Japanese Beetles at Love Play

(Popillia japonica)
Indiana, USA – July 2019

These pretty beetles come from Japan and were introduced to North America about one hundred years ago. Due to the lack of natural enemies, they developed into a plague and damage crops and ornamental plants.

Japanese Beetle

The blossom of the purple coneflower (Echinacea purpurea), on which the two love to play, also shows the feeding traces of the beetles.

Japanese Beetle

Green June Beetle

(Cotinis nitida)
Indiana, USA – July 2019

This metallic shimmering beetle is native to the east of the USA and occurs most frequently in the south. The beetles feed on all kinds of fruits and cause crop damage. The larvae damage, among other things, the roots of vegetables and ornamental plants.

Green June Beetle
Green June Beetle

Flower Crab Spider with Prey

(Misumena vatia)
Indiana, USA – July 2019

This spider species, widespread in the northern hemisphere of the earth, usually sits well camouflaged on flowers, where it ambushes insects that visit them. It can adapt its color to its surroundings and varies between yellow, yellow-green and white.

The prey is quickly grabbed with the two enlarged pairs of forelegs and killed by a bite in the back of the neck. The spider can overpower prey, that is several times bigger than itself.

Flower Crab Spider

Common Brimstone Butterfly

(Gonepteryx rhamni)
Neandertal, Germany – July 2019

At 12 months, the common brimstone butterfly has the longest life span of any butterfly in Central Europe. It is the only butterfly that hibernates freely in the vegetation. By the freezing point of its body fluids lowering substances, it is able to withstand frosts of up to minus 20° C, even if it is completely covered with snow.

In March the common brimstone butterflies become active again and in April a new life cycle begins with the laying of eggs.

Common Brimstone Butterfly ♀︎

Monarch Butterfly

(Danaus plexippus)
Indiana, USA – September 2018

The monarch is known for his long migrations from eastern North America to his wintering grounds in Mexico. This specimen allows itself a small rest on its up to 3600 kilometers long journey at our front door.

Monarch Butterfly

Northern Paper Wasp

(Polistes fuscatus)
Indiana, USA – October 2018

This wasp species lives in North and Central America and is quite common in human settlements. The images were taken with a macro lens and the wasp has thankfully held still long enough for me to achieve a greater depth of field using focus stacking.

Northern Paper Wasp
Northern Paper Wasp

Mating Wheel Bugs

(Arilus cristatus)
Indiana, USA – October 2018

These predatory bugs are common in North America but not very numerous. After I had first observed and photographed a single specimen, about two weeks later this freshly in love couple ran into me. She marched with him piggyback slowly but purposefully towards the next tree, which she then climbed and finally disappeared into the top.

The Wheel Bugs are considered very useful for pest control. They are quite peaceful creatures, but if they feel threatened, they can sting very painfully.

Mating Wheel Bugs
Wheel Bug
Wheel Bug

Bug on cloverleaf

Indiana, USA – September 2018

Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to figure out what kind of bug it is yet. The little gnome was busy cleaning himself after he had apparently relieved himself (yellowish drop). I feel a bit like a voyeur watching a bathroom scene.

Bug on Cloverleaf