Bug of the Week


Insects can interfere with exercise.

cicada-nymphs-mesquite-tree250For example, these light-colored objects on the dark bark of a mesquite caught my eye and I had to run home and grab my camera.

nice-cidada-nymph-SC_0260Do you recognize it?

cicada-nymph-close-gd42Here, look closer.

It's the exoskeleton shed by a cicada turning from a nymph into an adult. Can you see the covering where the eyes were? How about the large front legs used for digging?


The bulbous area in front of the eyes is the covering for the part of the mouth that pumps fluids from plants. The flap-like structure on the side of the body is the wing bud that develops into the wing of the adult.

Have you ever found a cicada nymph exoskeleton? Where did you find it? Did you look at it closely?






I was walking in our local greenbelt this morning and saw a half dozen or so dragonflies hunting. They were no more than golden flashes of wings back lit in the sunlight.

white-faced-dragonfly-close_0651They reminded me to post these photographs of a white-faced dragonfly I took earlier this summer.

darner-dragonfly_0673This one is harder to see. Its eyes look like they are turquoise.


blue-damselfly-C_0674Not hard to see the blue on this damselfly.

gorgeous-damselfly_0618Here's a tiny damselfly with turquoise on its tail.

All these photographs were taken at one pond within a few minutes on a summer day.

Do you see dragonflies or damselflies where you live? How many of them have blue on them?




Let's take a look at a few moths in celebration of National Moth Week.

hummingbird-hawk-moth-flying(Photo via Visual Hunt)

Although moths are usually creatures of the night, it isn't unusual to see sphinx or hawk moths (Family Sphingidae) flying around flowers during the day. Some of the larger ones resemble hummingbirds in flight, hence their other common name "hummingbird moth."

moth-cerura-vinula(Photo via Visual Hunt)

How do you tell if the insect you are seeing is a butterfly or moth? The hairy body and feathery antennae are good clues.



See our list of children's books about moths and butterflies at Science Books for Kids.

Do you have any new suggestions for our list? Have you seen any interesting moths for moth week?