19 de noviembre de 2023

Summary of sightings of Phidippus princeps, grayish jumping spiders, at Barnes Tallgrass Prairie Remnants, Racine Co., WI in 2023

Phidippus princeps, grayish jumping spiders, are commonly seen on two Barnes tallgrass prairie remnants in Racine County, WI. Remnant 1 is a fine quality native prairie, with over 80 species of native plants. Remnant 2 is an old field with a native, degraded prairie border. Invasive grasses, native grasses, about 40 species of scattered native forbs, several species of native shrubs, and non-native shrubs, mainly common buckthorn, are found here. Over 30 spiders were seen and photographed from Aug. 30 through to November 2, 2023 at these remnants.

Spiders were found on following plants:
Monarda fistulosa: leaves, stems, seed heads
Common buckthorn: leaves, stems
Common milkweed: leaves, stems
Gray dogwood: leaves, stems
Goldenrod sp.: stem

Spiders were seen with the following prey:
Unidentified small flies
Unidentified ants
Ants, species Subgenus Cautolasius Lasius neoniger Complex
Ants, Formica pallidefulva

Observation of Phidippus princeps catching prey
Date and time: September 9, 2023, 1:34 PM
Location: On common milkweed leaf
Comments: Many Cautolasius and Lasius ants were seen flying on this day.
This small spider was near the axil of a common milkweed leaf, with its abdomen near the stem. An ant landed approximately two inches away from the spider, about an inch from the tip of this leaf, as the ant moved closer to the spider, the spider slowly moved towards it, jumped out and caught it.

Publicado el 19 de noviembre de 2023 23:15 por bkis bkis | 1 observación | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario

17 de noviembre de 2023

Interactions between Megarhyssa macrurus ssp. macrurus, long-tailed giant ichneumonid wasp and Tremex columba, pigeon horntail, and on a sugar maple tree on July 8, 2023, at a Barnes Prairie hedge row, Racine County, WI

Walking along a hedgerow adjacent to Barnes Prairie on a humid, 82F degree late afternoon on July 8, 2023, I heard a “clacking” sound. In the hedgerow, I saw a long-tailed giant ichneumonid wasp on the trunk of a sugar maple tree, which appeared to be making this noise. The possible reason for her agitation seemed to be a second long-tailed giant ichneumonid wasp, which had come into view on the tree trunk. When it appeared, the first ichneumonid wasp ran towards it. The second ichneumonid wasp flew, but from my vantage point, I could see it landing on the back of the tree trunk.

The maple tree that these ichneumonid wasps were on had a trunk diameter of approximately 24 inches, 6 feet above the ground. There were several dead branches on the tree, however; about three-quarters of the branches were leafy.

I turned my attention back to the first ichneumonid wasp. She was walking, then “freezing” and I became aware of a pigeon horntail, seemingly oblivious to the ichneumonid wasp, which was about a foot from her. The pigeon horntail was walking around in a small area below the dead branches, stopping periodically. The ichneumonid wasp began to slowly arc back and forth around the pigeon horntail. From time to time, the second ichneumonid wasp appeared on this side of the tree. The first ichneumonid wasp either ran towards it or flew at it. The second wasp flew or ran around the trunk of the tree, out of view.

For about a minute, the first ichneumonid continued to walk back and forth at the sides of the pigeon horntail, at a distance of about 3 inches to over 12 inches, “freezing” when the pigeon horntail moved. The pigeon horntail found the spot she was looking for and began laying eggs in the tree. After a short time, she flew off. The ichneumonid flew away a few seconds later.

Was the ichneumonid wasp’s interest in the pigeon horntail to mark or remember this area, which with an eye to revisit it at a future date? I made my rounds by this tree several times after July 8, but didn’t see any giant ichneumonid wasps or pigeon horntails on these trips.

I had photographed a giant ichneumonid wasp on this same tree trunk, about 6 feet from the ground, on June 29, 2023, in an area a few inches away from where the pigeon horntail had laid her eggs on July 8. I watched as the ichneumonid landed, and head and antennae down, walked along the bark of the tree, possibly detecting the smell/movement of pigeon tremex larva. After about a minute and a half, she began laying eggs into the tree trunk. Her efforts took about 5 minutes (about 5:06 to 5:10 PM), then she flew away.

I have numerous photos of these two wasps, not included in this journal entry. Contact me if interested in seeing them.

Publicado el 17 de noviembre de 2023 23:49 por bkis bkis | 4 observaciones | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario

15 de noviembre de 2023

Proximity of longhorn bees, Melissodes bimaculatus to cuckoo bees, Triepeolus sp. (some of which were identified as Triepeolus lunatus) during summer 2023 on a tallgrass prairie remnant, Racine Co., WI.

Larva of cuckoo bees, Triepeolus lunatus, are cleptoparasitic on Melissodes bimaculatus. In 2023, I made numerous trips to Barnes prairie and observed both species, which were found in close proximity to each other. Some of my observations are summarized below.

During late spring and summer, a number of Melissodes sp. (many identified as M. bimaculatus, two spotted longhorn bees), were observed on a section of Barnes Prairie in Racine County, WI, which was about 2,500 square feet in area. The site was located on a slight slope, with grasses and over 40 species of native and non-native forbs. A hedgerow to the south held the remains of a decaying woodpile.

During the day, bees were seen foraging on the following flowers:
June: Carolina rose, woodland poppy, purple clover, wild geranium
July: Wild bergamot, motherwort, bidens, lance-leaf coreopsis, thistle, common milkweed
August: Purple coneflower, black-eyed Susan, brown-eyed Susan, vervain, chicory, sunflowers

Counts were taken early morning, after sunrise, or early evening, before sunset, of male longhorn bees resting on grass leaves, aster leaves and stems, and goldenrod leaves and stems within an 18 square foot area. The plants that the bees rested on changed every few days, but stayed within this area for the entire time they were observed.

Date, No of longhorn bees counted
July 6, 2023, 14
July 7, 2023, 4
July 10, 2023, 14
July 11, 2023, 14
July 12, 2023, 11
July 13, 2023, 9
July 15, 2023, 9
July 16, 2023, 9
July 19, 2023, 6
July 20, 2023, 14
July 22, 2023, 8
July 27, 2023, 9

In addition to these bees, solitary longhorn bees were also found in early evening on grass or aster plants about one foot from an area where there were several resting cuckoo bees, Triepeolus sp. (several identified as T. lunatus).

Date, Number of longhorn bees found near cuckoo bees
July 27, 1
Aug. 6, 1

An apparent Melissodes bimaculatus, longhorn bee, nest location was found by the hedgerow, near a rotting woodpile. One bee was seen entering a hole in the ground on July 18. On July 27, late afternoon, a longhorn bee was seen going into this hole. Stems of a gray dogwood shrub were approximately two feet from the hole. This presumed nest was approximately 15 feet from the area where cuckoo bees were seen resting in early morning and late afternoon, and about 50 feet from the resting male longhorn bees.

Resting cuckoo bees, Triepeolus sp. (Triepeolus lunatus), were counted and photographed in early morning, after sunrise, or late afternoon, before sunset. Bees were resting on stems of native and non- native grasses, on annual non native plants, and on aster leaves and stems. The bees relocated to different plants of the same species every few days, but stayed within a several square foot area for the entire time they were observed. These resting bees were located approximately 35 feet from the resting longhorn bees.

Date, No of cuckoo bees counted
July 7, 2023, 1
July 18, 2023, 4
July 19,2023, 4
July 20, 2023, 4
July 22, 2023, 2
July 27, 2023, 3
Aug. 6, 2023, 3

In addition to these sightings, there were two instances in the early evening where resting cuckoo bees were found on aster stems or leaves, located approximately two feet from the groups of resting longhorn bees.

Date, No of cuckoo bees near longhorn bees
July 19, 2023, 1
July 27, 2023, 1

During the day, cuckoo bees were seen foraging on several flower species:
July: Lance-leaf coreopsis, black-eyed Susan, alsike or hybrid clover.

No cuckoo bees were seen entering the hole the longhorn bees had entered by the hedgerow. The hybrid clover cuckoo bees frequented was located several feet from the presumed longhorn bee nest.

Publicado el 15 de noviembre de 2023 16:25 por bkis bkis | 26 observaciones | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario

13 de noviembre de 2023

Bumblebee Species found on several Barnes Tallgrass Prairie Remnants, Racine Co., WI in 2023

In numerous surveys conducted at Barnes Prairie, Racine Co from early June through mid- September 2023, seven species of bumblebees were observed: Bombus affinis, B. bimaculatus, B. borealis, B. fervidus, B. griseocollis, B. impatiens and B. rufocinctus. A summary of sightings for each of these bumblebees, including forage plants, follows.

Bombus affinis, rusty-patched bumblebee
Dates seen: July 28, 2023; August 1, 2023
Forage plants: wild bergamot, purple coneflower, Culver’s root

Bombus bimaculatus, two spotted bumblebee
Dates seen: May 30, 2023: June 5, 2023; June 10, 2023; July 11, 2023; August 10, 2023
Forage plants: Virginia waterleaf, Carolina rose, thistle, wild bergamot, purple coneflower

Bombus borealis, northern amber bumblebee
Date seen: August 1, 2023
Forage plant: wild bergamot

Bombus fervidus, golden northern bumblebee
Dates seen: June 6, 2023; July 3, 2023; July 17, 2023; July 20, 2023; July 28, 2023
Forage plants: hoary puccoon, purple clover, teasel, wild bergamot, thistle

Bombus griseocollis, brown-belted bumblebee
Dates seen: June 30, 2023; July 28, 2023; Aug. 1, 2023; Aug. 6, 2023; Aug. 12, 2023
Forage plants: lance-leaved coreopsis, common milkweed, wild bergamot, purple coneflower, thistle, prairie blazing star, goldenrod

Bombus impatiens, common eastern bumblebee
Dates seen: June 1, 2023; June 30, 2023; August 6, 2023; August 12, 2023; Aug 21, 2023; September 16, 2023
Forage plants: purple clover, common milkweed, wild bergamot, goldenrod, aster

Bombus rufocinctus, red-belted bumblebee
Dates seen: June 1, 2023; August 1, 2023; August 9, 2023; August 16, 2023
Forage plants: Virginia waterleaf, purple coneflower, gray-headed coneflower, black-eyed Susan, Culver’s root

Publicado el 13 de noviembre de 2023 15:11 por bkis bkis | 14 observaciones | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario

10 de noviembre de 2023

Summary of Observations of Araneus pratensis, openfield orbweaver, at Barnes Tallgrass Prairie Remnants, Racine Co., WI. in 2023

Araneus pratensis, a small, colorful orbweaver, has historically been found on segments of the original tallgrass prairie in Racine, Kenosha and Walworth Counties which was known as Barnes Prairie, as related to me by neighbors when I was a child. Neighbors, relatives and friends of my family, living in Racine and Walworth Counties, whom I interviewed in the late 1950s as a child, called this spider the “little, colorful web spider” or a “red and orange striped small web making spider”. Two of the women I interviewed told me that they were common along the (unmown) roadsides, between unplowed fields, and in the wildflower fields (original tallgrass prairie remnants).
Due to development of these lands to housing, highways, industry and commercial business over the last 50 years, only a few areas of native tallgrass prairie remained as of 2023. My surveys were at several of these now-degraded native tallgrass prairie remnants in Racine County.

Araneus pratensis were typically found in drier areas of the prairie where shorter grasses and forbs were predominant. Gray dogwood and prickly ash were often seen in these areas. Areas of goldenrod, white gentian, common milkweed, aster and taller grasses also held populations of these small arachnids.

A Total of 45 Spiders were seen and photographed in late summer and early fall, 2023. Photos were taken during the day, from early morning to late afternoon.

Date, No. of Spiders
Aug. 30, 2023, 1
Sept. 7, 2023, 1
Sept. 9, 2023, 5
Sept 16, 2023, 18
Sept. 18, 2023, 9
Sept. 20, 2023, 5
Oct. 2, 2023, 3
Oct. 18, 2023, 1
Oct. 24, 2023, 2

Web anchor plants
Plants that webs, with spiders on them, were attached to, included short grasses, goldenrod leaves and grasses, webs connected to common milkweed leaves and between a gray dogwood leaf and grass. Several spiders were found on common milkweed pods, not on their webs.

Web hub/center height and comments
Heights varied, with the shortest being about 7” from the ground. Many were between 9 and 14 inches from the ground. Highest hubs were seen between 28 and 32 inches from the ground.
Two webs with A. pratensis were located adjacent to the webs of Argiope trifasciata. One of these was connected to the same blade of grass that the banded argiope web was anchored to.

On October 16, a number of winged ants were seen in webs. Also seen were unidentified small flies.

Publicado el 10 de noviembre de 2023 15:29 por bkis bkis | 33 observaciones | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario

19 de febrero de 2023

Prairie plants that Phidippus princeps, grayish jumping spiders, were seen on at Barnes Tallgrass Prairie Remnants, 2019-2022

Phidippus princeps, grayish jumping spiders, were commonly seen on Barnes tallgrass prairie remnants in Racine County, WI. Remnant 1 had been burned prior to 1970, and is hand weeded and sections mowed to control invasive weeds. It is a fine quality native prairie, with over 80 species of native plants. Remnant 2 was periodically mowed in late September or October. It is a degraded prairie, formerly intermittently grazed, with over 40 species of native plants. Shrubs on these prairies are gray dogwood, new Jersey tea, dogbane (A. androsaemifolium) and scattered non-native invasive shrubs, including buckthorn, Japanese honeysuckle and multflora rose.

Surveys for grayish jumping spiders were conducted during several weeks in September, 2019-2022. During the surveys, two persons looked for P. princeps on the prairie plants for a couple of hours. I photographed the spiders and the plants they were found on. Although many species of prairie plants are found on these remnants, we found P. princeps on three species: common milkweed, Asclepias syriaca; wild bergamot, Monarda fistulosa, and goldenrod, Solidago sp. These plants were located at or near the highest parts of these prairie remnants.

September 2019
Remnant no., Size, No. of P. princeps seen, Plant species they were seen on
1, 4 ½ acres, 2, wild bergamot leaves

September 2020
Remnant no., Size, No. of P. princeps seen, Plant species they were seen on
1, 4 ½ acres, 1, wild bergamot leaf

2, 10 acres, 2, common milkweed leaf and stem

September 2021
Remnant no., Size, No. of P. princeps seen, Plant species they were seen on
1, 4 ½ acres, 3, wild bergamot leaf, goldenrod sp.
leaf, common milkweed leaf and stem

2, 10 acres, 3, goldenrod sp. leaf, common
milkweed leaf and stem

September 2022
Remnant no., Size, No. of P. princeps seen, Plant species they were seen on
1, 4 ½ acres, 4, goldenrod sp. leaf, common
milkweed leaves and stem

2, 10 acres, 5, common milkweed leaves and stem

Publicado el 19 de febrero de 2023 21:19 por bkis bkis | 6 observaciones | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario

13 de febrero de 2023

Phidippus clarus, brilliant jumping spider, with prey seen on Barnes Prairie and Barnes Prairie remnants, tallgrass prairie remnants located in Racine County, Wisconsin, 2019-2022

Barnes Prairie and remnants consist of scattered small tallgrass prairie remnants in Racine County, WI. Between 2019 and 2022, surveys of Phidippus clarus and their prey were conducted. The table below is a summary of sightings by date and prey these spiders were seen with.

Date, Prey

July 15, 2019, Sitochroa palealis, carrot seed moth

July 9, 2020, Sitochroa palealis, carrot seed moth

July 16, 2020, Graphocephala coccinea, red and blue leafhopper

July 16, 2020, Cicadellidae, unidentified brown/tan leafhopper

July 2, 2021, Cicadellidae, unidentified immature leafhopper

July 21, 2021, Sitochroa palealis, carrot seed moth

July 23, 2021, Opiliones, harvestman

July 26, 2021, Hesperiidae, unidentified skipper

July 30, 2021, Euschistus sp., tan stinkbug

July 27, 2022, Cicadellidae, unidentified immature leafhopper

Publicado el 13 de febrero de 2023 02:12 por bkis bkis | 4 observaciones | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario

12 de febrero de 2023

Epargyreus clarus, silver spotted skipper, and the tallgrass prairie plants they were found foraging on at Barnes Prairie remnants, Racine Co., WI from 2020 through 2022

Eparygyrus clarus, silver spotted skipper, is a commonly found on Barnes Prairie, which consists of a number of small tallgrass prairie remnants. According to my observations over the past 50 years, silver spotted skippers have been one of the most abundant butterflies on these remnants. In the last 20 years, as many of these prairie areas have been developed to housing and commercial businesses, the skippers have found new nectar sources on purple clover, Trifolium pratense, queen Ann’s lace, Daucus carota,and teasel, Dipsacus fullonum (D. sylvestrus) flowers.

The following is a summary of forage plants that silver spotted skippers were seen on, by month and year, from 2020 through 2022.

Date Forage plants

August 8, 2020, wild bergamot
August 10, 2020, teasel, purple coneflower
August 13, 2020, false sunflower, rough blazing star, sneezeweed, goldenrod sp.
August 19, 2020, rough blazing star
September 22, 2020, goldenrod sp.

August 2, 2021, mountain mint, wild bergamot, queen Ann’s lace, black-eyed Susan
August 11, 2021, purple coneflower

June 16, 2022, purple clover
July 10, 2022, purple clover
July 30, 2022, wild bergamot
August 3, 2022, wild bergamot

Publicado el 12 de febrero de 2023 02:29 por bkis bkis | 11 observaciones | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario

10 de febrero de 2023

Forage plants that Bombus fervidus, golden northern bumblebees, were found on at Barnes Prairie, Prairie Remnants and adjacent hedgerows, Racine County, WI from 2012-2022

Bombus fervidus, golden northern bumblebees, are one of the earliest bumblebee species that were seen on Barnes Prairie and prairie remnants, a number of small, original tallgrass prairies in southeastern Wisconsin. Several of these prairie remnants are bordered by hedgerows, consisting of several tree species including bur oak, black walnut, sugar maple, green ash, black cherry, American elm and box elder. Shrubs in the hedgerows were predominantly non-native honeysuckle, snowberry, gray dogwood and common buckthorn. Some of the understory plants in the hedgerows were Virginia waterleaf, Virginia bluebell, jack-in-the-pulpit, Solomon’s seal and trout lily.

Numerous surveys of Bombus fervidus were made in these areas each year, May through September, from 2012-2022. Flowers the bees were seen on were noted in journal logs, and photographed, when possible.

Bombus fervidus, golden northern bumblebee, was observed at a prairie remnants and adjacent hedgerows usually within a week of Virginia bluebell flowers opening, in early to mid-May. In spring, these bees were found foraging on Virginia bluebells, Virginia waterleaf, hoary puccoon, white baptisia and cream baptisia. In late spring to mid- summer, they visited Solomon’s seal, old field thistle, Canada thistle, silphium species, purple prairie clover, wild bergamot, purple coneflower (not native to the prairie, but planted in the 1970’s), gray-headed coneflower and St. Johnswort species. In late summer to late September, the bees were found on bottle gentian, white gentian, prairie gentian, black-eyed Susan, sweet black-eyed Susan and sneezeweed.

Over the years, many of the prairie remnants have become degraded, and developed to residential and commercial use. Fewer bees have been seen, especially in the last few years. In degraded areas, Bombus fervidus has been found foraging on common teasel, Dipsacus fullonum (Dipsacus sylvestris) and purple clover, Trifolium pratense.

Publicado el 10 de febrero de 2023 17:46 por bkis bkis | 2 observaciones | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario

07 de febrero de 2023

Summary of Chrysochus auratus, dogbane beetle, populations from 1976-2022 at a Barnes Prairie Remnant located in southeastern Wisconsin

All dogbane beetles in this survey were found on dogbane, Apocynum androsaemifolium. Surveys were made in late June through August of each year, at the same group of dogbane plants. This area has been fairly stable, plant-wise, through the years, although in the 1990's, it was becoming weedy. In the years following 1990, common buckthorn moved into parts of this prairie. This shrub, and non-native honeysuckle, have been periodically cut down.

Year, No. of beetles seen, Notes

1976, 4

1977, 7

1984, 9, area of plants, possibly clones, five by fifteen feet, two areas.

1990, 6, weeds moving into area, dogbane plants still present

2000, 2, pesticide smell in air, early August

2004, 1, A number of insects on dogbane, including one dogbane beetle (on leaf) and
on flowers, one halictid bee and many flies.
2008, 0

2012, 0, smell of pesticides in air

2014, 0,

2015, 0,

2016, 0, about 5 x 15 foot area, consisting of a number of plants in
area. No beetles seen in late July and early August.

2017, 0, five by eight foot area of plants, also some scattered
dogbane in two separate locations near here.

2019, 0

2020, 1, One beetle seen, on dogbane, Apocynum androsaemifolium, early afternoon,

August 30, 2020. Surveys for these beetles were made several times a week
from mid July until the end of August.

2021, 0, No dogbane beetles, area surveyed 2x a week July through end of august

2022, 0

Publicado el 7 de febrero de 2023 20:20 por bkis bkis | 1 observación | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario