This is the time to look back at the highlights of the past year and look forward to upcoming adventures. In that vein, here are some of my favorite insect photographs from 2021.
Butterflies like this hairstreak are always such prima donnas.
Okay, so my favorites aren’t all photographs. These queen butterflies tell off the intruder by flapping their wings.
Roses always look even more lovely with a katydid decoration.
My neighbor was so excited when the praying mantis egg cases she had purchased began hatching that she called me over to watch. It was pretty amazing to see all the little nymphs. Later I found this one in our yard.
Yep, another video. In this one I caught a honey bee using her legs to pat pollen into her already pretty full pollen baskets. The plant is jojoba.
I took this photograph on January 14, 2021, which seems pretty early in the season for bees. Maybe the early bee gets the pollen?
Hope you enjoyed these. Thank you so much for following Growing with Science in 2021. I really appreciate everyone who took time to comment and for your support.
With the increased moth activity mentioned last week, there also has been a surge in butterfly activity after the recent rains. In my neighborhood here near Phoenix, we have seen representatives of almost every butterfly family.
Because it is missing its hind wing, this one is hard to identify, but I believe it is a pipevine swallowtail.
Whites and Sulphurs
Sulphurs are really easy to spot right now.
We have several fluttering in our yard at any one time, given away by their bright yellow wings.
Orange sulphurs aka alfalfa butterflies are particularly common. Some of the females are quite pale. Right now often seen flitting across six lanes of traffic.
The tiny dainty sulphurs are so cute. This one is visiting a desert marigold.
Hairstreaks, Blues and Coppers
This tiny blue is also adorable. It posed while taking a snack from a milkweed flower.
Hairstreaks grab your attention by wriggling those antennae-like structures on their hind wings. The milkweed flowers are popular places to drink nectar.
We saw a few American snout butterflies, but not as many as in the past (previous post).
The queens are back.
They have laid eggs for the next generation on the rush milkweed.
Last, but not least, the skippers with their uniquely folded wings.
The only family of butterflies not currently represented are the metalmarks.
What butterflies have you found in your neighborhood this month?