Autumn Bug Photography is just as fun as any other season. I find when Autumn arrives we begin to see different types of bugs. Spiders start to get a little scarce except for the Crab and Daddy Long Leg spiders, with a few jumping spiders here and there. I haven’t been seeing many spiders as in years past. In fact all our bug population is rather down, except for the disease carrying types. Such as the ticks, mosquitoes etc, they seem to be thriving. One word of caution, if you travel into Wisconsin. Since we do have lots of water and wetlands. It’s important to wear a tick and mosquito repellent anytime your outdoors. Between the Lyme Disease and now the EEE Virus, that has spread into our state, this is a deadly virus that you should beware of. I’m trying not to scare anyone, it just needs to be known so you can protect yourself from it. Now off my soapbox and on to the photos!
Crab Spider or (Golden-rod Spider)
One of my favorite crawlers to photograph are spiders! Especially the Jumping and Crab Spiders. When you get a close up of them they can be very colorful and very inquisitive. I love their eyes because they all are very different and I can see them watching me back. I have found that these pink and white crab spiders or (golden-rod spiders) seem to hang out on my lavender plants. They can change their color depending on what flower they are sitting on. The crab spider mostly hang out on flowers waiting for for their next meal to come along.
Daddy Long-legs are another fun Autumn Bug. Did you know that there are actually two types of daddy Long-legs, and they are very different from each other. The one pictured below is an opilionid arachnid also known as the Harvestmen, and are the true “Daddy long-leg”. They have a pill shaped body with eight long legs and are actually not a spider. Then there’s the pholcidaes, which have long legs and small bodies, they resemble opilionids, but are true spiders.
The Daddy Long-leg has seven sections on it’s legs witch they can break off to scare or surprise a predator, how cool is that! Can you see where he’s missing one of his legs?
When you were a kid, did anyone tell you that Daddy Long-legs were the most poisonous spider on the planet? We’ll fear not, that’s only and urban legend. The true daddy long-leg (opilionids) do not have fangs or venom glands, or any other way for chemically subduing their food. Those two little arms near the mouth, look like fangs. But they are not, they are used to help him eat and they eat junks of food. Instead of sucking the juices out like a spider.
The Pholcidae daddy long-legs or cellar spider, are true spiders and are venomous. They have fangs, small bodies and build webs. usually don’t bite people, but can if provoked. Their bite can cause a mild burning sensation.
As we all know the true Daddy Long-legs, don’t build a webs. In fact they don’t even have the ability to make the web silk. They mostly roam around on the ground, hiding in cracks or crevasses. You may even see them in packs. Sometimes they gather up together and will act like one big bug, maybe to scare off predators.
Another favorite Autumn Bug Photography, are the beetles. Although the Japanese beetle is a pest and can destroy your garden. They are still beautiful to look at, I love their colors and their shine. These beetles have become a big problem in the states, in fact they almost destroyed my grape vines.
Long horn beetles are quite popular around here and there are a total of 120 different types of beetles in Wisconsin. They come in all sorts of shapes and colors.
We also can’t forget about the Lady Bug, in this case it’s the “Asian Lady Bug”. They are more aggressive and have a tendency to bite. I haven’t seen a native lady bug in years, unfortunately the invasive species has taken over.
Then there’s the caterpillars munching away getting ready to make it’s cocoon.
There are some species of caterpillars that will cocoon or chrysalis all winter long. You can actually keep them alive through winter and watch it hatch come spring. I’ve done this with my kids when they were little. It makes for a great science project.
Then there’s the favorite with everyone, the Moths and Butterflies. They come in some many beautiful colors, shapes and sizes.
This seemed to be the year of the Monarch Butterfly, I saw them everywhere this fall . It was so great to see so many, over the past few years I was lucky to see a couple. I’m wondering if some areas were growing and releasing them. I know the Marshfield zoo grows and releases them. You can even go and watch the release of the Monarchs, and wish them well on their long journey to Mexico.
Honey Bees and Bumbles
Last but not least in my Autumn Bug Photography, are the bees and bumbles. I love watching these guys collecting the pollen on the sunflowers. They get completely covered in yellow, you can barely see their eyes.
Do you have a favorite bug or bugs, you enjoy watching or taking pictures of? I’m one of those who spends a lot of time out doors, looking at my surroundings and enjoying the creatures great and small. If you sit long enough, you may learn a little something about them. Something you’ve never known before, nature is always surprising us with something new.