Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Cades Cove, Labor Day Weekend 2016: Bugs

I'm going to write several posts about our long weekend in Cades Cove. Cades Cove is located in the northwestern (Tennessee) portion of Great Smoky Mountains National Park. We live close to the North Carolina part of the park and have explored quite a bit of it, so it was nice to cross the border this time. This was our first-ever visit to Cades Cove, but it won't be our last.

I have lots of nice pictures of views, family, mushrooms, and activities, but today's post focuses on bugs. We saw lots and lots of bugs! At night, the katydids were all over our campsite.

Katydid - I believe this is Microcentrum rhombifolium - greater angle-wing katydid.
Katydid - another angle

We didn't do much hiking on this trip, but we did hit the 0.8-mile nature trail at the campground. We got a few good mushroom pictures (mushroom post to come!) and this cool one of a spiderweb.

Spider web - seen on the nature trail at the campground

Speaking of spiderwebs, there was a spider outside the bathrooms at the campground who built/repaired the most elaborate web each night. We stopped to look at it every time we went to (or walked past) the bathrooms.

Our spider friend outside the bathrooms.
We admired her webs for two nights until someone destroyed it. :(

Unfortunately, some spider-hating tourist ripped off the top half of the spiderweb. Our final morning at the campground, we went to see it but it was gone.

Anisomorpha buprestoides (Southern two-striped walkingstick)?

We weren't sure what to call the bug above. I figured it was some kind of walkingstick, but I wasn't sure because it seemed a little fat for a walkingstick. And each one we saw had a second, much smaller walkingstick on its back. I called it a "family bug," as I wasn't sure if it was (1) a mama carrying a baby, or (2) a daddy and a mama making a family. I looked it up when I got home, and it looks like it was indeed a mama and a daddy. It seems to be a Southern two-striped walkingstick, though I don't remember seeing stripes (and I can't tell if there are any in this photo).

Okay, enough bugs! (In hindsight, I wish I had taken more bug pictures. We saw and admired many more than you're seeing in these photos.)

My next post will feature mushrooms, or view, or family ... or something.

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