Y is for Yellow Jacket

yellowjacket-final

We were walking through the woods one hot day in the middle of August when our attention was attracted by a stream of yellow-jackets issuing from the ground. They came in such surprising numbers and looked so full of energy that we stopped to watch them, and this was our introduction to the study of these bold sons of air and heat.

The text is from the book Wasps Social and Solitary, by George W. Peckham and Elizabeth Peckham, (1905). Click here to read it online or download it free from the Internet Archive.

artwork by Joanne Stanbridge, 2013

W is for Water Beetle

water-beetle

The life history of this minute water scavenger has never been
described. The small, elongate beetles are often overlooked unless one
collects especially for them. They are found either in flowing or stand-
ing water and occur most frequently where the shore is muddy or
gravelly.

The text is from the article “Studies on the biology of the aquatic hydrophilidae,” by Edward Avery Richmond, reprinted in the Bulletin of the American Museum of Natural History, Vol. XLII, Art. I, pp. 1-94, (1920). Click here to read it online or download it free from the Internet Archive.

artwork by Joanne Stanbridge, 2013

V is for Viceroy Butterfly

viceroy-butterfly

The Viceroy is commonly supposed to have no objectionable taste when eaten by birds, but it so closely resmbles the Monarch in its color pattern and its habits of flight that it has been assumed that birds would not touch it because of its resemblance to the distasteful butterfly.

The text is from the book Butterflies Worth Knowing, by Clarence M. Weed, (1917). Click here to read it online or download it free from the Internet Archive.

artwork by Joanne Stanbridge, 2013

U is for Underwing Moth

underwing-moth

The novelty of the first underwing moth (Catocala Amatrix) has passed away . . . These fine moths during the day sit on the trunks of trees, and are scarcely distinguishable from the bark thereof, as their grey lichen-looking upper wings entirely conceal the splendor of the scarlet, or yellow under wings.

The text is from the book Butterflies and Moths of North America, by Herman Strecker, (1878).  Click here to read it online, or download it free, from the Internet Archive. 

artwork by Joanne Stanbridge, 2013

T is for Termite

termites

The military condition. . .is most perfectly developed among the so-called white ants, or Termites, living in Africa, Southern Asia, South America, and Australia; . . .above and below the royal cell are the rooms of the workers and soldiers which are specially charged with the care and defence of the royal pair.

The text is from the book Mind in Animals, by Ludwig Buchner, (1880). Click here to read it online or download it free from the Internet Archive.

artwork by Joanne Stanbridge, 2013

S is for Seventeen-Year Cicada

seventeen-year-cicada

The most remarkable fact about this insect is that, while so far as we know the other species of Cicada pass but two or three years in attaining the winged, adult state, the present one lives under ground over sixteen years, assuming towards the end of the seventeenth the winged state.

The text is from the book Half Hours with Insects, by A.S. Packard, (1881). Click here to read it online or download it free from the Internet Archive.

artwork by Joanne Stanbridge, 2013

R is for Regal Walnut Moth

royal-walnut-moth

Nearly all caterpillars, however formidable they may look, are in fact harmless. The fiercest one I have ever seen, that of the regal walnut moth (Ceratocampa regalis) is very large, and with horny spines stretched over the head, which when disturbed he shakes in a threatening manner, is said to be perfectly harmless.

The text is from the book Among the Moths and Butterflies, by Julia P. Ballard, (1890). Click here to read it online, or download it free, from the Internet Archive.

artwork by Joanne Stanbridge, 2103