Emergence of dragonfly adults.

Dragonfly nymphs in their last instar crawl up the stems of pond plants where the adult emerges . I see many exoskeletons still clinging to the stems:

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Dragonfly nymph exoskeleton
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Newly emerged dragonfly with one wing not yet inflated.

INSTAR: An instar ( i/ˈɪnstɑr/, from the Latin “form”, “likeness”) is a developmental stage of arthropods, such as insects, between each moult (ecdysis), until sexual maturity is reached. Arthropods must shed the exoskeleton in order to grow or assume a new form. ( Wikipedia)

Western tiger swallowtails (Papilio rutulus) abundant this week.

I can’t recall seeing so many Tiger swallowtails around the yard in other years as we are seeing this year.
Our non-invasive but introduced butterfly bush Bidulphia sp. is particularly attractive to them.

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Western tiger swallowtail (Papilio rutulus)

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  • Of particular interest is the backward flying mating dance– one individual 25 cm above and ahead of the other… Several times I have watched these displays go on for up to 10 minutes.
  • The other interesting observation was the speed which they insert the proboscis into florets repetitively. You can see that by clicking on the following short video clip:
    • The only competition for nectar appears to be the Anna’s Hummingbird.
      hummingbirdsilou

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Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Lepidoptera
Family: Papilionidae
Genus: Papilio
Species: P. rutulus

Papilio rutulus Lucas, 1852

Pacific Dampwood Termites: Zootermopsis angusticollis

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Pacific Dampwood Termites: Zootermopsis angusticollis

A dead fir tree on the south side of the property had broken off and fallen during the winter. Removal of a piece of bark turned up a horde of termites doing a great job of returning the tree to the earth.

Zootermopsis angusticollis
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Isoptera
Family: Termopsidae
Genus: Zootermopsis
Species: Z. angusticollis
Zootermopsis angusticollis Hagen, 1858

Bald-faced-Hornet : Dolichovespula-maculata.

2015-May14-Bald-faced-Hornet Dolichovespula-maculata.
Bald-faced-Hornet : Dolichovespula-maculata

This one showed up on our deck window this morning. Caution: These wasps are very aggressive when defending their paper-house nest.

Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Hymenoptera
Family: Vespidae
Genus: Dolichovespula
Species: D. maculata

Dolichovespula maculata (Linnaeus, 1763)

Frogs in Metchosin

This week I took pictures of the two species of frogs which I frequently see here in Metchosin : Both add to the chorus in the spring from our pond beside our house.

Sound of frogs

Pacific Chorus Tree Frog audio

The audio in the clip below starts as I am walking in our house toward the front door in March.  As I open the door, with the pond a few metres from the house, this is the sound we get every night for several months in the spring. Click on the small arrow below.

 

Pacific chorus frog or pacific tree frog, (Hyla regilla)in a flower bed near our house.
Pacific chorus frog or pacific tree frog, (Hyla regilla)in a flower bed near our house.