Prairie Bugs

Last week, when I was taking pics of Maximilian Sunflowers, I noticed there were quite a few creepy crawlies around. I realized I don’t feature bugs very often here even though they play a large role here on the prairie. So this post is just for them.

This is a Common Garden Katydid. 

It hides in the foliage very well as its wings resemble green leaves. They eat vegetation, and are sometimes considered pests in the garden. When a male and female meet, the male gives the female a gift: a meal in the form of a blob of gelatin for the female to eat. It’s thought the reason for this gift is so the male will be able to mate with the female for a longer periood of time since she is distracted while eating, thereby increasing his chances of passing on his genes to her offspring.

 This otherworldly creature is an Assassin bug. 

Besides its intimidating armor plating, the most disturbing feature is the long mouthpiece which is used to inject poisonous saliva into their prey which liquifies their insides so the assassin bug can then suck them out.

All together now:  “Blech!”

Here’s a female Banded Garden Spider.

Only the females make webs. Banded Garden Spiders spend the winter as tiny spiderlings. In the spring, they become active and grow throughout the summer reaching maturity in the fall. The males roam about searching for females to mate with. Later, the female lays eggs, and then dies. Her tiny spiderlings will wait out the winter just as she did before them.  

Have you seen any of these bugs?


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Cattle, corn, wheat, beans, mud, snow, ice, and drought. Plenty of fresh air and quiet. Our life is sometimes heartbreaking, sometimes joyous, but never boring.

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14 Responses

  1. Kathy says:

    These are really interesting. I’ve seen katydids, but not the other two. Sucking out the liquified insides of your prey? Yuck!!!

  2. Doe of Mi. says:

    I to have seen the katydids, but not the others. The spidie is kinda neat looking but the assassin bug is one bad looking dude!

  3. Debbie says:

    Ack! But great pics Suzanne!

    I know they all serve their purpose,but that doesn’t mean I have to like them!

    Now….about the spider……I am totally grossed out about those huge spiders in the last month or so. There is one I can see right above where I turn on my garden hose. I am always thinking what if it drops down on me when I go to turn on the hose! I will freak out!
    But I let it be. I am kind of curiously disgusted with it.

    What is this about the spiderlings waiting out the winter? Where are they?

    • Suzanne says:

      Thanks Debbie. I too steer clear of the large spiders. I know they are doing their job, but they creep me out. The spiderlings hide out in leaves and grass in the winter.

  4. Kit says:

    I am strangely fascinated by insects. I blame it on that entomology class I had to take in university.

  5. Hound Doggy says:

    I’ve got all these guys. As kids we would catch grasshoppers and feed them to the garden spiders. We’d throw them in the web and watch the spider wrap them up. Great Fun!!

  6. Tina says:

    Gross, yuck and EWWWWWWW.I will take our Black Widows,Scorpions and lizards any day. That spider looks awful.

  7. Melanie says:

    I wonder. .do you suppose the katydid gift tastes like chocolate?? Hmm! I could see where that would work out well for him!! Fun post!!

  8. Ruth says:

    I may have seen the katydid, but not the others. Man, you have different insects in Kansas than we have here. Or maybe I haven’t been paying attention? Liquid innards sounds disgusting.

  9. Teresa says:

    We have a lot of katydids here. Your pictures even make bugs look beautiful!

  10. Mandy says:

    Nope, Have never seen these creepy crawlys before but have heard of katydids.

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