Did you know...
Though most are green, some katydids in the genus Amblycorypha are bright pink! Pink katydids are fairly rare, but the staff at the Audubon Insectarium in New Orleans successfully bred a donated pair of pink katydids. I visited the Insectarium a few months ago, and was excited to see the pink oblong-winged katydids (Amblycorypha oblongifolia). If you find yourself in the New Orleans area, drop in and see them for yourself!
Photo: © Debbie Hadley, WILD Jersey
Here's a species that's active in the spring and summer throughout its range. Do you know what it is? If you think you can identify this insect, post your best guess in a comment below. Next Wednesday, I will give you the answer and a new challenge.
I don't post spiders very often, but I did last week (I hope that much was obvious!). The species featured was the six-spotted fishing spider, Dolomedes triton. If you looked carefully at the photo, you might have noticed the spider was on the surface of the water, which should have been a useful clue to its identity. Eric Eaton, author of the Kaufman Field Guide to Insects of North America - Review of Kaufman Field Guide to Insects of North America, did a nice blog post on this species a few years ago, if you would like to learn more.
Photo: Wikimedia Commons/Kurt Kulac
The National Park Service expects this year's synchronous firefly mating season to peak between June 6-13. Each year, firefly enthusiasts converge on the Elkmont Campground area of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park to witness the phenomena. Male fireflies (Photinus carolinus) synchronize their flashes, illuminating the park with bursts of light. This unusual coordination among firefly individuals occurs in only a few places in the world, and the Great Smoky Mountains is the best place in the U.S. to see them.
To minimize the impact of thousands of visitors on this area of the park, the National Park Service instituted rules limiting access to the Elkmont area during the peak of firefly season. Firefly enthusiasts may only access the Elkmont Campground via a special shuttle bus, and must obtain a parking pass for their vehicle. Advance sales for parking passes has already ended, but there are still 85 "day before" parking passes available, on a first-come, first-serve basis. Visit the Great Smoky Mountains National Park page for details.
Before you go, learn more about fireflies: