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Thursday, June 23, 2011

Small Brown Friends


Ellen and I sure picked the good day to play last week. It has rained all this week. A low pressure is parked over Michigan, and we are WET. With some help from BugGuide.net, I can tell you what these small creatures are.

OK, we'll do the one some of you may not like so much first. This is an unidentified species of Wolf Spider in the genus Arctosa. This one was scrambling around on the Lake Michigan beach.

wolf spider

I was surprised that Bug Guide IDed it as a wolf spider, because I thought they were darker, with stripes, and some are. It's just that this is a different one. Clearly, I need to learn more about what makes a wolf spider: hairy, 8 eyes in a particular arrangement, long legs, note the shape of the cephalothorax and abdomen.

Wolf spiders can bite, but they usually won't unless they are provoked. Bites can be painful, but usually not serious unless someone is allergic.

Next up is someone much more cute. As I'm sure you will also recognize, this looks like a black lady bug, or lady beetle.

fifteen spotted lady bug

Well, it turns out that is basically correct. The real surprise is that this is a Fifteen-spotted Lady Beetle, Anatis labiculata. So, where are the spots, you ask? Unlike humans, who gain spots as they age, this beetle loses its spots. When they are young, they are gray with dark spots. This one is really old, with a solid purple-black case. Aren't the legs cute?

Now I'm just going to have to look for a young one!



14 comments:

Stay at Home Blessings by Chin chin said...

I like the photos you took of these tiny creatures, they are detailed enough. And though I'm not really a fan of these, I like the new info I learned especially about the lady beetle. Have a great day!

Glynis said...

Catching up> Love the fern. We cannot grow them here. Shame.

Love the flowers, you cannot beat a display of flowers to brighten a blog!

The Tulip tree is very different. I have never heard of it before.

Love the bug not the spider. Not scared of them, just not a fan.

RNSANE said...

Great pictures, Joan...spiders and I don't seem to agree...if one bites me, poisonous or not, I develop cellulitis and end up in the hospital on IV antibiotics. Don't know why they affect me this way. My luck, I guess!

rainfield61 said...

Oh I see, this beetle loses its spots as it ages.

This is a great finding to me.

Julia said...

Spiders....I am just not ready to do id on them.

gallerydarrow said...

Interesting, thanks for the i.d. and the info.

Duxbury Ramblers said...

I am always intrigued by spiders, bugs etc. they are marvellous to observe.

spinninglovelydays said...

Freaked out by the spider, enchanted by the bug. It's so cute! I can still detect some of the spots.

Ann said...

I had no idea there was such a thing as a wolf spider. He's rather creepy looking if you ask me.
The lady beetle almost looks like it's plastic. Those are cute little legs

Jean said...

I need to learn more about spiders and bugs/insects.
Thanks for the info and pics on your cool finds. Also the bug ID link!

Ferd said...

Gorgeous pictures!!!
These would have been great for Macro Monday!

Sharkbytes said...

Hi Chin Chin- Yes, they have their own sort of beauty, I think.

Glynis- Nice to see you!

Carmen- I know, I was thinking of your recent bite, and wondering what kind of spider bit you.

rainfield- we should all be so lucky, right?

Julia- I only know a few.

Ro- always interesting critters of all sizes!

Carol- There are certainly so many adaptations.

Ivy- well, I'm here to provide a range of emotional experiences for you!

Ann- I have a lot of the "normal" wolf spiders in my house. Maybe I'll show them one of these days.

Jean- Bug Guide is a great help!

Sharkbytes (TM) said...

Ferd- Yeah, but I'm not crazy about memes. I just like to do things when I get to them.

Interesting Pictures said...

great shot on the spotted Lady Beetle.

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