Who’s Bugging You?

I have my dad to thank for my keen awareness of and appreciation for insects. This is not to say I like them all, but I do respect the fascinating and diverse ways they do things like obtain food, avoid predation, and communicate amongst themselves and to other species.

Lately, I keep wondering, Where is everybody?? The usual cast of bugs are here, but not in raver-party numbers. Where a dozen bees would be nectaring in years past, there have been 2 or 3. Or none. Rarely is a monarch (or any butterfly) in the yard. I’ve raised only three viable eggs thus far.

Other folks who pay attention to these things are reporting similarly this year. The concern is real; it seems we are witnessing evidence of the global insect decline right here in our local ecologies.

“Bugging Me” – the part of me that is curious about the insects, spiders, little arthropods and isopods that are my neighbors – has been observing extra-carefully this season, noting who is around and who is thus-far absent. Let me introduce you to some of the players at this place.

Squash Vine Borer nectaring on Common Milkweed

Uhh, can you eat dinner while doing Stairmaster??! And those fringed joggers, seriously.

Lightning Bug / Firefly

This female awaiting suitors on the asparagus did, indeed, hook up later that evening.

Odonata species

Please, for fun’s sake, click here, skip any ads and get yourself to 0:46 before hitting play on this video. I don’t think you’ll regret it.

A few more garden residents and visitors

Lastly, weigh in on this. On your right, a bumble bee who hung on my window screen early in the season. On your left, Darth Vader.

Who wore it better?

Your turn! Who is ‘Bugging You’ this week in the ecology you call home?

5 comments

  1. I’m noticing a similar decline in numbers, which is troublesome. I’ve only seen a few butterflies so far this summer. I hiked over at Capital Springs for about an hour the other day and only saw about eight, where I’d usually see at least double that number. 🙁

  2. I have noticed and feel very gloomy about the low number of insect friends. Especially bees and moths. Not even the dang cabbage moths in big numbers. Fireflies are doing alright near us. We have seen 2 monarchs on our very healthy milkweed. But just 2 and maybe a couple Swallowtails. Sad face.

    1. Same here, fireflies seem to be doing well this year. And the milkweed bugs! Had one black swallowtail pass through once. One red admiral. And rarely a monarch. Gloomy, indeed.

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