Along the Air Line... 2010 - Summer, Part 5
The Air Line Trail in Eastern Connecticut - Stan Malcolm Photos

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Stan Malcolm Photo



August 9th.  Bluecurls (Trichostema dichotomum).












Woodland Sunflowers (Helianthus divaricatus) are at their peak of blooms.



August 10th.  Morning "coffee break" for Tree Swallows (Tachycineta bicolor).









A brief midday visit to Cranberry Bog in East Hampton.  Monarch (Danaus plexippus) in Joe-Pye Weed.



Great Blue Heron (Ardea herodius) hunting.












Better luck next time.



Taking flight.













































August 16th. Cranberry Bog, East Hampton. A Thick-headed Fly (Family Conopidae; probably Physocephala sp.)



Adults feed on flowers and resemble potter wasps.  Females deposit eggs in the abdomens of bees and wasps where the larvae grow to maturity as endoparasites.



Presumably a Fishing Spider (Dolomedes sp. Family Pisauridae).






Nightshade (Solanum dulcamara).



August 17th. Shagreened Slug Moth caterpillar (Apoda biguttata).  Head end at left, though head is hidden under the body. Adult moth photos at the Moth Photographer's Group



Here the head is extended and you can see the attenuated thoracic legs. Abdominal prolegs are also reduced.



Magnified view of the previous image.  Looks like a strand of silk visible.



Gliding locomotion and brief view of mouthparts.  Best viewed full screen and at 720p HD resolution.



Note the brown spot on the insect's side.  Based on David Wagner's description in his Caterpillars of Eastern North America, I believe that to be the breathing siphon of a Tachinid fly larva.



A very noisy close-up of the siphon.  The fly larva is an endoparasite, consuming the caterpillar's flesh from inside with just this breathing tube extending through the body wall.