Friday, October 22, 2010
It's not often that you see an insect that so beautifully compliments the plant it has alighted on. Sure, you could say this insect has evolved camouflage specific to this plant that is a critical part of its life cycle. But with these bold colors, I think this goes beyond camouflage.
This is a Locust Borer, which gets its name because its larvae bore into Black Locust trees. A large infestation of Locust Borer larvae can kill a tree. Adults feed on pollen, commonly from Goldenrod like in this photo. Hence the yellow color of the insect.
I took this photo in Amico Island Park in Delran, NJ. Here is another from that day. This is a Common Buckeye. Using the opposite of camouflage, the Buckeye's colors make it stand out rather than blend in. The idea is to stand out so much that it scares away predators, who think those spots are the eyes of some much larger creature.
Amico Island Park is located where the Rancocas River empties into the Delaware River, across from Philadelphia. If you turn around, you see the city skyline and the Tacony-Palmyra bridge across the Delaware (but then you turn your back on this beautiful wildlife!).
At one point, this huge ship turned in from the Delaware and up the Rancocas. Its name is Karaweik, and it is bulk carrier owned by a Japanese shipping company. That little white triangle to the right is a sailboat, out for a leisurely Sunday jaunt when it came across this behemoth.
This ship really gets around - I found photos of it on the web in Japan, Washington State, Panama and Greece. Just 3 days ago it passed westbound through the Panama Canal and is now somewhere in the Pacific Ocean.
at 10:33 PM