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Old Sep 8, 2012, 8:14 PM   #1
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Late Summer/almost Autumn is a great time for many of our East Tennessee insects and spiders - plenty of sunshine and plenty of food. Here's a random sampling of some recent species.

Our smallest Dragonfly is the Eastern Amberwing. They're about the size of a wasp, and mimic wasp behavior as a form of protection against predators. They also tend to perch rather far from shore, and those big eyes see us coming a long way off!
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Old Sep 8, 2012, 8:15 PM   #2
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Plenty of Skimmers still out and active, but towards the end of their adult lives. Here's a Slaty Skimmer perched near shore, and a Widow Skimmer about to "steal" his perch!
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Old Sep 8, 2012, 8:18 PM   #3
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Of course, late summer's blooming fields are full of varied butterflies. We see plenty of Monarchs enjoying the Ironweed nectar.
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Old Sep 8, 2012, 8:21 PM   #4
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Plenty of Skippers, Spicebush Swallowtails and Gulf Frittilaries working the abundant Thistle blooms...
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Old Sep 8, 2012, 8:25 PM   #5
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Gray Hairstreaks and Clearwing Moths working the last few remaining Swamp Milkweed blooms...
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Old Sep 8, 2012, 8:29 PM   #6
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And Pearl Crescents working the Brown-Eyed Susan. This is a different species from the Black-Eyed Susan: smaller blooms with a much shorter blooming season, and not as common.
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Old Sep 8, 2012, 8:31 PM   #7
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Not all the late-summer butterflies enjoy nectar. We've had a big hatching of Northern Pearly Eyes recently. They prefer to lick oozing sap, carrion or animal droppings!
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Old Sep 8, 2012, 8:33 PM   #8
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And not all the visitors to flowers are seeking nectar! Crab Spiders can change color to better blend in with their "flower perch." Makes it a bit harder for a visiting butterfly or bee to spot the danger!
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Old Sep 8, 2012, 8:34 PM   #9
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This Nursery Web Spider was guarding her newly-hatched young high in the Boneset blooms.
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Old Sep 8, 2012, 8:37 PM   #10
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Sunny forest openings are a favorite spot for several species of Micrathena spider. Here are some views of an Arrowshaped Micrathena from above...
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