Saturday, April 11, 2015

Prey For Me!

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 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.
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.
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.
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 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.

11 comments:

  1. Amazing photos. And so much more pleasant than the thought of those doctor flies!

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    1. Thanks, Mitchell! And these were only the ones that were slow enough for me to photograph - lots more pretties yet to get. Keeps me off the street. Oh wait, there is no street.

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  2. Beautiful butterfly Wilma, but that Preying Mantis is a beauty.

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    1. I agree Keith, that little mantis is a tiny jewel. I have spotted a couple of mantis egg cases around on the deck, so there will be more hatching sometime. Thanks for stopping by.

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  3. Lots of great images here Wilma. What a lovely butterfly.
    I cant help with the ID though of the others.

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    1. Thank you, Roy. The butterfly has some striking markings and some nice subtle patterns in the browns. Hopefully I will get some local input on the Odonata.

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  4. http://www.marcheath.blogspot.co.uk/

    Wilma,

    Reading about your dragons and damsels, have a look at the blog above. Marc lives not far from Warren and myself in Kent and has made them his special subject this last year. Last autumn he caught larva of several species up and put them in a tank in his kitchen and has spent the winter photographing at close range, their activities, with amazing results. Trawl back through his winter blogs and you will see some amazing photography.

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    1. Derek - thanks for the link! I will check it out. Could be something I could have a hand at. I will soon have room down below the cabana that might work out. I just ordered 2 books that I hope will help with the IDs. You can only get so far online. Off to Marc's blog now. cheers!

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    2. Just took a quick look at Marc's blog. All I can say is "damn!". Needless to say, I am now following his blog.

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  5. Looks as though you have a good selection of exotic life to photograph.

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    1. Lots to choose from , John. Sort of like the selection you had just out your front door recently!

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