Monday, March 11, 2013

The Arrival of Spring

Both Saturday and Sunday were warm, reaching into the low 60s (degrees Fahrenheit), which caused some insects to burst forth from their winter hiding places, much to my delight.

 The Crocus flowers burst forth too!

I found a few beetles and bees during the day, but the night revealed a few more insects that were attracted to my porchlight.


The above moth is probably a grass miner moth in the family Elachistidae. It's furry and kind of cute, though the white spots on its forewings sort of look angry if you look at the dark spots above them.


No oatmeal here--this Gray Quaker, Orthosia alurina, is a moth I usually see in early Spring. This one arrived three days earlier than the individual I saw last year.


This wasp is only a day earlier than last year. It's in the family Ichneumonidae and is probably in the genus Ophion. The Ichneumons can be tricky and I need to double-check this identification. It's a very pretty wasp and is harmless to humans, instead being a parasite of caterpillars.


And finally, we have this pretty green caterpillar. It almost eluded me, camouflaging itself against a dead brown maple leaf. (Hey, it was dark outside and not easy to find small critters.) I think it's a Noctuid caterpillar. I moved the leaf after taking this shot and found another smaller individual on a blade of grass, had to be an earlier instar.

It was so exciting to finally see some insects out and about after this long winter. I'm already getting materials together to build a moth trap and mapping out places I want to go collect and photograph insects. Let's hope this warm weather continues!

4 comments:

  1. Nice! It's interesting how Ohio's spring unfolds on a schedule about a month ahead of ours. In northern Wisconsin, we're only just starting to enter the slushy transition period that Ohio gets in February.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Excellence! Nice pictures as well.

    ReplyDelete
  3. A nice pudgy individual. My daughter and I were on our way home from school today (walking) and found one just like this. Here in Oregon it's nice to get the sunny weather whenever we can get it :) We were hoping to find out what it will look like when it transforms. Guess we'll have to try to take care of him and see :D

    ReplyDelete
  4. Hi, I found one of these green caterpillars and my daughter wants to watch it transform. I think this is a yellow under-winged moth. But I don't know. Any ideas?

    ReplyDelete