Archivos de Diario para julio 2016

04 de julio de 2016

Metallic Blue Lady Beetles, Coconut Palms, Haole Koa, and the Asian Tiger Mosquito

Yesterday I found a tiny blue beetle in my parents' yard, a couple miles south of Kailua Kona, Hawaii. I knew it was a beetle, and probably a lady beetle, but that was the best I could do. With the help of iNaturalist, though, I was soon able to identify it to species (although I could use a confirmation on this) as the Metallic Blue Lady Beetle (Curinus coeruleus).

I did a bit of searching online and found that Curinus coeruleus was introduced to Hawaii in 1932 to control the coconut mealy bug (Nipeococcus nipae) and the psillid (Heteropsylla cubana) , a pest of the haole koa tree (Leucaena leucocephala).

[Leucaena leucocephala was purposefully introduced in the early nineteenth century. It has since become one of Hawaii's ten worst invasive species, according to Hawaiian Plant Life (Guffsafson, Herbst, and Rundel, 2014).]

It turns out that Curinus coeruleus larvae also like to eat the eggs of the Asian Tiger Mosquito (Aedes albopictus) - which is a very good thing indeed, since this mosquito is a vector of the Dengue virus in Hawaii.

Since I'm leaving Hawaii today, I probably won't be able to find and identify Aedes albopictus before I leave. But I'll spend my last few hours in paradise looking for that little beastie.

Publicado el 04 de julio de 2016 a las 06:31 PM por swells swells | 3 observaciones | 1 comentario | Deja un comentario

06 de julio de 2016

Oriental Latrine Flies and Giant African Land Snails

I spent my last few hours in Hawaii on July 4th looking for mosquitoes. I think I found a few, too, but I was unable to catch any since I didn't have a net. I'll try remember to bring one on my next trip.

While hunting mosquitoes in my parents' yard, I ran across something else that was interesting: a dead dove (probably a spotted dove) covered with flies. And not just any flies, but big mean-looking, bug-eyed blow flies. I tentatively identified them as Oriental Latrine Flies (Chrysomya megacephala), but I'm hoping for an iNaturalist confirmation on this.

These flies lay their eggs in corpses (including food items, such as fish and meat) and feces, on which the resulting larvae feed. And if there isn't enough of that around, they have been known to settle for living human flesh, entering through an open wound and causing myiasis.

So after taking some pictures, I properly disposed of the maggot-infested dead dove. I hate to think where the dozens of escaping adults went after that.

While waiting for my flight, I noticed a boy taking pictures of something on the ground. It turned out to be land snails - lots of them. So I took a few pictures and later identified them as giant African land snails (Achatina fulica). These snails arrived in Hawaii in 1932 and have been a threat to native and cultivated plants ever since.

Publicado el 06 de julio de 2016 a las 05:39 PM por swells swells | 2 observaciones | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario

Some insects from Post Falls, Idaho

While visiting my son and his family in Post Falls yesterday, my granddaughter and I found a few interesting insects.

There were plenty of honey bees (Apis mellifora), and at least two species of bumble bees, but I was only able to get a decent picture of one. It looks to me like a Hunt's bumble bee (Bombus huntii), but I'd like a confirmation on that. Unfortunately, I didn't recognize the plants that the bees were visiting, and I didn't think to take pictures and post them on iNaturalist. Next time I'll try that!

We also saw and photographed a European paper wasp (Polistes dominula) and a small fly, which looks to me like it might be a robber fly (Asilidae), but I'll wait to see if anyone IDs it for me.

Publicado el 06 de julio de 2016 a las 05:59 PM por swells swells | 2 observaciones | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario

08 de julio de 2016

Raspberry Patch Bugs

Yesterday evening, while my wife was picking raspberries, I was looking for bugs and spiders. And I found a few, too. The first to catch my eye was a Yellow Douglas Fir Borer (Centrodera spurca). This guy was just hanging out on a raspberry leaf and didn't seem to mind a close-up photo.

My wife found some bugs (true bugs, that is) in her raspberry bowl. A green stink bug, that looks to me like it belongs in the genus Chlorochroa; and a small (~ 4 mm) brown bug, that the best I can do is say it is in the Hemiptera order. It may even be a Chlorochroa nymph for all I know.

But the coolest thing we found in the raspberry patch was a yellow crab spider. It's bright yellow color made poor camouflage on the red raspberry. I wanted to call it the Goldenrod Crab Spider (Misumena vatia ), but I couldn't see any red stripes on the outside of the abdomen. So I left it at family Thomisidae.

A bit earlier in the afternoon, I found a bald-faced hornet (Dolichovespula maculata) busily chewing up some wood on a carved walking stick. I suppose she was using the wood fiber to make a nest, which is probably in my backyard somewhere. I hope I don't find it the hard way.

Publicado el 08 de julio de 2016 a las 03:40 AM por swells swells | 4 observaciones | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario

Library Bees and Flies

I stopped by the library today to return a few items - and wouldn't you know it - there were lots of cool things buzzing around the flowers bordering the sidewalk. So I had to go back to get my camera.

There were two species of bees, one was a bumble bee (genus Bombus) but the other I can only ID to family (Apidae).

I couldn't do much with the two flies, either. I'm hoping someone will help me ID them.

8 July 16 update:
The unknown bee on the pink flowers is a European Wool Carder Bee. (Anthidium manicatum), a mason bee (family Megachilidae) that was accidentally introduced to the United States in 1963. Since then it has spread from the east coast to California, where it was first observed in 2007. It is called a "wool carder" since the females shear off the hairs of woolly plants and then carry the "wool" back to their nest. The males are super aggressive, driving off any intruders to their flower patch. (Thanks villu.)

The unknown bumble bee has been identified as Bombus appositus, the white-shouldered bumble bee. It is native to western North America. (Thanks mdwarriner.)

Publicado el 08 de julio de 2016 a las 04:27 AM por swells swells | 4 observaciones | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario

Yard Birds

Now that I've got my camera working so that I can upload pictures to iNaturalist, I'll start adding birds. I'm going to start from scratch, rather than include previously taken pictures since the details of when and where might not be clear.

Publicado el 08 de julio de 2016 a las 04:58 AM por swells swells | 4 observaciones | 1 comentario | Deja un comentario

10 de julio de 2016

How to create an iNaturalist yard list

Yesterday I created a iNat yard list, which is pretty easy to do. Here's how:

First create a "Place" by selecting "Places". Then click on "add a new place" and zoom in on the map until you find your yard. Click the cursor at one corner, then another, and continue until you've defined the polygon that corresponds to your yard. Give it a name and you've established your yard as a "place" in iNat.

To create a yard list, go to "Lists", select "New List", check "Make it a Life List", and type the name of the "place" that you gave your yard.

That's it. Now you have your own yard list that will be automatically populated with every observation that you make in your yard.

Publicado el 10 de julio de 2016 a las 04:33 PM por swells swells | 8 comentarios | Deja un comentario

16 de julio de 2016

The Nez Perce National Historical Park, Spalding, Idaho

I am participating in a phenology study at the Nez Perce National Historical Park in Spalding, Idaho. My role is to periodically visit individual plants of eight nationally tracked species to record their time and degree of leaf set, flowering, fruiting, etc.

While checking on my plants, I couldn't resist taking a few iNaturalist pictures - 67 observations from 43 taxa, with 19 life list firsts.

My favorite is the River Jewelwing, but there were lots of other cool species in various stages of identification.

Publicado el 16 de julio de 2016 a las 11:09 PM por swells swells | 8 observaciones | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario

17 de julio de 2016

A trip to Boise

My wife, Carole, attended the Idaho State Bar Annual Conference in Boise on July 13-15. I tagged along to keep her company and look for iNat critters.

I drove to Lucky Peak Reservoir on Thursday, and went on a hike at Foote Park. Among the 28 observations from 24 taxa was a Great Basin Rattlesnake, Western Fence Lizard, a Velvet Ant, Pacific Spiketail Dragonfly, a couple of Cooper's Hawks, and an Antlion (Brachynevurus).

Before leaving on Friday, I went for a walk along the Boise River and saw a Variegated Meadowlark and a Black and Yellow Mud Dauber.

Publicado el 17 de julio de 2016 a las 11:02 PM por swells swells | 8 observaciones | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario

18 de julio de 2016

The PCEI Nature Center

The PCEI (Palouse Clearwater Environmental Institute) Nature Center is only about a half mile from my house. It has about 17 acres of natural space that includes wetlands and hiking trails. I often go there to watch birds and other wildlife.

So today my wife Carole and I created an iNaturalist "Place" for the PCEI Nature Center. Now anytime anyone enters observations within the boundaries of the Nature Center the observations will be recorded automatically.

We started it with 16 observations from 15 taxa -- the coolest one being a bee fly in the genus Systoechus.

Publicado el 18 de julio de 2016 a las 12:02 AM por swells swells | 6 observaciones | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario