Field and Swamp: Animals and Their Habitats

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Flat River Waterfowl Impoundment, Mangum, Durham County, NC

Created by the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission to provide a food and water alternative source to areas flooded by dams for migrating birds, this place consists of artificially created ponds that provide water even during droughts.   Bitter Sneezeweed takes over this area in midsummer, especially during hot, dry times, drawing many species of butterflies and day-flying moths.  The Flat River and the woods surrounding it constitute a different type of habitat next to the impoundment; these show the effects of historical human development, e.g., mills, dams, roads and introduced plants such as rosebushes and the occasional English Ivy.  For a description of the area, see Butner-Neuse Gameland maps.  For directions, see the live map.

A windy moment, 1/29/11 Marsh view, 10/18/14 More trees here, 1/29/11 The Flat River itself, 1/29/11.  Photo by Karl D. Gottschalk Swamp Milkweed seeds, 1/29/11          

NC  5/16/17

Silvery Checkerspot Same Silvery Checkerspot Silvery Checkerspot Clay-colored Leaf Beetle (Anomoea laticlavia) Same Clay-colored Leaf Beetle (Anomoea laticlavia)


Jumping spider (Phidippus princeps) Same jumping spider Oxeye Daisy Fowler's Toad  


Ashy Clubtail Crab spider Redbelly Water Snake American Lady  


Mourning Cloak Juniper Hairstreak Crab spider with Tarnished Plant Bug prey and flies American Lady Rhopalid plant bug

Crown Vetch Flower fly (Orthonevra genus) Fowler's Toad Great Spangled Fritillary Same Great Spangled Fritillary

Toad bug Toad bug Tumbling flower beetle Tarnished Plant Bugs Viceroy

Scarab beetle Billbug Mystery wildflowers Wasp (Scolia nobilitata) Moth

Zebra Swallowtail A vanishing species in this area: the officially "invasive" Oxeye Daisy.      


Sleepy Orange Common Buckeye Another Common Buckeye  


Longhorn bee (Eucerini tribe) Common Buckeye on Chinese Lespedeza Halictid bee on Common Mullein Robber fly Wasp (Scolia nobilitata)

Silvery Checkerspot Pearl Crescent Another Pearl Crescent Spangled Skimmer Three weevils on Bitter Sneezeweed

Mating billbugs with interloper Fungus weevil (Trigonorhinus limbatus). This one has capitate antennae.      


American Snout Question Mark Red-banded Hairstreak Picture-winged fly (Tritoxa flexa) Dogbane Beetle

Owlet moth (Spragueia leo) Hackberry Emperor Passionflower Passionflower  

Red Admiral Trailing Wild Bean Pearl Crescent Sleepy Orange  


Black Swallowtail Viceroy Pearl Crescent Variegated Fritillary  

Great Fritillary Moth and billbug on Oxeye Daisy Recent metamorph Eastern Pondhawk Everlasting Pea  

Cabbage White Wild Onion Grass Clover?  

Katydid on a large moth caterpillar Venus' Looking Glass Jumping spider (Phidippus clarus)    


Swampy area More swamp Grass Common Dandelion Megachilid bee


Highs were in the high 70s, and it was unpleasantly hot.

Variegated Fritillary Seven-spotted Ladybug Beetle Common Buckeye, with reddish hindwing Checkered skipper  

Heal-All (Prunella vulgaris) Flower fly Cabbage White on aster Puffball Swamp Milkweed pods with seeds


This was a mild, very windy day.  The water was very low, but covered with duckweed.  No migrating birds appeared, although several Northern Mockingbirds were sitting in one tree.

White-M Hairstreak.  Part of the near hindwing (including the bottom half of the red spot) has been torn off, showing the deep blue dorsal side on the far hindwing. Cloudless Sulphur Mourning Cloak Moth (Epipagis huronalis) American Snout


Bee fly (Xenox tigrinus) Green Heron Checkered skipper Hackberry Emperor  

Swamp Rose Mallow, one of hundreds bloomin Common Mullein, with a sideways thumbnail problem Moth Mullein Scoliid wasp (Scolia nobilitata) on Bitter Sneezeweed.  ID thanks to Brian Bockhahn. Red Admiral (ventral view), hiding in the shade Sleepy Orange


Jumping spider (female Phidippus clarus), with prey Mating Robber flies (Diogmites neoternatus) Thread-waisted wasp (Ammophila genus) and two small weevils on Bitter Sneezeweed Variegated Fritillary Robberfly, with wings partially open


Dogbane Beetle Male Eastern Amberwing Hackberry Emperor Colorado Potato Beetle Male Spangled Skimmer

Aphid and exuvia.  White material on the aphid may be unremoved part of exuvia. Backswimmer Toad Bug, seems to have growths on its back: they do seem to help with camouflage.  

Broad-headed bug Adult male Eastern Pondhawk Male Eastern Pondhawk transitioning from recent metamorph (green) to adult (blue except for the head) Salt Marsh Moth (Estigmene acrea) Moth caterpillar


Pearl Crescent Variegated Fritillary Male Eastern Tiger Swallowtail Butterflies on Common Milkweed: Tiger Swallowtails and what seems to be a Great Spangled Fritillary

Carolina Rose Yellowbelly Slider.  ID thanks to Brian Bockhahn. Same Yellowbelly Slider (newly emerged from duckweed-covered swamp)      


Putty Root Orchid leaf        

Durham, NC  10/27/10

Clouded Sulphur Orange Sulphur Female Sachem on Brazilian Verbena Variegated Fritillary Cabbage White

Milkweed seeds emerging from pod Fungus beetle, maybe Asian Oak Weevil White Morning Glory (Ipomoea lacunosa) Bitter Sneezeweed Aster - unusual.  Only Daisy Fleabane flowers have this many petals.  


Brown Stink Bug (Euschistus servus) Field Cricket      


Variegated Frillary Eastern Tiger Swallowtail Monarch Viceroy Mating Cloudless Sulphurs The male was on top, carrying the upside-down female during intermittent flights. Sleepy Orange  

Checkered skipper Gray Hairstreak Regular Orange Sulphur Albino Orange Sulphur


Broad-headed Bug Ailanthus Webworm Yellow-collared Scape Moth Large Milkweed Bug on milkweed pod Infested milkweed pod with Large Milkweed Bug.  Several more were deeper inside, hiding under the seeds.  

American Bird Grasshopper Flower fly, Eristalis genus      


Silvery Checkerspot Dun Skipper (on Bitter Sneezeweed), discovered and IDed by Randy Emmitt Crab spider Clouded Skipper Orange Sulphur, the only one I saw

Silvery Checkerspot Zebra Swallowtail Question Mark Mating Silvery Checkerspots  


Red Admiral Passionflower, one of about 10  Sleepy Orange Jumping spider (Phidippus clarus)  

Common Sootywing, discovered and IDed by Randy Emmitt Question Mark Leaffooted Bug Obedient Plants Mating Variegated Fritillaries


Mating picture-winged flies (Tritoxa genus) Bomber Fly (Heterostylum robustum) Cloudless Sulphur Carolina Dayflower, near the Flat River Swamp Milkweed (Ascepias incarnata), Flat River Impoundment, Durham, NC, 8/15/10

Exposed Bird Dropping Moth (Tarache aprica), on a pokeweed stem A crambid snout moth (Epipagis huronalis).  ID thanks to Maury J. Heiman.      

Copyright © 2010-2019 by Dorothy E. Pugh.  All rights reserved.  Please contact for rights to use photos.


Flat River Impoundment area: Continue southwest from the Lake Michie Dam Road turn ("A") to the Flat River Impoundment, on the other side of the road (a very short distance).  The impoundment stands out on the map: the green and brown stripes are square artificial ponds.  A loop path surrounds some of them.

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