Today was a field day for the most exciting geeks I know. About 15 serious dragonfly enthusiasts scoured Wayne and Ashland county for all types of insects. The intent was to scout dragonflies, but we looked at anything that creeped, crawled, flew or even grew!
Highlights were a spectacular Rusty Snaketail Dragonfly and this Harvester butterfly.
The very butterfly-attuned Jim Davidson spotted this dime sized butterfly to the delight of the group. It is posing on Larry Rosche's finger in this photo- and if you know Larry, I suggest you ask him how he charmed the little fellow. The secret is in sweat. Yes, sweat. Butterflies like a salty substance and some with a little extra smell is even better yet.
This seems like a pretty non-descript butterfly. Interesting white marks on a tan to brown field. It is not such a stunner, until you know its life history. This is a carnivorous butterfly, not likely to disembowel someone of our size, but very dangerous to wooly aphids. Yes, the larva of the Harvesters feed on insects- the only meat eating butterfly in Ohio. You can go here if you would like more information about their life cycle.
So sometimes, something so small and insignificant becomes much more exciting when you know a little about its nature and actions. This dimenutive butterfly could easily be over-looked, and what a shame that would be. Hope you have a great weekend in the field- and I hope I see some of you in Wooster.