Wednesday, September 2, 2015

More bugs in the 'hood

My neighbor J, who showed me the freshly molted cicada the other week, pointed me toward an orb weaver and a praying mantis in her garden the other day. En route, I encountered a gray hairstreak butterfly.

This is a flower in our garden, for those who want to look at something yellow and black that isn't a big hairy spider.

The gray hairstreak butterfly rubs its hind wings together. In fact, the reason I know it's a gray hairstreak butterfly is that I googled "butterfly rubs wings together," and the search returned a bunch of photos of gray hairstreaks. One theory is that they rub their wing tips together to draw attention to their faux rear antenna and faux rear eye-like spots, making them look more threatening to predators.

Hind wing tip up

Hind wing tip down

In my wingtip-rubbing search, I came across a photo of a hairstreak-like butterfly being devoured by a praying mantis. It was a pretty graphic image, as such things go. The praying mantis in J's yard wasn't eating anyone when I saw it.

Nor was the orb weaver spider. I feel some affinity for the orb weaver, because it spins dramatic zigzags, like me, although I find the spiders a little disconcerting to see up close.

Unlike the flower in our garden, this yellow and black thing is a big hairy spider.

No comments: