Found in our kale garden, Northglenn Colorado - July 31, 2014.
This adult moth will be winging through the month of August and was probably just hanging out on our plant rather eating it. Happily for our kale, this species feeds on nectar. The larva are known to eat Grape, Virginia Creeper, and vines and ivies.
Painted Lady -or- Cosmopolitan (Vanessa cardui)
Found in the Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado - July 14, 2014
Per BUGGUIDE: RANGE: Worldwide, except South America and Antarctica, irruptive--sometimes not present in a given locality for several years then abundant for one year. A rare stray in Australia, except represented there by very similar and closely related Vanessa kershawi, which is often considered to be just a subspecies of V. cardui. SEASON: Spring to Freezing in Autumn in most regions; year-round in mild winter climates in South and particularly in the Southwest. Migrates north in Spring and recolonizes areas where winters are too cold for it to survive year-round. Sometimes spring migrations are made up of spectacular numbers of individuals. Autumn movement back southward is more sporadic and not as obvious. Seems to overwinter mostly as pupae in areas where winters are too cold for adults to fly, but mild enough for survival. FOOD: Adults take nectar from a variety of flowers, especially Asteraceae. Caterpillars feed primarily on Asteraceae and Malvaceae, especially Thistles, Burdock, and Hollyhocks. Many other plants are used occasionally, including Nettle, Alfalfa, Soy Bean, Beet, Borage, Plantain, etc.FUN FACT: Per Wikipedia: This butterfly has a strange pattern of flying in a sort of screw shape.
Painted Lady is easily confused with another member of the Vanessa genus, Vanessa virginensis (American Painted Lady). See an excellent BUGGUIDE comparison of the two species here.
Common asparagus beetle (Crioceris asparagi)
Found on one of our ... you guessed it ... asparagus plants - Northglenn Colorado - July 2014
We will be keeping a sharp eye out for these guys in 2015, which marks the first year of harvest for our asparagus. Asparagus is this species only food source. Per WIKIPEDIA: The adult beetles and the larvae strip the needle-like leaves off the asparagus fronds, depriving the plants of the ability to photosynthesize and store energy for future years. They also chew the spears and lay generous amounts of eggs on them, making the crop unmarketable. The larvae feed on the plants for a few weeks, then drop to the ground to pupate. One year may see two or three generations of the beetle. The adults overwinter in a dormant state underground or in nearby leaf litter.
Small Milkweed Bug (Lygaeus kalmii) - adult
Found in Thornton Colorado - June 30, 2014
Habitat is usually fields and meadows containing milkweed and other flowers. Season is from June to October and year round in California. Per BUGGUIDE: Adults suck nectar from flowers of various herbaceous plants, and also feed on milkweed seeds. Also reported to be scavengers and predators, especially in spring when milkweed seeds are scarce. They have been reported feeding on honey bees, monarch caterpillars and pupae, and dogbane beetles, among others. Eggs are laid on milkweed in spring. One or more generations per year. Adults overwinter. In western specimens, the membranous portion of the forewing is black with large white spots and white posterior margin
Migrant Hawker (Aeshna mixta), male
Found in our backyard in Northglenn Colorado - July 20, 2009. The photo was taken by our niece Jessica Olga Goessler.
Per WIKIPEDIA: A. mixta has been seen on the wing in all months of the year but most commonly from July to Late October or early November. After emergence, the immature adults fly away from water and spends their time feeding and becoming sexually mature. They are not territorial and they are often seen feeding or resting in groups, occasionally forming large feeding swarms. They can be found around trees and bushes quite high up. Once mature, they return to water and begin mating behaviour with the males patrolling looking for females. A. mixta males are less territorial than other male aeshnas. Males form a tandem pairing with a female on the wing and copulate. After mating the male and female split up and the female oviposits alone. The eggs develop and then enter dipause and it is as diapause eggs that A. mixta overwinter. In spring the eggs hatch into a prolarva which only lasts from a few seconds to a few minutes, the prolarva then molts into a stadium 2 larva. Larval development is rapid and adults emerge in summer. A. mixta is a univoltine species, that is to say that it completes its life-cycle in one year.
Western Honey bee (Apis mellifera)
Found in the Adams County Open Space, Colorado - August 19, 2008
Per BUGGUIDE: Honeybees aren't native to the western hemisphere, but their value for producing honey and wax led to their introduction by early European colonists. There are about 2 dozen recognized subspecies with maybe half a dozen present in the gene pool of our area. Wild (feral) bees are mostly hybrids, though usually one of their parent subspecies predominates. Their habitat is anywhere there are flowers to feed on and suitable hive-building sites. Honeybees workers heat the hive with body heat and cool the hive with their wings, so any hive has adults present year-round- but in cold weather they stay in the hives and live off their honey reserves.
Eggs are laid by the queen in honeycomb cells and the wormlike larvae are fed by workers. Males grow up to be drones, but females can become either workers or queens, depending on what they're fed and what pheromones are present.Queens are normally the only reproductive females, though under some circumstances some workers can lay (usually infertile) eggs.
Queens mate with the drones in flight, but only once: the queen will lay eggs continuously for the rest of her life without mating again. She releases pheromones that affect the bees in her hive in a variety of ways.
See the BUGGUIDE page for detailed remarks on the challenges honey bees have faced in recent years.
Meadowhawk (Sympetrum, sp unknown)
Sighted in Yellowstone National Park - August 28, 2009.
Our sighting of this dragonfly was spot on with many in the genus most common flight period. Our specimen is probably a male.
Pink-edged Sulphur (Colias interior)
Found on Boreas Pass in Colorado - September 8, 2008
Per BUGGUIDE: Habitat consists of open areas such as rock outcrops, burns, clear cuts, etc. Boreal forest region from BC, Oregon to Newfoundland, Virginia. They have one flight from June to August. Males patrol with a slow flight for females. Eggs are laid in midsummer on blueberry leaves, and young caterpillars overwinter. Most feeding occurs the following spring with the larve eating blueberries.
Hunting wasp (Ammophila zanthoptera)
Found on Boreas Pass in Colorado - September 14, 2008
From Wildlife North America: Ammophila zanthoptera (Hunting Wasp) is a black wasp with very narrow waist and an orange band on the abdomen. The tail of the abdomen is bulb shaped. The wings are brownish and are held folded on top of each other when at rest. It preys mainly on insect larvae which it drags to a nest in the soil. Adult wasps feed on nectar from flowers. Wasp larvae feed on host caterpillars. The female digs a hole in sandy soil, where she drags several captured caterpillars. She lays egg on one of the caterpillars. The larva feeds on the caterpillars.
Blue Copper (Lycaena heteronea)
Found hiking in Colorado, Lodgepole Loop trail - May 9, 2010
Per the website Butterfies and Moths of North America: Range is from British Columbia south and east through southcentral California, northern Arizona, and northern New Mexico. The species is globally secure. Habitat: Brushy areas, open forest, mountain meadows, sagebrush; mostly at high elevations except for low elevations in central California. One flight from May-August. Most males patrol near host plants for females, but some perch. Females lay eggs singly on bracts under host leaves or umbels; eggs hatch the following spring. Young caterpillars feed on the underside of leaf; older ones eat all parts of the leaf. Adult Food: Nectar from flowers, including wild buckwheat.