We show you now the full series of image captures of our Black and Yellow Argiope spider, after this grasshopper jumped into her web, and became entangled and stuck there. This female Black and Yellow had been stationed at the top of her web. I was right there, very close to the web, for more than 1/2 an hour. I was waiting to see what she would do when prey got caught in her web.
Once the grasshopper was trapped in the web, it’s struggling vibrated the entire web, and that’s when she rushed down to secure this hapless prey. She did not make contact with the grasshopper immediately. She did speedily wrap the grasshopper in new web silk, as you see in the top image.
In the second image, Mrs. Argiope now has the grasshopper fully wrapped with web, rendering it motionless.
In the 3rd image, Argiope now comes and makes contact with the traumatized prey, and in the last image, either injects venom in the prey or begin to consume the prey.
I was at the Powdermill Refuge Reserve in Rector, Pennsylvania. Owned and used for aviary research by the Pittsburgh Museum of Natural History, their several thousand acres in the lush Laurel Highlands of western Pennsylvania is an excellent refuge reserve.
Not for the faint of heart, yes, but I hope that the complexity of this series fascinates you as much as it does me. I’ve mistakenly walked into many Black and Yellow Argiope webs over these years, to my momentary Horror, but have never been mistreated by these ladies, though I destroyed their lengthy nighttime work!
I can also report that the webs of northern Black and Yellows taste no different from those of southern USA Black and Yellows, truth be told.
My best meeting with a Striped Hairstreak (Satryium liparops) took place a very long time ago. I was looking through a small ‘butterfly garden’ at the old HQ of the Powdermill Reserve Refuge in Rector, Pennsylvania. The refuge was in the lush, sylvan hilly country known as the Laurel Highlands, with Ligonier nearby. This region gets heavy tourism, what with Frank Lloyd Wright’s world-renowned Fallingwater, down the road in Mill Run and the very lush Bear Run Reserve across the road.
There, stationed on a leaf, I met this Striped Hairstreak. It was fresh, intricate and plain gorgeous. I shot away, it remained in place, moving only slightly in the next minutes! I tell you I kept marveling at how G-d had Created so much, including this tiny beauty.
Glassberg’s A Swift Guide to Butterflies of North America cites the Striped Hairstreak as “R-U” (Rare -Uncommon), with “one rarely encounters large numbers.” Several years later I did get (for the first and only time in my life) banned from Powdermill, preventing me from much returning to that bountiful Reserve to perhaps again meet a Striped.
So, I’ve seen 2 Stripeds in my time. How many have you seen?
I haven’t seen one for years, many years. They fly from Toronto to Northern Florida, but I haven’t seen one for more than a decade, much more than a decade.
Here’s the first Striped Hairstreak that I ever saw, at the Powdermill Refuge in Rector, near Ligonier, Pennsylvania. I’ll never forget such a beautiful butterfly, it remaining for many minutes, serene and unphased by my Macro- approach.
Glassberg’s A Swift Guide to the Butterflies of North America describes them as “R-U” (Rare-Uncommon) and after having been banned from Powdermill, I’ve not seen one since. Come to think of it, that is the only place I’ve ever been banned from?
Just moved to the Macon, Georgia(Where Little Richard grew up) and feeling-Striped Hairstreak deprived, we’ve planted 2 Black Cherry trees, their hostplant. Calling all Striped Hairstreaks . . .
Forgive me, but I am very pleased with my capture here of a fresh Striped Hairstreak butterfly. Tiny, like all hairstreaks, it startled me when I first eyed it. I was looking for the usual larger butterflies, in the Powdermill Reserve of the Carnegie Museum of Natural History, in Rector, Pennsylvania. Rector is in the sylvan Laurel Highlands of south-central Pennsylvania, and finding such a tiny, “Rare-Uncommon” butterfly there, should not have been a surprise to me.
When my Macro- lens came closer and closer to this beauty, it remained in place, and I marveled at how magnificent it was. A shmeksy! butterfly that is never found in abundance, and is alway seen as a solitary specimen, alone, naturally.
This is one of my early finds, and Yep, it stoked my passion to work to find and shoot common and uncommon butterflies, fresh, colorful and reminders of the Gift that we continue to receive.
Just today, a FB friend posted an image of a Great Spangled Fritillary Butterfly, ID’ing it as a Meadow Fritillary. That reminded me of how fortunate I have been to have seen several Meadow Frits in these many years in the field.
Here’s a male Meadow Fritillary that I met in the reserve of the Powdermill Wildlife Refuge in Rector, Pennsylvania (the Laurel Highlands in central Penna). There was a summer once when I was there almost every morning, ’til a hostile Director told me to not ever come back. Powdermill habitat is rich in wildlife, e.g. that’s where I met my first Eastern Timber Rattlesnake . . .
Meadow Frits are small, fly with dainty grace, just inches above the ground. They appear fragile, with that tiny head, and have those oddly arched wings.
You can understand why folks who encounter them go, ‘Huh?’ Despite Glassberg’s shared “East LC-C” my extensive experience is they are not common and never locally common. Moist meadows and grassy field disappear by the day ( a developer’s dream, no trees to remove ), so you see a Meadow Fritillary, and you have every reason to be pleased . . . “Jackpot.”