A bit of snow and ice doesn't seem to discourage this young female Dolomedes striatus from getting off to an early start on the season. About 10 mm in length, if she survives long enough she will double her size, attaining a length of 20 mm or a bit more. The clearly defined bands on the abdomen and distinctly striped femora distinguish this Fishing Spider from its relatives.
Thursday, April 2, 2015
Tuesday, November 18, 2014
November has arrived and as expected there have already been a few days with a bit of wet snow and the temperature dropping below freezing at night, but Mother Nature was in a good mood on the 11th and the weather was sunny with the temperature hitting the 16°C mark. Warm enough that eleven male and twelve female Autumn Meadowhawks (Sympetrum vicinum) – including one tandem pair – were flying at a marsh about ½ kilometer west of Tweed (44.46889°, -77.31528°).
Spotted Spreadwing (Lestes congener)
– three males, one female, October 27th, 2014
Lance-tipped Darner (Aeshna constricta)
– an old male, October 25th, 2014
Common Green Darner (Anax junius)
– one female, October 23th, 2014
Friday, November 7, 2014
It's been about a year since I stumbled across a large patch of distinctive and striking moss growing along the bank of a woodland stream located near the intersection of the Sulphide Road and the trans-Canada Trail (44.494167°, -77.285556°).
Last autumn I was unable to identify the baffling Bryophyte, but today I decided to give it another shot and came up with a name for the mystery moss ...
Saturday, November 1, 2014
An unofficial checklist, the picture will be rounded out when the NHIC's new Ontario Odonata Atlas goes online. The warmer months of 2014 have seen seven additions to last year's list of the Dragonflies and Damselflies of south-central Hastings County, bringing the total count for this area of Ontario up to 86 species. In chronological order ...
May 27, 2014
Trans-Canada Trail, east of Tweed
Abundant, plenty of other males and females were sighted and it appears that this odonate has a bimodal flight season, flying in spring and again in late summer
(2) Stygian Shadowdragon (Neurocordulia yamaskanensis), male
May 31, 2014
East of Tweed – Moira River, the Point
A total of two adults and some exuviae were encountered
(3) Rusty Snaketail (Ophiogomphus rupinsulensis), male
Observed and photographed by J. King
June 15, 2014
Lost Channel Road bridge over Moira River, near Paradise Lane
(4) Delta-spotted Spiketail (Cordulegaster diastatops), female
June 26, 2014
Victoria Street in downtown Tweed
Sad to say, this individual was roadkill
(5) Eastern Least Clubtail (Stylogomphus albistylus), female
July 31, 2014
Tweed – Moira River shoreline, between the bridges at Bridge St. (the dam) and Louisa St.
A male was photograhed a week later at the Vanderwater Conservation Area
(6) Forcipate Emerald (Somatochlora forcipata), male
August 11, 2014
East Hungerford Road – the Stoco Fen
(7) Lake Darner (Aeshna eremita), male
September 15, 2014
A marsh west of Tweed
Another male and a female were encountered east of Tweed a few days later
Photo by T. Mapes
Photo by T. Mapes
Thursday, October 30, 2014
Often mistaken for a beetle, an Ailanthus Webworm Moth nectaring at a Bull Thistle provides a little splash of color among the surrounding dried grasses and wildflowers gone to seed. The boldly contrasting patterning and colors are thought to be aposematic, a warning that the moth is distasteful or toxic.
Tuesday, October 28, 2014
Three Monarchs were reported in Toronto on October 27th so this male is not exceptionally behind schedule on the long journey to its wintering grounds in Mexico. But October 28th is definitely the latest I have seen one in my area (south-central Hastings County, Ontario).
The butterfly was generally southbound but flying into the prevailing breeze, stopping frequently to fuel up at some late blooming Bull Thistles. As a rule I wouldn't bother with capturing such an easily identifiable insect but I thought it might be worth checking if it was tagged (no, it was not).
Thursday, October 16, 2014
It's mid-October and the end of odonate season is drawing nigh. As a rule the only species apt to be flying this late are Autumn Meadowhawks, with the odd White-faced Meadowhawk and Spotted Spreadwing for variety. There haven't been any hard frosts as yet and October 14th proved to be sunny with unseasonably warm temperatures near 25°C; a visit to a local field and marsh produced a few surprises.
West of Tweed (44.46667°, -77.31972°) is a dry field which supports short grasses, Staghorn Sumac, Sweetfern, Rubus spp and Hawkweeds, with a scattering of Eastern Red Cedars that are home to a small colony of Juniper Hairstreaks. At approporiate times of the year it's a good place to find odonates that like to forage far from water such as Four-spotted Skimmers, Halloween Pennants and Mosaic Darners (Aeshna spp). Of course the ubiquitous Autumn Meadowhawks (Sympetrum vicinum) are still present at this habitat, this is a male ...