Every kid has a bug period…I never grew out of mine.
~E.O. Wilson, naturalist and author
The theme for summer camp last week at work was The Secret Lives of Bugs. We spent five days cruising around garden properties looking for bugs and other beasts. The kids had a great time and I managed a few pics of some of our finds along the way. Here are just a few of the wonderful creatures we discovered…
A long-horned beetle brought to us one morning by one of the staff (click photos to enlarge)
Campers learned about all sorts of “bugs”, including ones that had more than 6 legs like this isopod
The most common dragonfly at the Garden, the blue dasher
One of my favorite bugs, a spicebush swallowtail caterpillar, still in its bird poop mimic stage
Eight-spotted forester moth larva
One of the campers spotted this newly emerged oakworm moth (the wings are not yet pumped out to their full adult size)
Assassin bug nymph
One of the highlights of the week was a visit to a honeybee hive at the Carolina Campus Community Garden
A male honeybee with a varroa mite (that brown oval) on its thorax. These introduced mites are a major pest of honeybees.
We also learned about native bees from an NCSU entomologist. She brought a live bumblebee nest (above) and a drone box, where kids could let male bumblebees (drones) crawl on them (male bees lack stingers).
Mating tiger bee flies. These large flies are parasites on the nests of carpenter bees.
A signal fly earns its name from its behavior of waving its patterned wings back and forth as it walks, as though giving signals
Sampling Morgan Creek yielded some nice bugs, including this unusual dragonhunter dragonfly nymph…
…and several of the somewhat intimidating hellgrammites (dobsonfly larvae)
We also managed some non-buggy critters, like these margined madtoms from Morgan Creek…
This gorgeous spotted salamander was found by another staff person as it cruised between buildings on a very rainy day