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Coneflower, Purple

Scientific Name: Echinacea purpurea

Family: Asteraceae

Height: 2 – 4 ft

Spread: 1.5 – 2 ft

Bloom Time: July – August*

Native Range: Eastern North America, Pennsylvania*

Ecological Value: Nectar source, larval host, seeds for birds.

Human Value: Commonly used for immune boost.

*From Missouri Botanical Garden Plant Finder (https://www.missouribotanicalgarden.org/PlantFinder/PlantFinderDetails.aspx?kempercode=c580)

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Eastern-Tailed Blue Butterfly

Scientific Name: Cupido comyntas

Family: Lycaenidae

Native Range: United States and southern Canada, Pennsylvania*

Size: Wingspan: 23-28 mm (0.91 – 1.14 in)*

Active: Spring – fall. Two or more generations per year. Larva overwinters.*

Color and Appearance: “Adult: male’s wings above iridescent pale blue with brownish-gray along outer margin; forewings with a short oblique black bar near middle; hindwings with a row of submarginal black spots and a small orange spot at the base of each projecting tail. Female’s wings larger with longer tails, gray above on body and wings, 2 or 3 small orange spots with black dots near margin of hindwings. Wings of both sexes below silvery gray with small dark spots and a few orange spots near margin of hindwings.” *

*From BugGuide.net (https://bugguide.net/node/view/464)

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Cutworms and Dart Moths

Family: Noctuidae

Native Range: Worldwide, several varieties in Pennsylvania

Size:

Active: Adults and larva both overwinter in soil or leaf litter.

Color and Appearance: Grays and browns

Cutworms gain their name from the feeding habits of the caterpillars. The caterpillars come out at night and bite through the stem of young plants, cutting them down and eating some of what falls. Some species are considered to be major agricultural pests. The adults pupate into moths which become pollinators.

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Stink Bug, Twice-Stabbed

Scientific Name: Cosmopepla lintneriana

Family: Pentatomidae

Native Range: North America, Pennsylvania*

Size: Length: 4.7-6.5 mm (0.19 – 0.26 in)*

Active: Early spring – fall; adults overwinter in leaf litter.*

Color and Appearance: Black stink bug shape, with red detailing on carapace.

August 9, 2020: I watched this twice-stabbed stink bug couple for several minutes as they climbed up an anise hyssop stalk, reached the top, turned and headed back down, all the while clasped in each other’s embrace. It was astonishingly acrobatic.

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Sharpshooter Bug

Tribe: Proconiini 

Family: Cicadellidae

Native Range: Worldwide, Pennsylvania*

Size:

Active:

Color and Appearance:

According to Wikipedia, both adults and nymphs insert their mouths into plant tissue and suck large quanties of sap out. They filter out the trace nutrients and vigorously shoot the remaining liquid out of their bodies, earning the group name of “sharpshooter”.*

*From Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sharpshooter_(insect))

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Cricket, Red Headed Bush

Scientific Name: Phyllopalpus pulchellus

Family: Gryllidae

Native Range: Mid-Atlantic and Southeastern states, Pennsylvania*

Size: Length: 7 – 9 mm (0.28 – 0.35 in)*

Active: Summer (beginning July – early August). One generation per year.*

Color and Appearance: “Distinctive appearance. Red head/throrax, pale legs, dark bluish-black forewings. Last segment of palp is black and oval flattened shape. Female forewings are convex similar to beetles. Song (of male) is a “rattling, broken trill”, given both day and night.
Left wing of male is clear (2), apparently modified for stridulation.”*

*From BugGuide.net (https://bugguide.net/node/view/592)

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Veneer, Changeable Grass

Scientific Name: Fissicrambus mutabilis

Family: Crambidae

Native Range: Eastern and Central United States, Pennsylvania.

Size: Wingspan: 17 mm (0.67 in)*

Active: April – September, with two generations per year and overwintering as partially grown larva.*

Color and Appearance: “Adult: forewing yellowish-brown with diffuse grayish-white streak running lengthwise in upper half of wing (i.e. nearest the costa); subterminal line black, evenly toothed; PM line jagged, irregularly toothed, sometimes continuous but often broken and represented by just two or three black spots; hindwing variably pale to dark brownish-gray.” BugNet.com (https://bugguide.net/node/view/70225)

Larva know as Striped Sod Webworm. Adults are primarily nocturnal, hiding in the grass by day.*

*From BugNet.com (https://bugguide.net/node/view/70225)

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Stink Bug, Brown

Scientific Name: Euschistus servus

Family: Pentatomidae Pentatomidae.

Native Range: North America, Pennsylvania*

Size: Length:11 – 15 mm (0.43 – 0.59 in)*

Active: May – November*

Color and Appearance:

*From BugGuide.net (https://bugguide.net/node/view/160209)

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Sparrow, Song

Scientific Name: Melospiza melodia

Family: Passerellidae

Native Range: North America, Pennsylvania

Size: Length: 11 to 18 cm (4.3 to 7.1 in); Wingspan: 18 to 25.4 cm (7.1 to 10.0 in) (Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Song_sparrow)

Active: Year-round resident

Field Markings: “Underparts whitish, with streaks on sides and breast that converge into a dark breast spot; Streaked brown and gray above, broad, grayish eyebrow; broad, dark malar stripe; Long rounded tail.” (Alderfer p. 232-233)

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Dove, Mourning

Scientific Name: Spinus tristis

Family: Fringillidae

Native Range: Eastern North America, Pennsylvania

Size: Medium finch: Length: 11–14 cm (4.3–5.5 in); Wingspan: 19–22 cm (7.5–8.7 in)

Active: Year-round resident*

Field Markings: “Breeding male is bright yellow with black cap; female and winter male duller overall, lacking cap; ‘;[Black wings with white bars; Black-and-white tail; white undertail coverts.” (Alderfer p. 258-259)