The other night around 10 PM, I headed out to a big security light in my backyard (located in Pickaway County). Insects were flying everywhere, all drawn to the light. Predators, such as spiders, prowled the area looking for an easy meal. Here are a few of the creatures I came across...
onehead, as you can see from its cone-shaped head. Species wise, I'm pretty sure it is a Robust Conehead, Neoconocephalus robustus. I'll get into why later. First, this insect was massive; she was nearly the size of 3/4 of my hand or so. You might have heard one during the summer. They have an incredibly loud, constant buzz. Head over to this video to hear a recording of one. I believe this is a Robust Conehead because of its large size, the immaculate tip of its head, and the size of its ovipositor (egg-laying organ that looks like a giant stinger-type thing) which is 1.0-1.2 times the length of its hind femur. Coneheads are part of the katydid family, as you might be able to tell. The camouflage of this girl (which you can tell is a girl due to the presence of the ovipositor) is amazing; if you were by a silent one on a leaf, you would probably never notice it!
There were about ten more species of moths, a few spiders, and other odds and ends that I came across over the night. After I identify some of the other moths, I'll have a post about some of them, so stay tuned you insect-lovers!
This also shows the incredibly variety of nature you probably have in your backyard. If you ever get bored, go outside at night with a flashlight and look for the whole other world that comes alive when the sun goes down!