summer bugs

September 4, 2013

katydid

A while back I posted about how bugs, perhaps more than any other of Mother Nature’s creatures, demonstrate the creator’s deft hand at marrying form and function. (Not to mention her imagination!) This summer’s insect encounters (as well as my new camera lens) served to illustrate this point even further.

From the beautiful to the bizarre, the shear variety of these arthropods is stunning. Each unique specimen is honed by eons of evolution to meet the particular adaptive needs of its species. Some, as brilliant as flowers, shout “Notice me!” While others, cloaked in camouflage, live in stealth. Some paradoxical tricksters, which seem as cuddly as a teddy bear to us, flash warnings of toxic flesh to their avian predators. Hunters and the hunted, the same bug is often both, occupying a pivotal place in the chain of life. They are pests, destroyers, pollinators, and givers of life. They are fascinating.

some kind of wooly moth caterpillar* on the island in Maine

black swallowtail chrysalis in elegant accommodations, a gift from my cousin’s girlfriend

After about 10 days of waiting the chrysalis turned brown, and then out came this lovely female.

Ephemeral pets: of course all these “friends” were quickly re-released into the wild.

* Although most caterpillars are harmless to humans, a few are poisonous and can cause itchy or painful skin irritations. Dskool reader Valerie, sent this helpful guide of caterpillars to avoid. Thanks!

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