Spring arrives to the prairie garden

March came in like a lion. Then it became a grizzly bear, a shark, then, I think, a Tyrannosaur. Last week’s storm brought enough snow to close the University.


But today’s weather was a welcome change. Sunny with temps in the 60s, the last of the snow melted into the prairie garden. March has indeed gone out like a lamb.

So I dusted off my camera and went bug hunting. While the arthropod fauna is still meager this early in the season, the garden did yield some treasures. The photos below were all taken around 2 this afternoon.

A sawfly warms itself on a fence post.

Tetramorium caespitum, the pavement ant.
A chalcidid wasp.
The first native bee I’ve seen this year: Lasioglossum!
Dipluran hexapods (Campodeidae) are quite common under stones. Diplurans are not true insects but their own group.
Lygaeus kalmii, the small milkweed bug. Several off these were warming themselves along the sunny south face of the house.
A flat jumping spider was well camouflaged against an old fence.
This zebra jumper (Salticus scenicus) has caught a fungus gnat).


14 thoughts on “Spring arrives to the prairie garden”

  1. I saw a similar sawfly today, too. I also saw a honey bee and a rove beetle. I didn’t get any pictures, though. Definitely excited that spring is coming. I just bought an enclosure for my cecropia moths and a net a net so I can do more collecting this summer.

  2. This is no April foolin’! A few Prenolepis imparis flew here yesterday, but it seems they’re waiting for 70F, and 68 just won’t do…

    Say, you wouldn’t happen to have a plant list for your prairie planting, would you?

    1. I went and stared at the Prenolepis nest in the front yard yesterday once the temps got over 60, but I think mine are like yours: waiting for 70, which we won’t get for at least another week.

      As to the prairie garden, it’s mostly natives but I also planted a few easy ornamentals the first year just to have some color:

      Little bluestem
      Sideoats gramma
      Bottlebrush grass
      Woolly sedge
      Swamp milkweed
      Showy goldenrod
      Rigid goldenrod
      Canada goldenrod (arrived on its own)
      New England aster
      Black-eyed susan
      Purple coneflower
      Prairie blazing star
      Rattlesnake master
      Golden alexanders
      Prairie onion
      Prairie cinquefoil
      Bee balm (ornamental vareity)
      Salvia (ornamental)
      Yarrow (ornamental)
      Prairie coreopsis

        1. Turns out to be the most aggressive plant I’ve got in there- it REALLY likes the conditions in my yard. I pulled half of it out last weekend as a precautionary measure.

  3. We should be so lucky! We (in Edmonton, Alberta) are still at least a week or two away from being snow free, and I very much doubt we will have that much diversity when the time comes. I envy your chance to exercise the equipment!

  4. Pingback: Links 4/6/13 | Mike the Mad Biologist

Leave a Reply to myrmecos Cancel reply