Readers’ wildlife photographs

Reader Kurt Andreas’s Instagram site describes him as “a naturalist in Queens,” (a borough of New York City) as well as an “amateur dolphinologist and beeologist.”  He sent some varied photos, and his captions are indented:

Zabulon Skipper (Poanes zabulon) on Lantana sp., male, Glendale, NY (August 3, 2016)


Hoverfly (Toxomerus geminatus; female). Glendale, NY (June 10, 2016):

hoverfly Toxomerus geminatus

Leopard slug (Limax maximus). Glendale, NY (August 8, 2016). The hole seen in one of these pictures is the pneumostome, the respiratory opening of the leopard slug.

Leopard slug 1

Leopard slug 2

Bluebell / Grape hyacinth (Muscari sp.); New Paltz, NY (May 2, 2015):

Grape hyacinth

Tiger Crane Fly (Nephrotoma sp.)New Paltz, NY (May 15, 2013). I’ve noticed that casual observers think crane flies are giant mosquitos, and I try to sing their praise as non-bloodsuckers. Many crane flies do not feed on anything as adults, and the ones that do are pollinators.


Polar Bear (Ursus maritimus); Bronx Zoo, Bronx, NY (May 19, 2014):

Polar bear 2
Odontocolon sp., female. Glendale, NY (May 23, 2016) A parasitic wasp that lays its eggs in Cerambycidae and Melandryidae beetles.


And some feline lagniappe:

Kitten Mittens, New Paltz, NY; Maine Coon berserker:

DSC_0470 %282%29 (1)



  1. Posted August 26, 2016 at 7:32 am | Permalink

    Is that a real Smilodon skull?

    • steve oberski
      Posted August 26, 2016 at 7:45 am | Permalink

      Could be an ancestor of the berserker.

      • Posted August 26, 2016 at 7:53 am | Permalink


      • gravelinspector-Aidan
        Posted August 27, 2016 at 9:11 am | Permalink

        Hunted down and brought in by “kitten mittens”?
        Where are my chain-mail gloves? Chain mail codpiece?

  2. Posted August 26, 2016 at 7:44 am | Permalink

    Nice pictures. Amazing slug. Thanks.

  3. Randall Schenck
    Posted August 26, 2016 at 9:01 am | Permalink

    The green eyes on that cat…beautiful.

    If that crane fly was a mosquito you would need a transfusion after every bite.

  4. darrelle
    Posted August 26, 2016 at 9:39 am | Permalink

    That cat looks like trouble. The polar bear is shameless.

    The crane fly reminds me of the blood letting I experienced yesterday evening while putting a coat of paint on the south elevation of my house. Generally bug bites don’t bother me too much. But this was just obnoxious. I had paint and blood all over by the time I was done. Anybody watching, or listening, must have had a good laugh.

    Great batch of pictures.

    • Posted August 26, 2016 at 9:47 am | Permalink

      I think the shameless bear photo was taken from Playbear magazine.

      • JonLynnHarvey
        Posted August 26, 2016 at 12:39 pm | Permalink

        You may or may not know that is actually the title of a real gay men’s magazine launched last summer available mainly as a PDF. “Bear” is of course gay code for a relatively heavy-set male.

  5. JonLynnHarvey
    Posted August 26, 2016 at 12:33 pm | Permalink

    Technically, the study of bees is Melittology.

    I know there’s a collective term for the study of dolphins, whales, and porpoises (Cetology) but not sure if there is one just for the study of dolphins. The name comes from the Greek word for womb, since dolphins (a bit unexpectedly are mammals).

  6. Heather Hastie
    Posted August 26, 2016 at 3:01 pm | Permalink

    Great pictures!

    And I learned something new, and I’m not sure how I got to my age not knowing it – grape hyacinths and bluebells are the same thing. They’re fairly recently introduced here (maybe 150-200 years) and not that common. I love them and have always known them as grape hyacinths. I’ve heard of bluebells of course, but never seen them up close so didn’t realize they were the same thing.

    When I saw the polar bear, I thought of yoga. That might have something to do with which magazines I read for the articles. 🙂

  7. Mark Sturtevant
    Posted August 26, 2016 at 3:33 pm | Permalink

    Very good! I found myself looking around at the coon cat picture, perusing the pictures and boxed specimens. My kind of room.

    • Mark Sturtevant
      Posted August 26, 2016 at 3:40 pm | Permalink

      I think that is a ‘marbled orbweaver’ picture on the wall. Had not seen that particularly beautiful variety for decades, and would love to come across one of those beauties.

  8. Christopher
    Posted August 26, 2016 at 5:24 pm | Permalink

    Absolutely wonderful insect photos, the skipper is a lovely butterfly, so charming, and I especially like the slug. Slugs are the Rodney Dangerfield of garden invertebrates; they get no respect! I think they are fantastic, even when they nom my plants. My grandmother used to tell the story about how I got angry at her for killing slugs in her garden (with salt, of course. ew.), I forget the details, but I think it was something along the lines of “loving all of god’s creatures”. This was presumably based on what I had been told in the forced attendance of sunday bible school, plus my love of the story of Noah’s Ark, which made me something akin to a 4yr old budding follower of the Gilbert White school of religion and nature I suppose. I never could reconcile the opposing statements made by adults, like respecting god’s work, but then bulldozing a field of forest to build a mall or a church, or stomping on ants and other insects (god’s creatures, but pests so…), shooting starlings or coyotes (again, god’s creatures, but vermin…?!) and then being told, no, animals have no souls, so no animals in heaven. Thus christians themselves had planted the seeds of atheism in my little broken heart.

  9. keith cook +/-
    Posted August 26, 2016 at 8:33 pm | Permalink

    Very bright start to the day, nice shots & bit of humour, bear playing with a stick, ‘get this’ big fart now freek off!
    overactive coffee brain.

  10. Ann German
    Posted August 27, 2016 at 1:33 pm | Permalink

    excellent! welcome to the world of “being admired/envied by PCCE”

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