A big bug year

This year being the year that I made the switch to iNaturalist; I was able to really get a good look at many interesting bugs. Some being simple and some of my favorites but some where very weird and some got even stranger as I would look. this year I had the pleasure of finding over a hundred new insects to add to my insect life list. Many of the hours I spent in the field were dedicated to the pollinator group. There are so many pollinators besides the butterflies and multitude of bees. Many of my more interesting finds were Beeflies, Feather Footed Flies, Hover Flies, and some other wasps I had no idea that existed. I remember one account when I was on a pollinator hunt I encountered a Mantid that was apparently eating some of the smaller pollinators. It was the very first Mantid encounter that I had that the Mantid was actually eating something. It was quite a shock but it was very interesting to get on camera. It was one of the more gruesome encounters but it was pretty neat to observe. As a nerd and an insect fan I just couldn't get enough. On my hikes through Elmer W. Oliver which is one of the more routine areas I visit I encountered a multitude of insects like Orange Banded Black Scorpion flies, a Butterfly known as a Common Mestra, my dad help me find a Milkweed Tussock Moth Caterpillar which I was very interested by and took dozens of photos of it as it crawled about. I also remember finding both male and female Velvet Ants and several other bugs. At Lake Arlington again another place that has been under my watch for a good while has been the area of an interesting encounter with the White-Tipped Black Moth which is a type of moth that is normally concentrated down south and not so much seen in this area which was equally interesting to note. I did some further research about that insect and my hypothesis was the weather patterns may have had brought them up. As an FFA student in High School I was brought into the world of insects by my own choice. I joined the Entomology ID team in High School for an FFA Agriculture UIL contest. Both my teams from 2011 and 2012 won state champion twice. I do enjoy continuing my insect ID skills and I love making them sharper. Bugs weren't always a favorite I used to be very afraid of some but I now have a new found appreciation for them and they now have a special place in my heart. I have made several new insect encounters this year. One of the more unexpected ones was finding the Io Moth caterpillar at Molly Hollar Wildscape. One of the volunteer found it on a cedar elm tree. It was big, green, with little spiky protrusions on almost all of its body in small even rows in little bands. It was a very interesting critter and one of the most memorable of they year. I had fun looking at all the bugs especially on the Texas Master Naturalist field trips. During the Forest trip I recall seeing a ton of insects that day including the Wood Nymph Butterfly, the Admirable Grasshopper, the Plant Hopper, and several others. I was even able to find several Wolf Spiders, a Nursery Web Spider, a Tan Jumping spider, a Crab Spider, and a couple Rabid Wolf Spiders. I have been very afraid of spiders in the past but I have now become very interested in them. My favorite spider is the Wolf Spider. It is an active hunter that stalks the forest floor for prey. On the topic of spiders one of my classmates during the Urban Field trip found a female Lynx Spider sitting on what we think might be golden rod. It was very interesting what other people said about that spotting. I had fun looking at all the insects. There was not one insect I didn't like. I found a lot of my subjects at my TCC campus where I do a little bit of insect research every now and then. My eyes have been open to a whole new world of interesting characters. Next year you can surly bet that I am going to be looking for more insects and try to beat my number from this year. I haven't seen as many bugs as I have seen birds. In a moment I will tell you about the Bird encounters I have made in the last year as I look back at 2016.

Publicado por galactic_bug_man galactic_bug_man, 29 de diciembre de 2016

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