Sunday, August 31, 2014

More from Whetstone Prairie

I took my "Communicating Science Through Photography" students to Whetstone Prairie yesterday. It was our first fieldtrip of the semester, and the prairie was the perfect place to do nature photography. Late summer is the time for sunflowers, grasses, Queen Anne's Lace, ragweed, a variety of cone flowers, and many other prairie species to be in bloom. The goldfinches and hummingbirds were very active in the prairie, and we saw a huge variety of insects and spiders.

Here are a few of my favorite photos from yesterday:

Chines mantis - a species introduced by accident in 1896 (a Philadelphia nurseryman). This is a female who was at least 5 inches long - and these large individuals can catch and eat a small hummingbird.

A megachilid bee, I think. I love the iridescent appearance of these small bees.

Same bee as bove - foraging on Rudbeckia (black-eyed susan)

Chauliognathus pensylvanicus - Goldenrod Soldier Beetle.
One of the many species of beetles that do "mess and spoil" pollination in the prairie.

Acanalonia bivittata - I love pant hoppers! This one was inside a developing  infructescence of Queen Anne's Lace.