Papilio glaucus (Eastern Tiger Swallowtail)

This eastern tiger swallowtail was found in late July, preparing to pupate on an American Jointweed (Polygonella americana) at Sand Prairie Conservation Area in Scott County, MO.

Papilio glaucus (eastern tiger swallowtail) preparing to pupate.

Southern Black Widow (Latrodectus mactans)

This southern black widow was found at Sand Prairie Conservation Area in Scott County MO. Quite unusually, she had built a web in the open within the tallest branches of a Polygonum americanum (American jointweed), where she had just dispatched a Dielis plumipes (Feather-legged Scoliid Wasp).

This southern black widow female was found wrapping up her prey, a feather-legged scoliid wasp at Sand Prairie C. A.
My shadow cast as I took photos caused her to head for cover.
I also found a male southern black widow moving about the boundaries of the female’s web.

Bee Flies – Exoprosopa brevirostris

More from Sand Prairie Conservation Area. These members of the bee fly family (Bombyliidae) were owning this patch of blooming Stylisma pickeringii (Convolvulaceae). Be sure to check out the image of a male coming in to spit game at a female that was not giving him the slightest bit of attention.

Green-eyed Wasp (Tachytes sp.)

This summer I finally got to spend a little quality time wandering through Sand Prairie Conservation Area in Scott County, MO. Within and bordering the dunes one walks by large numbers of Stylisma pickeringii (Convolvulaceae) and Polygonum americanum (Polygonaceae), the later called American jointweed. If you arrive at or near sunrise there does not seem to be a lot of interest in regards to pollinators. Wait until the day heats up, say around 9 or 10 am, and then things get hopping. I saw all sorts of insects I had never seen before, mostly in the Hymenoptera. One of these was the green-eyed wasp (Tachytes sp.). Of course, when everything is warmed up, getting the photographs you want of these small and active insects becomes an epic story of frustration. But, try and try again and you might get something you’re happy with. The following pics aren’t as nice as I had hoped but I think they show this splendid little wasp as you might find them in situ.

A green-eyed wasp (Tachytes sp.) nectaring at a blossom of Polygonum americanum (American jointweed) as the gracious photographer works.
With a head that is almost all eyes, the green-eyed wasp (Tachytes sp.) is always wary and alert to potential threats.