Sunday, November 06, 2005

Small exciting things...


Been putting my gardens to bed for the fall and yesterday found a small skipper that seemed at bit out of place; very pale and so I took a picture. Hard of me to do since I don't have a fancy camera. Today looking at more closely it seems very different from the skippers I am used to, but I am hardly a butterfly expert.

So even though it is dangerous to try to identify insects from pictures, today I went to the USGS Northern Prairie research site,http://www.npwrc.usgs.gov browsed the skipper pictures. The closest species I come up with is the Desert Checkered Skipper, Pyrgus philetas. If so the butterfly is way out of range. I am pretty confident of the genus but good skipper pictures are hard to come by. But compare my picture above with the one from the site and see what you think. The original image is at:

http://www.npwrc.usgs.gov/resource/distr/lepid/bflyusa/usa/658.htm

and you should go there to view it. I try to be respectful of copyrights and don't have Dr. Cary's permission to use the image. If you scroll down to the end of the page for this species you will see that it is reported from Southern Texas/Northern Mexico.

There are other Pyrgus species that range into Kansas, so it's possible I have one of those instead...but who knows.

Today I found the butterfly again but not having an insect net, was not able to catch it. But did find a nice female praying mantis. So here she is. Mantids do have some ability to change color and she has a quite appropriate color for this time of year.
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