Saturday, September 13, 2014

Insect Season

It has been an unusual combination of summer and monsoon this year. The dry heat lasted for a lot longer in May-June, and then, after a few showers, most of the rainfall happened in August-September.

Last year, at the Sector-105 park in Noida,  all the Arjuna trees were loaded with plump, green, Tussar Silkworms. This year there were none. Instead, we had some other unusual guests.

(All ids by Shaku @ Florida-U)

Parthenium beetle, Zygogramma bicolorata, Family Chrysomelidae.

Common Silverline, Cigaritis (Spindasis) vulcanus, Family Lycaenidae
Note the "false head" at the back of the wings - excellent defense mechanism..

Common Silverline (top view)

Flower beetle, Mylabris pustulata .  Family Meloidae (blister beetles or oil beetles, because they secrete a pungent, oily substance when attacked, that might cause blisters in predators body; feed on flowers, so also called flower beetles ).

Most likely, Small Cabbage White, Pieris rapae, definitely Family Pieridae. These are really delicate, and lose their, already pale, wing coloration very fast, its usually difficult to find a fresh and intact specimen.
Treehopper, (possibly, Centrotus sp.), Family Membracidae.  Fascinating little insects, also called cow bugs (horns, obviously), or thorn bugs. 
Indian or Asian Honey bee, Apis cerana indica
Common emigrant, Catopsilila pomona (Family Pieridae) 

Lemon or Lime swallowtail, Papilio demoleus
This one seems to have lost part of its wings to a predator!  The bottom part of the wings have red or orange, eye-shaped spots that often serve as a defense mechanism, to fool predators.  So the predator attacks from the tail end of the butterfly, and gets only the wings, while the butterfly can escape!  This is one of the papiolionid butterflies that does not have a tail-like extension to its wings (that give the family its name - swallowtails).

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