Insects in the Gardens – July 2012

I walked in the gardens today, looking for butterflies, and found lots of both butterflies and dragonflies.  The prairie and the wetland garden have a few blooming flowers, and even more that are just getting ready to open.

The best butterfly I found was an American Snout.  It’s a fairly uncommon butterfly, and I’ve never seen one in the city before.  If you look closely, you can see why it’s called a ‘snout’.  It has extra-long mouthparts that stick out in front of its face and make it look like it has a long nose.

American Snout – my favorite insect web site – didn’t have an American Snout listed for Minnesota, so I submitted it.  Click HERE to see it on Bugguide.


Another good butterfly – a very small one – was a Dun Skipper.


Here’s a Monarch


This is a Summer Azure – another very small butterfly.  The tops of its wings are bright blue, but you can’t see them unless it flies.  It usually rests with its wings closed, like this.


Silver-spotted Skipper


There were also plenty of dragonflies.

This is the smallest of the 3 species I saw.  It’s a White-faced Meadowhawk

Here’s another White-faced Meadowhawk.


This dragonfly is much larger.  It’s a Widow Skimmer.


Another Widow Skimmer.  Both of these are either females or young males – they have black patches on their wings.


Here’s an older male Widow Skimmer – it has a white stripe as well as the black patch on each wing.

Marcie O’Connor
July 10, 2012