Readers’ wildlife photographs

Today we have a potpourri of photos from various people who sent in one or a few. The first is from regular Stephen Barnard (all photographers’ notes are indented):

Cedar Waxwings (Bombycilla cedrorum) sharing a large insect of undetermined species.

Reader Ivan Romic found a mimetic moth larva of a kind I’ve mentioned before; it mimics a broken twig as a form of camouflage. I suspect this is a buff-tip moth (Phalera bucephala).

My name is Ivan Romic, I am a PhD student in Japan. Today I saw two mimicry posts on your webpage and thought I could share photos of the moth I noticed few weeks ago.
I took photos at Mount Koya in Wakayama Prefecture, south of Osaka where I live. It is UNESCO World Heritage sight famous for numerous Buddhist temples and the largest graveyard in Japan (Okunoin graveyard).  The graveyard is set in the forest where some of the cedar trees are more than a thousand years old. This is where I noticed that this particular piece of tree had tiny legs. Just to be sure, I gently touched it and it moved a bit.
I am not sure if photos are detailed enough for your webpage, but I didn’t want to disturb the moth to get him to spread his wings for the better photo. I also don’t know the species, so maybe readers can help with the identification.

Reader Christopher Moss found a Northern short-tailed shrew, one of the few venomous mammals. It’s also voracious, consuming up to three times its weight in food every day.

Finally managed to get a picture of this lad amongst the detritus left by my onanistic (get it?) squirrels. Blarina brevicauda, famous for red teeth and venomous saliva.

Here’s a photo I found on the Internet of its red teeth:

Christopher also found an Eastern chipmunk (Tamias striatus) afflicted with a botfly, a parasite that also invaded me once, but it’s much more serious in a smaller creature. I expect the animal will survive after the botfly exits.

The short-tailed shrew isn’t my only new resident. It seems one of my chipmunks has a bot fly on the belly. I don’t have a hope of catching her, so I shall simply feed her well and hope the fly emerges and she heals.

Nikon F6, 28-300mm lens, home developed color film:

These are from Anne-Marie Cournoyer in Montreal, where there’s been a butterfly invasion:

It has been a few years since we have seen Monarchs [Danaus plexippus] in our garden. What a delightful surprise! This summer has been very rainy so far, so the flowers are blooming whenever we have a bit of sun. Monarchs truly enjoy our echinaceas! We are happy to provide sustenance for these great travellers!


  1. Posted August 5, 2017 at 7:48 am | Permalink

    Nice pics, but the butterfly is not a Monarch!!!

    • Posted August 5, 2017 at 8:02 am | Permalink

      Yes. It is a painted lady. The 2nd picture is especially nice, though.

  2. Posted August 5, 2017 at 8:59 am | Permalink

    Not a Monarch but a Red Admiral, Vanessa atalanta (also a migrant butterfly).

  3. David Klotz
    Posted August 5, 2017 at 9:08 am | Permalink

    Definitely a painted lady (Vanessa cardui). I photographed one on a purple coneflower (Echinacea purpurea) in our yard just last weekend.

  4. Anne-Marie Cournoyer
    Posted August 5, 2017 at 10:44 am | Permalink

    Gee…I am happy to learn from my mistake! Thank you guys!!! I appreciate it greatly!

  5. Mark R.
    Posted August 5, 2017 at 12:57 pm | Permalink

    I’ve seen a lot of shrews out here in Washington this Summer. It’s been dry, dry, dry (if it doesn’t rain by August 7th, and the forecast says it won’t, we’ll beat a 1951 record). Anyway, they are neat little mammals. I’ve never had a camera ready, but I’d love to snap a photo of one. I don’t know the species, but there about the size of an adult thumb. The Northern short-tailed shrew looks rat size, but it’s hard to tell.

    Stephen, the warm light you captured on those waxwings is gorgeous.

    The 2nd butterfly photo sure is purty. 🙂

  6. Diane G.
    Posted August 6, 2017 at 1:41 am | Permalink

    Cool & interesting shots all–thanks for submitting them!

    Christopher, loved your squirrel modifier. 😀

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