Spiderweb chandeliers!

I never dreamed of anything as lovely as a dogwood hung with frozen spiderweb chandeliers melting in this morning’s advection fog!

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Unexpected! Lady bug baby!

Insect Austin bug 1

Weird black bug with a furry red square on its back/abdomen has been enlarged A LOT. It is a Lady bug larva!!!!! Really!!!!!

Insect Austin bug 2

The Asian lady beetle (AKA Asian Lady Bug) larva resembles a small, spiny alligator with a blue-black body and two rows of small, orange to reddish spots on its back. Newly hatched, they are about 1/8 inch long and grow to about 0.5 inches.

When fully grown, the Asian lady beetle larva molts into a pupa then transforms itself into an adult beetle. The pupa is usually attached to a leaf or other substrate near an aphid colony. The pupa is orange with black spots and similar in size and shape to the adult.

Halloween may be over but Phidippus Audax is still out there!

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Halloween may be over but daring jumping spiders are still out there! Meet phidippus audax! (Try saying his name! It’s fun!) Does he look like a little tarantula to you?

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Note identifying yellow dot on top of abdomen/back.

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Per Wikipedia: Phidippus audax is a common jumping spider of North America. It is commonly referred to as the daring jumping spider, or bold jumping spider. The average size of adults ranges from roughly 13–20 millimetres (0.51–0.79 in) in length. They are typically black with a pattern of spots and stripes on their abdomen and legs.

Woolly Bear Wear, 2017

What the well-dressed woolly bear is wearing this year! Follow them down the runway to select your favorite outfit for Fall 2017!

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The woolly bear caterpillar—also called woolly worm and fuzzy worm—has the reputation of being able to forecast the coming winter weather. Whether this is fact or folklore, learn more about this legendary caterpillar and how to “read” the worm.

Here’s the legend: The Woolly Bear caterpillar has 13 distinct segments of either rusty brown or black. The wider the rusty brown sections (or the more brown segments there are), the milder the coming winter will be. The more black there is, the more severe the winter.

How the Woolly Bear Caterpillar Became “Famous”

  • In the fall of 1948, Dr. C. H. Curran, curator of insects at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City, took his wife 40 miles north of the city to Bear Mountain State Park to look at woolly bear caterpillars.
  • Dr. Curran collected as many caterpillars as he could in a day, determined the average number of reddish-brown segments, and forecast the coming winter weather through a reporter friend at The New York Herald Tribune.
  • Dr. Curran’s experiment, which he continued over the next eight years, attempted to prove scientifically a weather rule of thumb that was as old as the hills around Bear Mountain. The resulting publicity made the woolly worm the most recognizable caterpillar in North America.