Jeff's Insect and Spider Pictures

I found this female Pigeon Horntail Wasp at Marsh Haven Nature Center in September of 2008. I finally identified it more than four years later. It lays its eggs under the bark of dying and rotting trees, where the wood boring larvae takes several years to pupate, and emerge as another adult. Although a fearsome looking large wasp, they do not sting, and are completely harmless to people.

The horizontal orb web of this Venusta Orchard Spider caught my eye along the trail through the woods of State Natural Area #51. I took some close-ups of the spider, and then a wide angle shot of the web. When I looked at the larger pictures later on my computer, I was very impressed at the colors and detail, considering that the body of this spider is smaller than a house fly.

Summer/Fall 2011 - I'm raising Praying Mantises this year. Click on the photo below to see pictures from hatching, to dying.

Crab Spiders, like this female Goldenrod Crab Spider, do not spin webs, but rather stalk their prey, or wait on a flower (second picture), and ambush insects that land on them to nectar.I was getting great pictures, but it still wasn't enough. I caught a Pearl Crescent Butterfly, and hand fed it to the spider. It quickly grabbed it out of my fingers.

About the size of a housefly, I easily spotted this mating pair of Jagged Ambush Bugs as they sat on a yellow goldenrod flower along the trails at the Marsh Haven Nature Center. I didn't realize how weird they looked until I saw the magnified picture on my computer monitor.

A Yellow Jacket Wasp on its nest on the ceiling of my dads workshop in Montello, WI, and another eating a fly it captured on a Purple Coneflower in a garden in Beaver Dam, WI.

Bumble Bees on various types of flowers.

Despite the name, the Scorpion Fly is neither a scorpion, nor a fly. Although the tail of the male looks like that of a scorpion, it is not a stinger, and they are harmless to people. The chewing mouth parts are at the end of the elongated face, and are used to eat dead and dying insects, sometimes stolen from spider webs. The pinchers on the end of the tail are used for mating.Here are two pictures of a male, and two pictures of females, without the scorpion-like tail.

On July 29, 2011, while looking for Scorpion Flies at State Natural Area #51, I found a mating pair. While photographing them, I noticed another mating pair, about 12 inches from the first. On August 5, I found a male eating another bug.

A neat close-up of a Red Admiral Butterfly, and an unidentified moth.

1) While photographing mating Soldier Beetles, an individual not only happened to fly into the picture, but flew right across the auto-focus point, giving me a great shot of a flying beetle about to land. 2) I thought these two flies were mating while sitting on a plant (they were so still), but when I realized they were hovering, I still had plenty of time to set up my camera on a tripod. They turned out to be Hoverflies. 3) Then an ant dragging an insect across a painted sidewalk.

Unidentified Bugs


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