Arboretum: Bussey Hill Trees and Insects

Late last week, I went to the Explorers’ Garden on Bussey Hill on a pleasant, sunny day. A few butterflies passed me by but did not perch. The eastern kingbird below paused at a the top of a crabapple tree. In about a month, this kingbird will probably make its way to South America for the winter.

Eastern kingbird in a crabapple
Eastern kingbird

The crabapple tree also sported a blue dasher dragonfly. This one’s a female.

Blue dasher dragonfly perched
Blue dasher dragonfly

I saw a harvestman in a nearby tree. These arachnids are sometimes called daddy longlegs. They are closely related to spiders but differ from them in having one fused body segment, no venom or fangs, and an inability to produce silk. This one may be in the Leiobunum genus.


A colorful leafhopper — yellow, green , and slightly purple — inched away from me, before taking flight. This is probably the adult form of Coelidia olitoria. I had only seen nymphs of this species so far this year.


Pokeweed (Phytolacca americana) is starting to produce berries.

Unripe pokeweed berries
Unripe pokeweed berries

Two exotic trees caught my attention. Chinese pearlbloom (Poliothyrsis sinensis) sported yellow bell-like flowers.

Chinese pearlbloom flowers
Chinese pearlbloom flowers (accession 1036-85-A)

Tibetan filbert (Corylus tibetica) had some very spiny-looking fruit. I found more information on this tree under the synonym Corylus ferox.

Tibetan filbert fruit
Tibetan filbert fruit (accession 113-98-A)

I scared up this moth, a clover looper (Caenurgina crassiuscula), as I walked across a field of grass. Makes sense to find it here among an abundance of two of its host plants: grass and clover.

Clover looper moth
Clover looper moth

Close up, its head and antennae look like they belong to some prehistoric beast. Thanks to Ross Hill on BugGuide for the ID.

Clover looper moth
Clover looper moth close-up
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