Monday, September 03, 2012

Newly emerged Swallowtail & Scoliid Wasps

Last night we got one heck of a storm, tornado warnings and all. Rain last night was about 3 inches. Tonight we got another 2 1/2 inches, the pond even looks a bit higher. So it's wet out there, the wettest summer I can recall here.

Between the rains we had a female Black Swallowtail emerge in the garden this morning. She stayed perched for well over an hour after I shot this photos.

This female Black Swallowtail while watching her with my camera would flick her wings open, with my point and shoot camera it was all about timing to get the wings open like this. She had not yet taken her first flight when I took these photos. I can recall in the past watching females like this get mated by males before she ever flew. Today it was very wet for any butterflies to be out.


No flash, just natural light.

An update on meg's classroom Black Swallowtails, so far the kids have released 5 butterflies. Meg by herself released 7 on Saturday, so 12 so far and another 13 left, if they did not emerge today.

 Above and below we have a  Double-banded Scoliid (Scolia bicincta) wasp. Seeing these everywhere right now, the Mountain Mint is full of them. These are parasitic wasps that lay their eggs on scarab beetle grubs. 


 Below is a  Blue-winged Wasp (Scolia dubia). The females of this wasp species searches out Green June Beetle grubs and Japanese Beetle grubs to raise their young on them. Sounds beneficial to me.

18 comments:

Janet, The Queen of Seaford said...

I love the iridescence of the Black Swallowtail, what a beauty. So often we see their wings battered and torn. Nice to see a brand new beauty.
Those wasps are pretty cool looking, like their blue wings. From your description I would agree that they are beneficials.

The Sage Butterfly said...

It is so interesting to witness this miracle of life. Your photos are an ode to pollinators. Beautiful!

Michelle said...

She is gorgeous! And the wasps are beautiful too. I often see Trantula Hawks around here, a beautiful black wasp with brillant red wings. I've not been able to get a decent photo of them, I don't like to get too close to them because they supposedly have one of the most painful stings and I don't want to test that.

Kalantikan said...

Your butterfly is so fresh and virginal. Even if we have lots of butterflies in our property, i often wonder why i dont see them emerging or just drying their wings. They are always already quick when i see them, i actually look for them underneath leaves but i dont see any! We also have those black butterflies with blue irridescense and am afraid of them. I had been stung twice when i was a kid and now scared of them, even by the small yellowish wasps.

Curbstone Valley Farm said...

The butterfly is gorgeous, but those wasps are stunning. I don't think I've ever seen either of those species before. I agree, I think any predatory wasp that targets Japanese beetle larvae is definitely classified as a beneficial!

Carol said...

Fabulous photos Randy. Rainy days are hard on butterflies but how great for you to get such a beauty sitting still for so long. It would be great to see Meg's kids releasing their butterflies. Gorgeous wasps . . . I love the blue and yellow. Yes, beneficial indeed.

schnell abnehmen said...

very good post

Michelle said...

Great close ups of the swallowtail and the wasp. That wasp is beautiful, I've never seen one like that.

SJeem Ahmed said...

Superb Pictures great Job it's one of the nice blog good work.

SJeem Ahmed said...

Superb Pictures great Job it's one of the nice blog good work.

Roberta said...

The butterflies are so beautiful, they don't even look like they could possibly be real!

Skeeter said...

I am not a fan of wasp but those are some beautiful wasp!

Kim and Victoria said...

That swallowtail is just breathtaking.

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