*

Bottled our beer today and made these silly labels for our homebrew.

Found this cool reddish caterpillar munching on one of the leaves of my peach tree. According to Caterpillar God Sam Jaffe, it’s genus Eupsilia.

A European snout beetle (Phyllobius oblongus) I found hiding on the underside of a leaf.

This gorgeous moth is known as the Black-etched Prominent (Cerura scitiscripta). I kept thinking it was black and white, like The Hebrew Moth, but it’s actually more of a gorgeous ivory or bone shade of off-white with grey markings. So cool!

A close up of Meester Stinky, the brown marmorated stink bug that tried to attack my jigsaw puzzle ;-)

It’s Pollinator Week at BotD! The pollinator garden is often “buzzing” even at night - here is a small Crambid moth (Herpetogramma sp.) sipping nectar from a mountain mint plant last August.

Bug of the Day


A very cool, armored, weird-looking, pitted, awesome shield bug that I found crawling around in the scrub. I believe this is a shieldbacked pine seed bug, Tetyra bipunctata, possibly a new record for Massachusetts, if anyone is keeping records of shield bugs in Massachusetts :-).

A Subdued Quaker (Orthosia revicta) looking...subdued. From April 2016.

A very regal-looking Bicolored Woodgrain (Morrisonia evicta) posing for me last weekend.

How squishy, fluffy, and UTTERLY ADORABLE is this giant Modest Sphinx (Pachysphinx modesta)???? I feel so lucky she agreed to sit and pose for some shots :-).

A lovely Clymene Moth (Haploa clymene) on the side of my house.

Apparently I lied yesterday :-).


Per db's request/challenge, whole luna moth with a side of sheet, hold the finger ;-).


P.S. - Like "Bug of the Day"? Subscribe to the email feed! (cannot promise they will all be luna moths though!)

A Virginia creeper sphinx (Darapsa myron) that wouldn’t get off my finger :-).

Butterfly Week continues at BotD...


I love these little clearwing butterflies. The clear parts of their wings look like dirty windows though - I'd love to get in there with some Windex and a little paper towel *wipe wipe wipe* ;-).

Fell WAYYYY behind so here is a bonus BotD: A Chinese mantis (Tenodera sinensis sinensis) scared up during some field work the other day.

Close up of one of the Northern Walkingsticks (Diapheromera femorata) I found on the side of my house last September.

This little brown lacewing (Micromus sp., I believe) is ready for liftoff!

An adorable little Eastern Pine Elfin (Callophrys niphon) showed up at the lights last night, a first for the yard list!

Found these wee bug nymphs while they were still snug in their eggs, on the underside of a milkweed leaf. They hatched just a day later and within 24 hours after I took this shot they had dispersed into the weeds (or been eaten!).


These are nymphs of something in the Coreidae family (leaf-footed bugs), perhaps helmeted squash bug (Euthochtha galeator), but it's really hard to tell at this stage.


From June 2013.

“Bartender, another bourbon. Make it a double!”



Today is Arachtober 12th


This male goldenrod crab spider (Misumena vatia) has captured quite the prize. I love that the markings around his eyes mimic the disk flowers (yellow center) of the daisy!

Aphids on a Phragmites leaf. Recrop of a photo from June 2005 - thought I would submit it in this longer format for "the blink of an eye" contest.


A reminder that you can receive a "Bug of the Day" in your Inbox every day! Subscribe here. Just my way to bring a little love to the insect world :-).


Update 3/2008: Currently in rotation as part of WBUR's Listener Photo Project.

Dragonfly at niiiiight

You know how I feel!


(Sorry, that’s what I sing every time I see a dragonfly at the moth light)

In case yesterday's photo...wasn't close enough ;-).



(Blinded Sphinx - Paonias excaecata)

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