29 July 2009

Vermilionville / BVD - 7/29/09

Michael, Emma and I set some banana/sugar traps near the BVD today. Here is a pic of the find that was the reason we set the traps:

I spotted this guy (below) near the trash cans. I know it doesn't look very appetizing but you will have to trust me that it is a moth pupa:

Vermilionville / BVD - 7/28/09

Yesterday Michael and I poked around Vermilionville and the BVD after work. We found: 1 larval cacada looking for a spot to moult, 1 ball of dirt that looks suspiciously like a dung ball, an apparently sick bat near the base of a tree and 2 buprestids on a persimmon tree trunk.

28 July 2009

Des Allemends trip - 7/21/09

    Here is the count from last night's haul (excluding some of those bugs ofwhich we got just a very few):

Crickets - 35

PDB's (predacious diving beetle) - 59

WSB's (water scavenger beetle) - 38

Belastoma - 29

Water scorpions - 86

Lethocerus - 74

Dragonflies - 91

Fishing spiders - 3 (2 of these are the smaller species we use most often,but 1 is a large but thin female of Dolomedes tenebrosus. She's at IRF and,we hope, getting fattened up.)

Very productive and fun night. Hope y'all had fun!
- Zack

21 June 2009

Alexandria & LeCompte 20/21 June 2009

Well.......Steve, Travis & I made a nocturnal run up to Alexandria to set up lights at my friend Roger Breedlove's house. We set up the rigs, and figured on driving around, checking out the local gas stations (more specifically their lights...). We found a moderate number of ox beetles, Strategus aloeus, mostly minor males & females, but a few major males tossed in for fun.

We also had at least one grapevine beetle, Pelidnota punctatus

There were a few Calosoma sayi specimens crawling around......

It was an overall dry run....in more than one way......it hadn't rained in a while....and unless Strategus is your only bounty........dry run fits there as well. Oh well.......next time!

10 June 2009

Mini-explosions from the Asilid World!!!

Man......if it gets better than this.......I don't know if I can maintain further composure!!!!

While watching the sun set the other afternoon, Ellen pointed out a remarkably beautiful, albeit miniscule dipterid just inches away from where we were sitting. I squeezed off a couple of pictures, and soon forgot about it......I dunno, I was chasing a wasp or something.........

So when it came time to upload the photos from my camera to our PC, there was something amiss. I initially passed this fly of as a Syrphyid fly of some sorts...........stupid ME.

Ellen insisted that it was a robber fly, so I sent the photos to Zack, who was so bold as to "bet money" on Asilidae. Now I was really intrigued........and super excited that my baby had potentially keyed out something pretty cool. The text below is from Gayle & Jeanelle Strickland:

"Congratulations to Ellen!! Not only is it an Asilid, but an excellent record. We think it is Atomosia sayii. Images of the genus Atomosia may be seen on Herschel Raney's website.
Click on the following link and scroll down to the last two photos which are A. sayii.
A similiar species, Atomosia rufipes has a bit of black on the legs. To see a photo of A. rufipes, click on the following BugGuide link.
Note that it is an excellent match for yours except for the touch of black on the legs. There are no images of A. sayii on BugGuide. I suggest that you tightly crop the images and submit both of them to BugGuide. The photo of A. rufipes is a good example of desired cropping.

So below are two images of the Atomosia sayii, followed by a couple of A. puella I found around the yard today............ -j

03 June 2009


Man......I almost didn't run my mercury vapor light this night.....but something told me.........

So I have had only 1 (one) single owlfly, Ululodes sp. come to my lights here in Broussard since I've been actively documenting. They're not rare or especially quirky......but I find them to be some of the most intriguing examples of the insect world.....

My very first experience with this Order was in Costa Rica, 2001. I was immediately drawn.......anyway, I still don't know much about them, but I love to photograph them......I really need to immerse myself in the ecology of this extraordinary insect!!! All photos were from 1 June 2009.

25 May 2009

Kisatchie *BEFORE* Bugstock 6

Ok......don't get too excited..........this was supposed to be a herping trip. We (Bert Lucas, myself) failed so miserably, that I will actually post non-invert pics here.......yeah!

It was like someone walked through the entire layout & collected/demolished any living herps out there.........I mean....this is beyond "border-line embarrassing"........this is more like "Do you guys even know what yer doin'?!". Apparently NOT. As I'm spending the better part of an hour photographing what I thought was an Eastern tailed-Blue..........turned out to be a Reakirt's blue, Echinargus isola. Apparently rare in Louisiana.........shows what I know about butterflies............many thanks to Rosemary Seidler & Jeff Trahan of Shreveport for the i.d.!

Striped bark scorpions, Centruroides vittatus, (a.k.a. "stingin' lizards) are typically common under almost every place for refuge......yeah......we saw two......what the?! And so after all......remember that this was *supposed* to be a "herping" trip..................so here's a Western fence lizard, Sceloporous undulata.

Oh.......and of course, Ebony jewelwing, Calopteryx maculata, did not fail to impress.................

24 May 2009


I just want to post a few pics here........kind of like an appetizer..........more details to follow.......

White flannel moth, Norape ovina

Southern flannel moth, Megalopyge opercularis
Royal walnut moth, Citheronia regalis

Black witch, Ascalapha odorata

Grape leaffolder, Desmia funeralis

Not at 'Stock, but one of the two high-intensity black bulbs Michael & I scored before the weekend........365!!!!

18 May 2009


I didn't intentionally leave out other insects from the lights the other night, I just wanted to have the moths covered in their own rite......so now, a bit of extraneous flavor..........

black caterpillar hunter, Calosoma sayi:

some sort of Brachonid or Ichneumon wasp (?):

17 May 2009

Pre-stock.....moth MAYHEM!!!

I spent the dwindling hours of yesterday (16 May 09) helping the Barney clan straighten some trails for the forthcoming BUGSTOCK #6. We'll spare the silly & painful details for now......and oh yes............there are many............
What I want to belt out real quick is a summary of what Michael Barney & I had at the black/mercury vapor lights last night/early this morning. Please pardon the TEMPORARY lack of species/photo assignments......it's late and I just want to get the highlights out first........some have been identified.........some need research to i.d. This post will be modified as the days troll on........but Steve-o made a special request for a report, and for those who know Steven, he's a class-act character...........great person all around.....so it is my pleasure to at least make a quick pictorial summary of last night's symposium. -j.w.Beck

14 May 2009

Acadiana Park Nature Station 11 May 09

I spent a couple of hours on 11 May with Stephen Saltamachia walking some of the Nature Station trails, mostly seeking robber flies. We did see a few Laphira and potentially a Mallophora, but it was moving too quick & out of sight before I could confirm it. We did get some nice shots of a Tachinid fly in the genus Zelia (thanks to Zack for the correction!).

Salty never fails to impress with his keen search image, as soon as we entered the 4th grader trail from the levee, he spotted a scarlet-bodied wasp moth, Cosmosoma myrodora, a first for me! I had been unsuccessful at turning up one of these in previous years. It proved to be a challenge photographing it, as it would always light on the underside of a leaf after a short flight.