If you don't get down and look at the little things, you are missing the richness of life. --Robin Foster

Gallery of Insects

Anza-Borrego Desert State Park(R) & Environs
East San Diego County, California

Small Checkered-Skipper
(Pyrgus scriptura)

Small Checkered-Skipper sipping Cryptantha. Wingspan is ~ 20 - 21 mm. This small and uncommon butterfly, a long-sought-after lifer for us, was seen in Culp Valley near
Pena Springs late in the afternoon. One consequence of the Big Pine fire of late summer
2002 that completely devastated all vegetation is the abundance of mallows that came in
after the burn. Two species are here. Apricot Mallow (Sphaeralcea ambigua) is a known
hostplant of P. scriptura. Shrub Globemallow is also here in great numbers. Last October
there were dozens of Northern White-Skippers on the Globemallows, and several
White-Skippers have also emerged this spring. It may also be a hostplant for Pyrgus scriptura.
Desert Orangetip (Anthocharis cethura) male sipping nectar at Fiddleneck.

Orangetip caterpillar
feasting on Lacepod seeds (Mustard Family)
neumoeenNeumoeen's Sagebrush Checkerspot (Chlosyne acastus neumoegeni) on Orcutt's Aster shortly after emerging from its pupa. Its caterpillars eat this aster.
henneHenne's Variable Checkerspot (Euphydryas chalcedona hennei) at Desert Lotus
buck mothElectra Buck Moth (Hemileuca electra). We found this in Box Canyon displaying its underside and striped abdomen, obviously having just emerged from its pupa.
buck mothElectra Buck Moth. When we returned to it a little later, it then appeared with wings in their normal position showing the upperside.
GoldenLonghornAlkali Goldenbush Longhorn (Crossidius suturalis pubescens) eating Alkali Golden-bush. Larvae of the beetle also eat this plant.
beeassassinbeetleRobust Assassin Bug (Apiomeris crassipes) eating its prey, a Wedge-shaped Beetle (Rhipiphorus vierecki) captured on Sweetbush.
beesMale bees (Megandrena enceliae) waking up after spending a night nestled in a Buckhorn cactus flower. Females sleep in their nests, which they provision with Creosote Bush pollen.
bear beetlePunctate Bear Beetle (Paracotalpa puncticollis) on California Juniper, its larval food plant. We have seen several of these large scarabs, 20mm in length, warming up by exposing their black bellies to the sun.