Last week I spent a morning at Kickapoo State Park in rural Oakwood, IL. The Spring Break temperature high, like the week prior, averaged in the mid-80s. Arthropod and plant diversity was well ahead of schedule, being much more typical of that occurring in mid- to late April.
The most obvious insect population difference was the consistent variation in the omnipresent six-spotted tiger beetles (Cicindela sexguttata). Those encountered in Urbana, IL (Busey Woods) consistently had larger spots and markings (pictured below), while those encountered at Kickapoo State park (pictured above) consistently showed smaller spots and markings. None deviated from the site-specific patterns.
I’m always impressed by the fact that I always see or experience something new every time I go out into the field.