OK, after that last post about the horrors of Doctor Flies, I thought I should remind you (and myself!) of some of the more lovely and desirable insects that abound here in southern Belize. Hard to beat a butterfly for starters. This is one of the beautifully named "Sister" butterflies of the genus Adelpha. I think it is a smooth-banded sister (A. cythera), but am not certain. Click here for an excellent site on the sisters and tons of other butterflies. And click here for music to listen to while you read this post - although Weezer is little confused including an earthworm with his insect friends.
This dragonfly took my breath away with its Chinese-lacquer-red abdomen. I had to creep up on it slowly, letting it settle back down on its perch several times as I inched closer and closer. Still not positive of the ID, but I am pretty sure it is a species of Tropical King Skimmer in the genus Orthemis, probably schmidti.
It will be eating anything it can catch, preying on larger insects once it gets a bit larger itself. This is probably a Carolina Mantis (Stagmomantis carolina) or perhaps the European Praying Mantis (Mantis religiosa).
|This sister has a little wear (don't we all ...), but will probably last quite a bit longer. We see them quite often on the back path, but they don't usually slow down long enough for me to get a decent photo. Happily, this one cooperated.|
Keeping with the feminine theme, I have a couple of shots of damselflies. I think these are female and male pond damsels in the genus Argia, maybe the species pulla. Love to have confirmation or other ID if anyone knows.
|This is probably a female Argia pulla pond damsel. Found not too far from the Smooth-banded Sister butterfly.|
|The striking male pond damsel on which I based the Argia pulla ID. Gorgeous fresh-looking specimen. It was also along the swamp path near Black Creek.|
|Also representing the males - a Tropical King Skimmer. He was about 4 inches long and had a bright red face. My only shot of the face is so out of focus it is "abstract art". :-(|
Now for the "preying" in the title - a tiny, recently hatched praying mantis nymph.
|Not even half an inch long - just a baby.|
|Such big eyes, the better to see you with.|
|This one seems to be asking to stay.|
So, don't call the doctor(flies); just prey for me. I know the damsels, dragons, and mantids will. Perhaps the good sister will pray for me, too.