Saturday, June 16, 2012

From A Distance

Back in April when I found the Baskettail in the yard and pond for the first time , while I couldn't say precisely what species they were because they are pretty much all identical I could say they werent Prince Baskettails because they are very large and have very distinctive wing patterning. A lot like this actually!

or like this
Distinctive enough to be recognised from 30 feet away if you have a long lense and the patience to shoot 100 pictures where these are the only two worth saving.
But there it is,  Epitheca princeps the Prince baskettail. Now this thing never stops it cruises the pond back and forth at high speed and never got closer than 30 feet. At Bugguide, the Blue Dasher, an invetereate percher has 30 page of thumbnails  thats around 750 pictures. The Prince Baskettail has less than 50 pictures in total of which over half are snatched in- flight pics like mine or larvae. That make 2 new dragonfly species on the pond this year. Three new photographed species if we include the Black Saddlebags that I knew were there but hadn't got pictures

Also have a new spider this week, shot on Jr's old playhouse again. Hence the blue plastic background.

The closest ID I can get from the folks at BugGuide is Family Philodromidae, the Running Crab Spiders. This is a male by the way. This was the fastest thing Ive ever seen on 8 legs or 6 legs for that matter. I lost it between shots and was looking under the roof edge a couple of inches away for it hiding out. But then I saw that it was already about 4 feet away on the other side of the roof. It covered that distance is seconds despite being only about a 1/2 inch across those long long legs. The scale speed was just astonishing.

It is also the seemingly brief Orange Sulphur (Colias eurytheme) season. It looks like these have already come and gone for the summer


  1. Hi Banished! Sorry not to have been for a while but it's been fantastic catching up with your amazing pics and enjoyable observations. Thanks too for the pic of the astonishing blue chip micro! If only we had them here in the UK where needless to say, it is raining. Midsummer, ha! No wonder they bought a ticket on the Mayflower. All warmest wishes, Martin

  2. Martin I'd love a little of that rain and traditional summer chill . It hasnt dropped below 95f daytime for 2 weeks and July 8th was over 100f and felt like considerably more. The nighttime temps are hovering round low 80s.

    Heading up into the mountains to the Shenandoah valley in a couple of weeks and hoping the weather is cooler by then. Its always less humid but the current temperatures there are still in the 90s. Different bugs though and specially nice for moths. I shot this last ime I was there.

    You have never seen anything like it for size and weight. I really did think we had a bat in the room. Makes the Luna moth look delicate!