Category Archives: Insects

Alright, Mr. DeMille, I’m ready for my close-up.

The current Friendly Friday challenge theme is ‘Close ups and Macros.’ See more responses here. Here’s a selection of some little creatures up close and personal.

Fiery skipper butterfly on aptenias

A Fiery skipper butterfly feeds on an aptenia haeckeliana flower
A Fiery skipper butterfly feeds on an aptenia cordifolia flower

I often see fiery skipper butterflies on what I know as ice plants. I thought the different color flowers were just variations within the plant but, while they’re members of the same family (Aizoaceae), they’re different plants. At the top is an Aptenia haeckeliana with its yellow flower. To the left is an Aptenia cordifolia with a magenta flower.

It’s a different butterfly on the two flowers, but both are fiery skippers.

Whitecrossed seed bug

A Whitecrossed Seed Bug in Hawaii

I was doing some cleanup work outside, when I noticed this bug on my hand. I headed in to where my camera was and the bug stayed in place the whole way. I got the camera organized and took a few photos before it finally flew off.

I knew I’d seen one of these before, but couldn’t remember where or what it was. A quick search revealed that this is a whitecrossed seed bug (Neacoryphus bicrucis), a resident of fields and meadows.

My previous sighting had occurred after a hike on Mauna Loa. It was on a water bottle I’d left in the cooler in my truck while I hiked. I suspect that one had inadvertently taken a day trip with me and was probably stunned to find itself at 11,000 feet, surrounded by barren lava!

Tangerine flowers

A tangerine flower

A while back I posted a photo (here) of one of the heavily-laden tangerine trees in the yard. I noted that in my eight years living here I’d never seen a flower on the tree despite its prolific production of fruit.

However, last week, when I was up on a ladder harvesting the last of the current crop of fruit, I finally saw the flowers in the top photo. Then, when I’d knocked the last of the fruit down, I saw (bottom photo) one tangerine had a bit of branch still attached which bore, not only a flower, but also a leaf bearing a cluster of butterfly eggs.

I still don’t know how I’ve missed seeing these flowers before. They’re small, but not minuscule, and they have a lovely scent. While I wouldn’t expect to see flowers on higher branches, the lowest branches are at eye level and below. And I still haven’t seen bees and butterflies around the trees, though the eggs clearly show they do visit.

A tangerine flower and butterfly eggs

Bugs

A Bee on a Maiapilo flower

This week’s Sunday Stills challenge theme is ‘Summer Bugs.’ (See more responses here.) To the best of my knowledge, Hawaii’s bugs are pretty much the same year-round. Here are some of them.

The top photo shows a bee showing impressive balance on a maiapilo flower.

Next up, clockwise from top left: Getting down to eye level with a juvenile praying mantis. A painted lady butterfly on a kiawe tree. A katydid wondering what it’s done to deserve this much attention. A seven-spotted lady beetle being watched.

The final gallery: Top left: A mango flower beetle explores a spider lily. Top right: A watchful cane spider wondering if it should run, very fast, away. Bottom left: A Hawaiian carpenter ant (Camponotus variegatus), one of too many that have taken up residence in the house. Bottom right: A rusty millipede deciding that it’s all too much!