Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Barnside Animals

Sometimes the best place to see animals is where they don’t belong. The sides of my barn normally have a variety of interesting creatures that are totally exposed and easy to see. I’ve seen these tiny bagworms before, but they’ve never been this easy to observe.

If I had to put a name to this planthopper, I’d call it the Pigeon Planthopper. I think I’ve seen pigeons of this coloration in every city I’ve visited. It looks quite colorful against the brown wall, but I bet you would never see it while it was feeding on a plant.

Here’s a Two Striped Planthopper. The bright green of the wings was impossible to miss on the barn wall. I’m surprised that I’ve never seen birds catching insects from the side of the barn.

Most moths don’t blend in here at all, but there always seem to be a few on the walls.

This is a Handsome Trig, a member of a group known as the Sword-tail Crickets. If you want to learn how to identify crickets, this is the one to start with. It’s colorful, fairly common and usually inhabits bushes at about eye level. There are no similar looking species, so once you’ve learned it, you can’t confuse it with anything else. I found about a dozen on this circuit of the barn walls.

The tiny size of this jumping spider makes me think it’s a youngster. It was almost too small for me to photograph. What I really found neat is the pattern. There’s a face pattern on the carapace that resembles a ghost mask and the pattern of a skull can be seen on the abdomen. I wonder if it’s going to keep those markings as it ages.

I believe this is a larval form of a Bomolocha species. Because of its behavior, I would call it the Spring Caterpillar. While I was taking a close look at the larva, I nudged it with my finger to get it to move to a more photogenic location. At my touch, it launched into the air and bounced off of my face. I found it on the ground and again caused it to spring to a new location. I wasn’t able to follow its flight the second time and it became lost in the grass. That seems like an effective way to evade predation, but I wonder how it finds its way back to the food plant.


  1. Bugs! Your images actually make them look quite beautiful. :) Very nice.

  2. Gee, Lois. Aren't all insects beautiful?