Saturday, June 20, 2009

Clymene Moth (Haploa clymene)

(Photo: 06/21/09 by Marvin)

Clymene Moth (Haploa clymene)

Hodges: #8107

Identification: Easy ... bold cross pattern is distinctive.

Range: Maine and Quebec to Florida, west to Kansas and Texas.

Habitat: Deciduous forests and adjacent fields, etc.

Caterpillar hosts: Eupatorium species, oaks, peach, and willow trees; other plants.




Thursday, June 18, 2009

Pencilflower (Stylosanthes biflora)

(Photos: 6/14/09 by Marvin)

Pencilflower (Stylosanthes biflora)

Other common name: Sidebeak Pencilflower

Status: Native perennial herb.

Family: Fabaceae (Pea Family)

Range: Most of the eastern United States.

Habitat: Rocky open woods, glades, prairies, usually on acid substrates.

Flowering: May - September.

Comments: The "pencil" and "stylos" (stylus) in the vernacular and scientific names both refer to the hollow receptacle that surrounds the pistil.

Although this wildflower is fairly common in the easter U. S., it is often overlooked because the plant is low-growing and the flowers are tiny.

Sources and additional information/images:
Kansas Wildflowers & Grasses
Missouri Plants
USDA Plant Profile and Distribution Map
2bn Thye Wild
Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center


Monday, June 15, 2009

Banded Longhorn Flower Beetle (Typocerus velutinus)

Banded Longhorn Flower Beetle
(Typocerus velutinus)

Identification: Pattern usually distinctive: broad yellow bands on a chestnut background. Sometimes bands are weak. Tends to be larger than several of the other common Flower Longhorns. Yellow markings do not continue across the two elytra as a continuous band; instead, there is a break along the suture.

Range: Eastern North America

Life Cycle: Larvae feed on decaying hardwoods such as oak, hickory. Adults usually found in daytime, but do come to lights, so probably somewhat nocturnal.

Comments: Photo taken with Banded Longhorn Flower Beetle feeding on Queen Anne's Lace growing along our road out. They will feed on a variety of flowers, but seem to have a preference for Queen Anne's Lace.

Sources and additional images/information:

BugGuide Species Page
Cirrus Images
Stephen Cresswell Photography


Friday, June 12, 2009

Limestone Wild Petunia (Ruellia strepens)

(Photo: 6/11/09 by Jo)

Limestone Wild Petunia (Ruellia strepens)

Other common names: Smooth Wild Petunia, Smooth Ruellia

Status: Native to North America.

Distribution: The northern limit of Smooth Ruellia is in Illinois, Indiana and eastward to New Jersey and Pennsylvania. Extends southward to Florida and Texas.

Habitat: Found in rich forest and along forest margins. Grows well in moist, organically rich, well-drained soils in part shade. Tolerates close to full shade.

Flowering period: May to July in the northern limits of its range. Blooms until September in southern states. Flowers last for only one day but the plant produces many flowers while in bloom.

Comments: Although wild petunias and cultivated petunias look somewhat similar, they are not closely related -- not even members of the same family. Wild petunias are members of the Acanthus family. Cultivated petunias were imported from South America and are members of the potato (Solanaceae) family.


Thursday, June 11, 2009

Emerald Flower Scarab (Trichiotinus lunulatus)

(Photo: 6/09/09 by Marvin)

Emerald Flower Scarab (Trichiotinus lunulatus) Feeding on Ox-eye Daisy

Identification: Usually green, but sometimes has a coppery tinge. Legs usually green or dark, not brown. Cretaceous (chalky) spots on pygidium not usually concealed by hairs.

Range: Southeastern United States: Virginia to Texas.

Habitat: Meadows, fields, etc. with flowers, near woodlands.

Food: Pollen and/or nectar from a variety of flowers.

(Source: BugGuide)