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Old 07-25-2010, 01:42 PM   #1
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Default insects on my tree sap

One of my chestnut oaks is leaking sap, and attracting visitors. I recognize the red admiral, but can you tell me what the long, black one is? A fly perhaps? And are those European hornets? They were chasing the poor butterflies away! I also had a hackberry butterfly, a diana fritillary and a baldface hornet visiting within about ten minutes.
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Old 07-26-2010, 05:39 AM   #2
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One of my chestnut oaks is leaking sap, and attracting visitors. I recognize the red admiral, but can you tell me what the long, black one is? A fly perhaps? And are those European hornets? They were chasing the poor butterflies away! I also had a hackberry butterfly, a diana fritillary and a baldface hornet visiting within about ten minutes.
The black insect nest to the red admiral is a male horse fly (Diptera: Tabanidae) in the genus Tabanus; likely the black horse fly, Tabanus atratus - see http://farm1.static.flickr.com/74/18...33f7e0a49d.jpg. The wasps do appear to be European 'hornets,' see European hornet - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia - I have found these to be quite easy to get along with as opposed to the more ill-tempered bald-faced hornets.
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Old 07-26-2010, 11:17 PM   #3
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Thanks, suunto. We usually see the European hornets hitting our windows at night going for the lights, and had read up on them in that context, so I wasn't sure about seeing them out and about during the day as well. That is one big horse fly. I have red-spotted purples hanging out by my tree now, too, although we just sprayed sealant on it to stop it leaking sap so I may have some hungry insects.

I found a rustic sphinx moth tonight, and and imperial moth, and successfully ID'd them myself. Can you recommend a good dragonfly book for North Carolina (or a good website) so I can ID all my pond visitors?
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Old 07-26-2010, 11:44 PM   #4
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dragonfly

A couple I use.....
Massachusetts Dragonfly Images and Damselfly Images
Dragonflies of North America
Odes For Beginners :: Resources :: Glossary
Which opens up to...
Odes For Beginners :: Identifying Odonates :: Odonate Families :: Dragonfly Families
Damselfly Families
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Old 07-27-2010, 07:16 AM   #5
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The best guidebook I've come across is "Dragonflies Through Binoculars (A Field Guide to Dragonflies of North America)" by Sidney Dunkle - see Review: Dragonflies through Binoculars
It is readily available through Amazon.com
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Old 07-27-2010, 04:43 PM   #6
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It is readily available through Amazon.com
Amazon.com: Dragonflies through Binoculars: A Field Guide to Dragonflies of…

Also added the book to the WG book discussion shelf:
Dragonflies through Binoculars (Dunkle)
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Old 07-28-2010, 11:03 AM   #7
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Thank you all. I hadn't found the book discussion shelf yet, but will check it out.
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Old 07-29-2010, 12:57 AM   #8
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My first book was 'Dragonflies' by Cynthia Berger. So so job covering the basics but really light on illustrations.
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