June 11, 2018 First day ASIW
Today was the first full day of Art and Science in the Woods. The theme this year is “Explore!” Definitely something our group will be doing. I am most appreciative for all the help from Allison, Olivia, Elijah, and Mary. Students have a morning “major” class where we meet every morning throughout the week (and all day on Friday). They have “minor” classes each afternoon. This means, I see the same students every morning and get a different set every afternoon. Students taking the Illinois Insects class rang in age from 10 to 17. It is great fun to watch their enthusiasm and interest as they explore the prairie and woods of the Sun Foundation and vicinity.
Old growth pasture (this is where we encountered many species during our morning walk). We used a sweep net and beating sheet to observe many species. This is what the area looks like.
We observed many dragonflies as we walked along the trails. Here is one example.
Of course, we also got to experience the “hill.” This part of the trail is a bit steep and muddy.
We also examined many ant nests (we visited the large ant mounds I mentioned yesterday) and saw others (including this nest of Monomorium minimum along the gravel road near our tent). Those black dots are ants and are about 1 mm in length.
Insect taxa encountered
As we explored the fields and woods, we put together a list of insects we encountered. We were able to identify most to family level. I have organized these below (by order).
- Family Cantharidae (soldier beetles)
- Family Cerambycidae (long horn beetles)
- Tetraopes tetraopthalamus [milkweed beetle]
- Family Chrysomelidae (leaf beetles)
- Family Coccinellidae (lady beetles)
- Family Curculionidae (weevils)
- Family Lampyridae (fireflies)
- Family Bombyliidae (bee flies)
- Family Culicidae (mosquitoes)
- Family Muscidae (house flies)
- Family Cercopidae (spittle bugs)
- Family Cicadellidae (leaf hoppers)
- Family Coreidae (leaf-footed bugs)
- Family Membracidae (tree hoppers)
- Family Reduviidae (assassin bugs)
- Family Scutelleridae (shield-backed bugs)
- Family Apidae (bumble bees and honey bees)
- Family Formicidae (ants)
- Formica pallidefulva
- Formica exsectoides
- Monomorium minimum
- Family Vespidae (potter wasps and others)
- Family Lycaenidae [bllues]
- Family Nymphalide
- Asterocampa celtis [hackberry emperor butterfly]
- Checkerspot butterfly
- Speyeria cybele [great spangled fritillary]
- Family Papilionidae (swallowtails)
- Family Pieridae (sulphurs and whites)
- Family Satyridae (wood nymphs)
- Family Mantidae
- Tenodera sinensis [Chinese mantis nymphs]
- Family Panorpidae (scorpion-flies)
- Family Chrysopidae (green lacewings(
- Family Coenagrionidae (damselflies)
- Family Libellulidae (skimmer dragonflies)
- Family Acrididae (band-wing grasshoppers)
- Family Gryllidae
- Phyllopalpus pulchellus [handsome trig]
- Family Rhaphidophoridae (cave crickets)
- Family Tridactylidae (pygmy mole crickets)
- Family Diapheromeridae
- Diapheromera femorata (common walkingstick)
- Spiders (mostly wolf spiders and relatives)
- Geolycosa wrighti was the large brown spider we found in the afternoon)
We covered a lot of ground today. If anyone is interested, I walked over 7 miles today. Coupled with the 6.6 miles I walked yesterday, I have walked over 13 miles at the Sun Foundation in 2018.