|オオミドリシジミ... Favonius orientalis (the Oriental Hairstreak)|
Walking the kids to school this morning I saw the most gorgeous blue butterfly, and couldn't stop to take a picture of it because I had my hands full of crawdads.
|Koshi's Zarigani (crawdads)|
Hmph. Clean it up *before* Papa comes home.
|click to embiggen|
Which is how I ended up with my hands full of crawdads this morning when I noticed something gleaming brilliantly blue over in the bushes.
I walked over to have a look (box of crawdads occupying both hands, camera hanging uselessly from my shoulder)... wow!
|...or view on Flickr (link in sidebar)|
In luck! There he was, just a sunnin' on a leaf...
|The ID shot-- orange spots are *not* connected|
...I even got a couple of good shots of the back side of his wings (ventral side?) to ID him. Oooh-- an Oriental Hairstreak! This sort of thing just makes me wiggle. And squeal.
It's not even what I was looking for this morning.
I was looking for Beetles and Bugs this morning-- representatives of Coleoptera and Hemiptera (the 'True Bugs') respectively. Not that I have any confidence whatsoever in my ability to tell the two apart. Being able to more or less tell Beetles from Bugs was the task I'd set myself earlier in the week after posting photos to Flickr. Misidentified photos--Beetles labeled Bugs, and vice versa. D'oh!
|On the next leaf over-- the first snail of the Rainy season in a pearly shell, smaller than my pinky fingernail|
So, after getting several nice photos of the lovely Hairstreak who was kind enough to wait 'til I came back (sans crawdads), I determined to walk a bit and see what I could see. In the way of Beetles. And Bugs. I'd done some research trying to figure out just what the difference is (well, to an entomologist, anyway, if not to the average layperson like me. Don't ask why this is suddenly so important--suffice to say that I've got a Beetle in my Bonnet. Or possibly a Bug.).
|I wonder why ferns have a non-skid surface on the underside?|
Naturally, I found everything but those for the first hour I was out.
|Cephalopod? No--new fern;-)|
...beautiful fiddleheads, uncurling toward me, looking more like denizens of the seas than of the forest...
|I can't see with this piece of wood in the way!|
Perfect mimicry-- I was completely taken in, until my eyes were only a few inches away. She never moved, even when I gently brushed a fingertip against her wing. Just astonishing--I'd have gone on believing her a woodchip had I not noticed her legs. Not a Beetle, though, so off we go.
|Hoverfly on Bachelor's Button (Episyrphus balteatus)|
Right next to the Bachelor Buttons.
He was still there this morning, he and his fellows, crawling over the same flowers.
|Aulacophora nigripennis.... Order: Coleoptera|
|アカスジキンカメムシ... The Clown Stinkbug (Poecilocoris lewisi). The Most Beautiful Bug I've Ever Seen.|
This is, without a doubt, the Most Beautiful Insect I've Ever Seen. I discovered him sitting right in front of my nose, just three leaves over from a small blue-black beetle (bug?) I was trying to photograph. Didn't come out. I started to step back in annoyance when something hot pink and glinting gold caught my eye. Right in front of my eyes, in fact. He sat quite still while I took his picture... then allowed me to scoop him into my camera bag to take him home so I could show the kids when they got home:-) He wasn't hard to find in the book, though finding his English handle took some time. I should have figured it out myself when I put my face close to the bugbox to get a better look at him. Stinky! Heavens to Betsy, what a smell! I wanted to post this photo in a Flickr group I'd found for photos of Coleoptera called "An Inordinate Fondness for Beetles" (so named after biologist J.B.S. Haldane's wry response to someone asking what the Creation tells us about the Creator, to which he replied "If there is a God, He has an inordinate fondness for beetles.")
|Oxycetonia jucunda... not a bug! Beetle!|
Good thing I checked Encyclopedia of Life. That thar varmint's a Bug. Hemiptera. A True Bug, an entomologist would say. A pro photographer at the Beetle group had posted a very helpful series of photos with an explanation to help amateurs ID their photos. First: a beetle's wing covers meet in a straight line down the back (see daisy photo above). The critter on the daisy is Order: Coleoptera. Beetle. Not Bug-- wing covers meet straight down the middle.
|Minamitogehemikamemushi (Paradasynus spinosus)|
|Bug on left: same as above photo; right: Akasahigame (Cydnocoris russatus)|
|The Most Beautiful Bug I've Ever Seen.... Order: Hemiptera (antennae in 4 sections)|