Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Dusk On A Hoarymountainmint Bush

July 7th, 2012. We were returning along Hunt Camp Road to Grant Mill Road when I spotted a Hoary Edge (Achalarus lyciades) butterfly feeding at the top of a Hoarymountainmint (Pycnanthemum incanum) bush. I’d photographed one the previous day at the Scull Shoals Experimental Forest (Green County, Georgia) but W hadn’t seen it.  We backed down the road and stopped. What I saw then was a Silver-spotted Skipper (Epargyreus clarus). There’s no way that I’d confuse the two but it was mind-bending until we walked over to the bush to find one of each species feeding. We spent some time photographing them with varying success in the fading light. And, then, there was a surprise.

Hoary Edge (Achalarus lyciades)

 This photo shows the underside of the wings that gives the Hoary Edge its name

Another photo that shows the gold pattern that’s visible on the upper side of the wing. The late afternoon light illuminated these spots nicely.

Surprisingly, the Hoary Edge flew down and landed on W’s arm in search of salts.

Silver-spotted Skipper (Ergyreus clarus)

 The underside of the wings of the Silver-spotted Skipper

Again, the gold pattern that’s visible on the upper side of the wing was illuminated in the late afternoon light.

Bee Assassin (Apiomerus crassipes)

While we were concentrating on photographing the butterflies on the upper side of the leaves, a dark predator was lurking under one of the leaves. An assassin bug, the Bee Assassin (Apiomerus crassipes).

The bug was hanging out on the underside of one of the leaves waiting for an unsuspecting insect to stray within range. I disturbed it and it…

retreated along the stem. I wanted to get a shot of…

its proboscis, which it injects a toxin into its prey to suck the juices.
Click on an image to view a larger image

Identification resources:

Hoary Edge (Achalarus lyciades)
Bug Guide: [Top] [Side]

Silver-spotted Skipper (Epargyreus clarus)
- Butterflies and Moths of North America: Silver-spotted Skipper (Epargyreus clarus) 
- Bug Guide:  [Top] [Side]

Assassin bug, Bee Assassin (Apiomerus crassipes)
- Niches: Bee Assassin 
- Bug Guide: Bee Assassin (Apiomerus crassipes) [Top] [Side]

Related post: 

No comments: