All about insects, spiders, and other arthropods, focusing on North America north of Mexico.
I think this is a great idea - and I'm looking forward to seeing what kind of discussions we can get started! Just FYI (and to get things started), I live in south central Kansas on 10 acres in the middle of farming country. Agriculture is king here, complete with lots of herbicides and insecticides, recreational mowing of roadsides, and so forth.We are 100% organic on our property and I am trying to learn as much about the plants and animals that we share our property with as possible. Simultaneously, I'm trying to recolonize our land with the plants - with their associated animals - that would have been growing in the area 150 years ago...within reason! (We have remnant buffalo wallows - but I'm not trying to restore bison!)Anyway, thanks for starting this - and I'm looking forward to learning and sharing here. Cynthia, aka Gaia gardener
Thank you, Cynthia :-)
saw my first hummingbird moth (white lined sphinx) back here in suburban St.Louis.....Godfrey, Il. Is that unusual in this area? very cool creature. It was feeding on flowers at mid-day as a hummingbird would. Is it true the prob. curls up & retracts after feeding? Don L...Godfrey, Il
The White-lined Sphinx is common or abundant coast-to-coast and border to border so no, not unusual. Some years they are more prolific than "normal," though. yes, they do curl up their proboscis when not feeding.
I was at red rock in march and saw hundred's of ball shaped webs hanging off of cacti. there was something like multiple cocoons inside. Do you know what spider does that?
I'd have to see an image at least, if not the actual structures....but I'd bet it was moth cocoons, or possibly sawfly cocoons, rather than the work of a spider. We did have that outbreak of Douglas-fir Tussock Moths last year.
I have observed for two years what I think is the Fork-Tailed Bush Katydid (NE Alabama). They appear to be "sick". I find them in distress with what looks like a blood pool nearby and they die. I've searched the internet trying to learn about their life cycle but no answers were found. I live in a rural community that supports cattle...farmers grow feed crops throughout the valley which are GMO/roundup ready. I would like your opinion if what I described is the normal death pattern or if they forage on these crops (like the bees...very few seen)...wondering if their system is being disrupted by the GMO farming practice? Thank you for sharing your time and experience.
That is a very good, serious question, but one I cannot answer having never made the same observation myself, or knowing anyone else who has. You might contact the entomology department at Auburn University and see if they have at least received similar reports. Let me know what you find out, please.