Western Colorado Insects

Photo Gallery

A Gallery of Western Colorado Insect Photography

This gallery highlights western Colorado insect photography. Click on pictures for higher resolution images.

We want your insect photographs! If you have pictures you would like to post in this gallery, please contact Bob Hammon. If you can identify any of these that are not identified, or improperly identified, please let us know.

Arachnid-Spiders & Scorpions Coleoptera-Beetles Collembola-Springtails
Diptera-Flies Hemiptera-True Bugs, Aphids, Cicadas Hymenoptera-Ants, Bees, Wasps, Horntails
Lepidoptera-Moths & Butterflies Mantodae-Praying Mantis Miscellaneous
Odonata-Dragonflies & Damselflies Orthoptera-Grasshoppers, Katydids, & Crickets  
Back to Index Arachnids


Araneus gemmoides

Cat faced spider

These cat faced spiders are very visible in the fall. They are in the orb-weaver family. Click here for a fact sheet

Photo by Tami Mattics
Spider with Insect




Lactrodectrus lactans

Western Widow Spider

Western widow are common inhabitants of western Colorado. Click here for a CSU fact sheet.

Photo by Tami Mattics
Black Widow Spider


Crab spider

Crab spiders are common in western Colorado. They can be recognized by their long front 2 pair of legs.

Photo by Tami Mattics

Northern scorpion
The northern scorpion, Paruroctonus boreus, is common in desert areas across western Colorado. This one was photographed on East Orchard Mesa near Grand Junction. Scorpion
Back to Index Coleoptera

Soldier Beetles
Soldier beetles can be found in significant numbers on the flowers of Rabbitbrush. Bob Hammon took this picture in early September 2005, in Unaweep Canyon. Soldier Beetles

Longhorn Beetle

Longhorn beetles are the adult stages of round headed borers, of which many species attack dying or recently killed wood. This species was collected in a pheromone trap in a pinyon forest near Glade Park (Mesa County). Long-horned Beetle

Tetraopes tetraophthalmus

Milkweed Beetle
Milkweed beetles are longhorn beetles which feed exclusively on milkweed. This picture was taken by Bob Hammon in the gardens at the Mesa County Extension office. Milkweed Beetle
Milkweed Beetle

Root Weevil
This root weevil is a common home invader in many settings in western CO. There are several similar species. This picture was taken by Bob Hammon. Root Weevil

Lytta deserticola
This species, Lytta deserticola , was photographed by Justin Bowen in the Colorado National Monument. Colorado collections of this species are recorded from only a few desert areas of western part of the state. Beetle

Lytta nigrocyanea

Blister Beetles
These blister beetles were photographed just off of I-70 in Grand Co. Utah by Dick Colby. They are on one of the locoweeds (Oxytropis?). Blister Beetles

Nemognatha lurdia
This blister beetle is unique in that its mouthparts are modified into a tube like structure. It was photographed by Patti Susman in Grand Junction on a sunflower. Blister Beetle

Popillia japonica

Japanese Beetle
This is a picture of the first Japanese Beetle caught in Palisade, CO. The pest has now been eradiicated from the town. Japanese Beetle Adult
    Red Beetle
Back to Index Collembola

Hypogastrura sp.

Springtails are one of the most common insects in Colorado. They are sometimes found congregating on snowfields. Linda Corwine photographed these "snow fleas" on snow along a road in southern Montrose County in February 2007. Snow Fleas
Back to Index Diptera

Efferia sp.

Female Robber fly
Robber flies are predators on flying insects. This fly was photographed by Bob Hammon near Gateway (Mesa County) on Sep 1, 2005. Robber Fly

Paradejeania rutiloides

Spiny tachinid
Tachind fly larvae parasitise other insects. This species parasitises caterpillars. Adult flies feed on nectar. This one was photographed by Bob Hammon in September 2005 in Rio Blanco County. The fly is feeding on tailleaf pericome, Pericome caudata. Spiny tachinid Fly
Back to Index Ephemeroptera

Back to Index Hemiptera


Aphis nerii

MIlkweed aphid

Milkweed aphids can be found on western whorled milkweed across western Colorado. Yellow Aphids


Stink bug

  Two Spotted Stink Bug

Boisea trivittata

Box Elder Bug
View pictures of box elder bugs exhibiting carnivorous behavior. Box elder bug adult
Back to Index Hymenoptera

Bombus griseocollis

There are many species of bumblebees in western Colorado . Bob Hammon photographed this B. griseocollis flying in to a white foxtail lily at the Mesa County Extension office in 2005. Bumble Bee

Megchile sp.

Leafcutter Bees

Photos by Sami Waters.
Leafcutter Bees
Leafcutter Beehive

Chlorion aerarium

Cricket Hunter
This beautiful cricket hunter was photographed by Dick Colby in his back yard in Grand Junction. These sphecid wasps are very common in the lower altitudes of western Colorado. They specialize on hunting crickets, as the picture aptly displays. They paralyze their prey, bury it and lay an egg on it. The wasp larva then consumes the cricket. Cricket Hunter
Back to Index Lepidoptera


Danaus plexippus

Monarch Butterfly

Monarchs migrate through western Colorad during the summer and in some years can be very common. Moarch Butterfly
Monarch Butterfly (closed wings)


Checkered Skipper


This skipper was photographed by Bob Hammon at McGinnis Canyons Conservation area near Grand Junction on Sep 15, 2005. Skipper Butterfly

Brephidium exilis

Pygmy blue
The pygmy blue is the smallest butterfly in North America. Larvae feed on plants in the Polyganaceae family. This butterfly was photographed by Bob Hammon at the Mesa County Fairgrounds on Nov. 10, 2005. Pygmy Blue Butterfly


Lycaenia cupreus

Lustrous copper

This is a high altitude butterfly that flies near snowbanks in July. Click for more information. Orange Butterfly

Lycaenea rubidus

Ruddy copper Female
Ruddy coppers are common from the agricultural areas of the lower altitudes up to almost treeline in western Colorado. Bob Hammon shot this female in Gunnison County in 1985, Female Ruddy Copper Butterfly

Paratrytone snowi

Snow's Copper
Snow's copper inhabits alpine environments and is often found near remnant snow fields above treeline during July. This male was photographed by Bob Hammon on July 15, 2005 in Gunnison County. Snow's Copper Butterfly


Plebejus melissa

Melissa's Blue

This colorful blue is very common across the west. It is a common inhabitant from the lower elevation agriculturaan areas up to above treeline. Butterflies and Moths.org link Melissa's Blue Butterflies Mating
Melissa's Blue Butterfly

Noctuid larva
Bob Hammon shot this colorful noctuid moth larva on Black Mesa, Montrose CO in August 2006. Noctuid Larva

Chlosyne whitneyi

Rockslide checkerspot
The rockslide checkerspot inhabits alpine talus slopes above treeline. This picture was taken by Bob Hammon on July 1, 2005 in Gunnison County. Rockslide Checkerspot Butterfly


Euphydryas anicia

Anicia Checkerspot

The Anicia checkerspot flies across higher altitudes in Colorado. Bob Hammon shot this mating pair in 1982. Mating Checkerspot Butterflies


Junonia coenia

Common Buckeye

This colorful butterfly migrates to western Colorado. Bob Hammon shot this picture at the Mesa County Fairgrounds. Here is the Butterfliesand moths.org link. Buckeye Butterfly


Nymphalis milberti

Milbert's Tortoise Shell

This common nettle feeder can be found on the peak of any mountain in the west at some time. These were shot on a wagon wheel in a farmers field. Milbert Tortoise Shell Butterfly


Papilio rutulus

Tiger Swallowtail

Swallowtail on Lilac bush

Picture taken by Melissa Franklin (May 2007) near Collbran, CO
Swallowtail Butterfly


Colias eurytheme

Alfalfa butterfly

Alfalfa butterflies can become abundant and sometimes reach pest status in alflfa fields across the nation.

Photo by Tami Mattics.


Colias meadii

Meads sulfur

A high altitude sulfur. This mating air was photographed in Gunnison County by Bob Hammon. Click for more information. Butterfiles Mating


Euchloe ausinoides

Large marbeled white

This butterfly is sitting on a bistort in Gunnison County. Click for more information Echloealsinoides Butterfly


Pontia beckerii

Beckers White

Click for more information Butterfly


Pontia occidentalis

Western white

A common inhabitant of the western US. Here is the Butterfliesandmoths.org link


Pontia sp

This gray veined white is feeding on a willow flower in the early spring. Pierisnapi Butterfly


Erebia callias

Colorado Alpine


This is a high altitude tundra that has limited didtribution in a few western states. This picture was taken in Gunnison County CO. Click here for more information. Butlers Alpine


Neominois ridingsii

Ridings Satyr

A rangeland butterfly photographed by Bob Hammon near Maybell CO in Moffat County. Link here


Oeneis sp.


This Arctic landed on a snowbank above 12,000 ft in July. Bob Hammon shot the picture in Gunnison County.


Pachysphinx occidentalis

Poplar Sphinx

This is one of our largest hawkmoths in western Colorado. We get lots of pupae of this in the Grand Junction Extension office. Populus is the host plant. Link here Moth


Smerinthus sp

This sphinx is common across western Colorado. Moth
Back to Index Mantodae
Praying mantis



Top photo take by Tami Mattics, Olathe, CO
Bottom photo taken by Melissa Franklin, CSU Extension Grand Junction, CO

Praying Mantid
Albino Praying Mantis
Back to Index Odonata


Photo by Tami Mattics

Photo by Tami Mattics


Photo by Tami Mattics
Dragonfly on a Stick

Damsel fly

Photo by Tami Mattics
Blue Damselfly

Damsel fly

Photo by Tami Mattics
Brown Damselfly
Back to Index Orthoptera

Immature katydids
These katydids have just hatched from their egg mass. They were photographed by Bob Hammon in 2005. Immature Kaydids
Back to Index Miscellaneous

Photo by Sami Waters.
Deer Herd

This page was updated on October 9, 2013