27 September 2012

Thanks, Spring Valley Elementary!

Wow, Midway ISD has some great bugs. In the past, there have been some first county records for moths (Vine Sphinx comes to mind) and Mrs. York, a counselor at Spring Valley Elementary, has been kind enough to send more photos to us! All of these are from September 2012.

Cicada species, possibly Tibicen genus.

The bug above is a cicada - they make that whining noise in the middle of the day in summer when everything else has gotten quiet and gone to find shade. If we're not mistaken, the critter above is one of the Genus Tibicen - "Annual Cicadas" or "Dog-Day Cicadas"  On occasion, you may find their crunchy, empty exoskeleton when it has been shed.

Waved Sphinx (Ceratomia undulosa)

Waved Sphinx (Ceratomia undulosa) is a really exciting moth - it is a second county record! The first county record* for McLennan Co. was found in 2009 by another of the York household; Mrs. York's husband!

* officially the first one we found was not accepted due to its rough condition, but the 2010 Waved Sphinx found by Mrs. York's son, Matthew, was accepted!

Virginia Creeper Sphinx (Darapsa myron)

Virginia Creeper Sphinx (Darapsa myron) - this is an adult of the caterpillar that eats the leaves of Virginia creeper, which is a native vine, related to the grape vine. The vine can commonly be found growing along fences or trees in McLennan Co. Sometimes people mistake these vines for poison ivy ("leaves of three, leave them be") Virginia creeper is NOT poison ivy! Instead, it is dinner for caterpillars that will grow up to be these beautiful Virginia Creeper Sphinx moths!

Virginia Creeper Sphinx (Eumorpha vitis)

Can you tell the difference between poison ivy and Virginia creeper? Vine Sphinx and Virginia Creeper Sphinx need to know the difference!

Thanks to Mrs. York for sharing these neat bugs from Spring Valley Elementary!

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