The weekend is always a great time for nature explorin. We have been doing more of this around the home front lately. Charlotte does not like missing nap and mama likes a happy baby.
One of the things we can always be sure of finding around home is bugs. And yes, these are a true bug. Meaning their forewings lie across each other at rest, they have sucking mouth parts in a beak that folds under their body and they usually have long antennae.
Beetles are not true bugs. They have chewing mouth parts and their wings meet in a straight line down their backs. I'm sure you wanted to know all that! =)
After finding the little fellows we of course turn to our handy dandy nature guides. Bugs are so much more fun if you can learn a little about them.
We thought at first we might have found Milkweed Bugs. But mama was skeptical because we lack something very important to the Milkweed Bug. Yep, you guessed it, Milkweed. So we kept looking and reading and learning. And guess what, it turns out we had found lots of Boxelder Bugs. No, we do not have any Boxelder Trees. But we do have Maple and they love Maples just the same.
Here are a few of our favorite insect identification guides.
Nature guides also tell us that the Boxelder Bug goes through a Simple Metamorphosis. (Egg, Nymph and Adult Bug) The nymphs do not have wings, their color changes as they grow in size and they eat the same things the adult bugs do.
Caleb then decided he should draw a picture of both types of bug in his nature journal. I asked if he wanted to write down some info about them or tell mama what to write. No, was his answer. Firm and concise, no. So I left it at that. Which was hard for me, but I'm learning to follow his guiding more and more.