An Oil Beetle (Meloe impressus) in the blister beetle family. Lacking wings, these beetles are flightless. Their name derives from the phenomenon wherein they emit an oily substance, cantharidin, from their leg joints when disturbed. Petersham, 8 September 2019 by Alan Rawle.
A nice find was this Milbert's Tortoiseshell (Aglais milberti) on 19 October in New Braintree. According to butterfliesofmassachusetts.net, although this species has been seen at many locations over the years, there is a lack of known colonies which persist from year to year. This suggests that most Massachusetts sightings are the result of periodic dispersions from further north, which establish temporary breeding populations but probably do not persist for very many years. Photo by Alan Rawle.
Male Northern Walkingstick ( Diapheromera femorata) found in Rutland 24 August by Doug Wipf. Adults are present in August and September in the northern part of the range, but because of their tendency to feed high in the canopy, the insects are seldom seen.
Female Fork-tailed Bush Katydid (Scudderia furcata) 23 September 2019 Princeton, by Doug Wipf
Common Looper (Autographa precationis) observed on 29 September. Larvae feed on a variety of forbs (non-grass herbs) such as aster, cabbage, plantain, and clover.
Usually heard singing from the underside of branches or broad leaves, Snowy Tree Crickets (Oecanthus fultoni) can be found close to the ground--a warmer microenvironment--during cold spells. That was the likely scenario on 30 October in Rutland. Photo by Ted Purcell.
This male Autumn or Yellow-legged Meadowhawk (Sympetrum vicinum) was in Paxton on 26 October and could well have lingered through November. Distinguished from other late-flying small, red dragonflies by leg color and red face. Photo by Bill Platenik.
A caterpillar that will metamorphose into a moth that resembles a dry, curled leaf--Angus' Datana (Datana angusii). Found feeding on oak, 14 September, Hardwick, by Alan Rawle.
A female Differential Grasshopper (Melanoplus differentialis). Females are identified by their larger size--this one was almost 3" long-- and ovipositor extending beyond wings and showing two triangle-shaped cerci. Photographed in Rutland 4 October by Ted Purcell.
A late Pecks' Skipper (Polites peckius) on 18 October in Hardwick.
Photographed by Pam Banach on 2 October 2017 in Worcester, this Greater Angle-wing (Microcentrum rhombifolium) Katydid is an excellent example of a leaf mimic. This appearance serves as a better protective strategy when the katydid is amongst greenery as opposed to being exposed on pavement, but it's still a good disguise.
Autumn or Yellow-legged Meadowhawk (Sympetrum vicinum) is the last odonate of the season to be seen on the wing. They're often found far from water, foraging over fields, even into November. This female was in Hardwick 22 September. Photo by Alan Rawle.
On 26 October this Green Stick Bug (Chinavia hilaris) was probably looking for something green to eat. The species feeds on many plants, including native and ornamental trees, shrubs, vines, weeds, and some crops. The preferred hosts are generally wild plants, but as these plants mature the bugs may make pests of themselves by switching to cultivated crops. Photo taken in Paxton by Bill Platenik,
Another Northern Walkingstick, this time found 28 September, also in Rutland, by Ted Purcell. The growing insects prefer the leaves of American hazelnut (Corylus americana) and black cherry (Prunus serotina), but where these are scarce, they are likely to be on white oak (Quercus alba).
Two-spotted Tree Cricket (Neoxabea bipunctata) is one of the common late-season songsters in our region. They're seen more than they're heard! Go to: http://songsofinsects.com/crickets/two-spotted-tree-cricket to listen. Rutland, 24 September by Doug Wipf.
Male Differential Grasshopper (Melanoplus differentialis). The abdomen of the male is rounded and dips into a subtle curve before tapering at a slightly raised angle. 22 September 2019, Hardwick, by Alan Rawle.
This female Giant Ichneumon (Megarhyssa atrata) was found ovipositing on 14 September in Hardwick. She detected a type of horntail larvae, probably Pigeon Horntail (Tremex columba), deep inside a dying maple tree with her antennae, sensing a fungus associated with the larvae. The eggs were deposited on the larvae and will consume the larvae upon hatching. Insertion of her 5.5 inch ovipositor was accomplished with the help of a chemical that breaks down wood fibers.
The more familiar form of the Isabella Tiger Moth (Pyrrharctia isabella) is the larval stage, the Woolly Bear caterpillar. This one was photographed on 21 September in Hardwick by Wendy Howes. Do they really predict winter weather? For a discussion of this notion, go to: https://www.almanac.com/content/woolly-bear-caterpillars-and-weather-prediction
Eastern Comma (Polygonia comma) on 29 September 2019. This butterfly has two broods, and the ‘winter form’ flies from early September to mid-November, then hibernates over the winter as an adult, sometimes emerging during warm spells. It then flies again early March through May.
Pine-tree Spur Throat Grasshopper (Melanoplus punctulatus) is not commonly seen, partly due to its cryptic coloration and pattern. Photo by Doug Wipf, 23 September in Rutland.