July 4th, 2010

Sunday Bugs: Katydid, Stink Bug & Moth

Sunday Bugs: Katydid, Stink Bug & Moth

The blossoming cilantro plant in our back yard has become its own little habitat for a variety of insects. Here are a few of them.

This katydid just molted. Its shed exoskeleton can be seen underneath it on the reddish leaf.

A red-shouldered stink bug (Thyanta custator) shares the cilantro plant with a katydid. This particular species of stink bug is part of the family Pentatomidae, which have a characteristically shaped triangular scutellum, or shield-like bony plate, on the thorax. (I love that word, scutellum.)

There is a lively population of these little Pyrausta moths in the back yard, and they love the cilantro blossoms more than anything else. Their larvae munch on the spearmint and lemon balm nearby. The patterns on their wings remind me of a tapestry or an Oriental rug.