Saturday, June 19, 2010
A Quartet of Critters (and One Critter Eater)
Yes, flowers were the focus of today's nature outing (see last post), but we encountered some mighty photogenic critters along the way as well. So here they are.
The critter eater first: this is the flower of Spatulate-leaved Sundew. Those red spiky pads in the background are traps that attract tiny flies, which the pads then enclose and consume.
This is a Giant Stonefly, and yes it is big, maybe two or three inches long. But it can't bite because it was born without mouthparts. Its sole purpose in life is to find a mate, reproduce, and then die. Some may think it looks ferocious, but I think it's quite beautiful, with those leaded-glass wings and embossed-copper thorax.
This is a Shield Bug of some kind. Also known as a Stink Bug. Luckily, it didn't get mad enough to release its stench on us.
What a pretty little red spider! It had made a home for itself in a leaf of Indian Hemp.
This spectacularly patterned Milk Snake was not a mild-mannered fellow at all. It was kind of hard to take his picture, since he kept striking at my hand. I kept trying to obstruct his path, and he did not like that one bit. But I didn't get bit.