Friday, October 21, 2011
Photos: Fall Insects in the Moormans
I want everyone to really appreciate the photos that I took today since I had to drive 30-40 miles out of my way to get them!
On a beautiful day in Virginia -- sunshine, blue sky, cool temps, white puffy clouds -- I decided to head up to the Moormans. I wasn't really surprised by the insect life that I found: small minnow mayflies (Acentrella turbida -- the species I expect to see here in the fall), netspinners and fingernets (a couple of each), tiny flatheaded mayflies and tiny brushlegged mayflies, a "junior league" hellgrammite, a fair sized Giant stonefly, and lots and lots of common stoneflies (Acroneuria abnormis). I turned over a leaf pack that must have had at least 6 Perlids crawling around: I picked up the prettiest one for a photo. I also hoped to get shots of the small minnow mayflies and the Giant stonefly.
I got all set up -- and the sun went under some clouds. Waited, waited. But it wouldn't come out. So, I loaded everything up and drove in the direction where the sun seemed to be shining the most -- south to Crozet. Got there, good sun, stopped and set up. The sun went under the clouds! Anyway, the third time I stopped -- on Ivy Road heading back to Charlottesville -- I finally got some photos. They include some of the best pix of Acentrella turbida small minnow mayflies I've taken this fall. So, here we go:
1) Here are two additional shots of the small minnow mayfly at the top of the page. This is a real beauty.
2) A second Acentrella turbida small minnow mayfly -- but note the different colors.
3) Two shots of the Giant stonefly. The insect on its back in the one photo is -- I think -- a very small Coenagrionidae (Narrow-winged Damselfly)!
4) A common netspinner -- genus Hydropsyche -- with unusual colors, not the drab green that we so often see.
5) Our beautiful Perlid stonefly -- Acroneuria abnormis.
6) And, an unfortunate meeting of the Perlid and the common netspinner. And, yes, he/she ate the whole thing!
So, I got to see more of the countryside than I had planned, but good photos always make it worthwhile.