Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Arthropods at the Grasslands

Sunday's visit to grasslands sites turned up more than birds. The seed pods of milkweed plants at Griggstown hosted swarms of Large Milkweed Bugs (Oncopeltus fasciatus). The bugs on the pod pictured below all appear to be nymphs.

Along one trail at Negri-Nepote, there were about a dozen webs within a few square yards. All were constructed by the same large spider species, pictured below. This spider is a Banded Argiope (Argiope trifasciata). It is in the same genus as the Yellow Garden Spider I posted about a month ago.

Finally, there was this grasshopper hiding behind a stem at Negri-Nepote. I am not sure this image shows enough for identification, or at least it does not show enough for me to identify it. There were thousands of grasshoppers in the fields at both locations. This one was larger than most.