Insects Like It Hot

Zabulon skipper (Lon zabulon) on my thumb, 9 August 2021 (photo by Kate St. John)

16 August 2021

Last week was hot in Pittsburgh in both temperature and humidity. On mornings when it was only 71 degrees the dewpoint was also 71 so it felt oppressive. Under the circumstances birds are scarce but insects are not.

Above, a Zabulon skipper (Lon zabulon) butterfly that was sipping on ironweed flew over to land on my thumb. It was hard to take its picture without scaring it away.

Ironweed florets are shaped like tubes, perfect for the skipper’s probocis.

Skippers visiting ironweed, 9 August 2021 (photo by Kate St. John)

Hickory tussock moth caterpillars are easy to find this month.

And two kinds of insects are attacking the Japanese knotweed — aphids and Japanese beetles.

Aphids on Japanese knotweed, 8 August 2021 (photo by Kate St. John)

It is very fitting that an invasive Japanese beetle eats an invasive Japanese plant.

Japanese knotweed: leaves with bug holes, aphid son the stem (photo by Kate St. John)

Insects are busy. They like it hot.

(photos by Kate St. John)

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