Borderland State Park, Northwest Trail   Leave a comment

There were no other cars at the trailhead, so I was happy to be able to visit my favorite insect hunting grounds.

But first a beautiful beetle found at home.  Arrhenodes minutus, a kind of weevil.

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EDIT: Identified by iNaturalist as Limonius basilaris.

I have been warned that most Elaterids really can’t be identified very well.  Still a beautiful creature.  *Could* be Sylvanelater cylindriformis.  But could be Hemicrepidius nemnonius.  The hind angles of the pronotum seem more like the latter; not sure about the “hairiness”.  And could be Cardiophorus gagates

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My first Psocoptera!!!  Polypsocus corruptus.

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A Geometrid, Hollow-spotted Plagodis, I think.

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Exciting!  This belongs to Coniopterygidae!  A relative of lacewings and ant-lions, but much smaller.

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Will probably never know which Diptera this is

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Cicindella sexguttata, Six spotted tiger beetle.

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Ichneumonoidae

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What a beautiful, beautiful lady (with a long ovipositor).  Odontocolon, in Xoridinae.  Wikipedia mentions that these have a tooth on the femur of the hind leg, which you can see in the photo.  It was suggested that these may be used to clean and comb the ovipositor.

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Leucauge venusta.  I just like getting to see the hairs on on the femurs of the IV leg.

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Tiphiinae, Tiphia sp.

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Ichneumonidae, Ichneumoninae.

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Oak leaf rolling beetle, Synolabus bipustulatus

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Philodromidae, Philodromus.   Beautiful shiny abdomen.  I turned off the flash for some of the shots to try to get the shininess better.  Two different individuals here, not adjacent to each other.

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Shiny!

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This beetle was dead.  Tenebrionidae, I think.  Tarpela micans.  Just enjoying the colors:

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Weevil, Curculinidae, Piazorhinus scutellaris

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Geometridae, Macaria bisignata.

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Hadrobunus sp. suggested by iNaturalist.

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These belong to Eulophus, a wasp in Chalcidoidea:

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A fascinating scene.   The big fuzzy mass, plus the brown bit at the end, are a Cottony Maple Scale.  The ant is a Tapinoma sessile, which has a mutualistic relation with the scale, taking care of it and taking the sugary secretions back to the nest.

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Sarcophagidae

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Blattodean (okay, a cockroach):

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Podabrus brevicollis?

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Ampedus collaris, red-headed click beetle.

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Posted 2020-06-20 by gaurav1729 in Uncategorized

King Phillip’s Cave   Leave a comment

Also, a quick trip to Canoe River Wilderness Area in Foxboro (first time there).  Non-invert photos first.

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The breeze:

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And now the invertebrates.

A Halictid bee.  Best guess Augochlora pura, but tough to tell from this poor image.

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Acmaeodera tubulus in Buprestidae?

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A huge mass of these caterpillars.  Hemileuca lucina, New England buck moth.

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Sepsidae?

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Rhagonycha in Cantharidae, I think.

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Another sepsid?

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Tipulidae, some sort of crane fly.

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Muscoidea

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Rhagonycha

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A sawfly, maybe Tenthredinidae.

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Ugh.  No idea.  Chrysomelid?  Phyllophaga in Scarabaeidae?

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Histeridae?  Best fit I could see is Aeletes politus.  If that’s correct, it earns me the coveted “First sighting in New England other than Tom Murray” award.  Of course, Tom Murray has recorded *five* sightings already, before anyone else recorded even one.

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Rhagonycha again, I think.

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“1011 Schlaegers Fruitworm Moth (Antaeotricha schlaegeri)”

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Diapriidae.

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Leuctra laura, roll-winged stonefly.

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Emblyna in Dictynidae.  Compare https://bugguide.net/node/view/980812.

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Tipulidae.

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Some kind of ichneumonid wasp.

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Rhagio mystaceus, snipe fly.

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Tough one!  Maybe a female Hentzia.

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Ahhh…. Scorpionfly, Panorpidae.  Panorpa.  Going by https://cjai.biologicalsurvey.ca/cmw01/panwing.html, maybe P. nebulosa?

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A wasp in Figitidae.

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Ichneumonidae.

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Posted 2020-05-31 by gaurav1729 in Uncategorized

King Phillip’s Cave   Leave a comment

Again, physical distancing constrains me from my beloved Northwest Trail at Borderland State Park…the crowd of cars parked there was definitely disconcerting.

At King Phillip’s Cave.  Chrysomelid is what I’m going with right now.  Best guess is a flea beetle, such as Capraita cf subvittata.

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Unknown moth. EDIT: “3251 – Barepatched Leafroller – Pseudexentera spoliana, extremely common around oaks”

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The spider is a Salticid jumping spider, probably in Pelegrina or in Eris (cf militaris).

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Perhaps a Pompilid?  For Pompilids, long tibial spines, “also note the antennae and wing venation. Totally lacking the “horse head” discosubmarginal cell of an ichneumon and the antennae aren’t segmented enough. ”  Also: “Auplopus sp. or another Ageniellinine“.

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Platysoma leconti, in Histeridae.  Love how pleasingly plump and chonky it is.

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Love, love this Halictid.  Perhaps Lasioglossum coeruleum, “dark blue sweat bee”.

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Probably Red-necked false blister beetle, Asclera ruficollis (Oedemeridae, Tenebrionidae).  Note the depressions in the pronotum.

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Scolytinae, Scolytini: Bark beetle.

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Non-insect photos:

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I call this one “Ascension”.

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Posted 2020-05-02 by gaurav1729 in Uncategorized

Bubbles   Leave a comment

Not quite the usual nature photos.  Bubbles in a puddle of water on the counter.

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Posted 2020-05-02 by gaurav1729 in Uncategorized

King Phillip’s Cave.   Leave a comment

First insect safari of the season.  My main hunting ground, the Northwest Trail of Borderland State Park, was deluged with people — cars parked on the roads for hundreds of yards.  With Corona virus acting up, I went to King Phillip’s Cave instead.

First, a few abstract reflections on the stream.

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Perhaps a fly puparium, such as Tipulidae:

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Elateridae.  Some kind of hairy click beetle?  Sylvanelater cylindriformis  was suggested as most likely, but I don’t know how to rule out Gambrinus (aka Limonius) griseus.

EDIT: Sylvanelater cylindriformis does indeed seem correct.  Differentiated by the flares on the hind angles of the pronotum in the photo below.

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Intentionally overexposed.  Does it work?

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As always, young Leucauge venustas were everywhere.  One of the first spiders of the spring, one of the last spiders of the fall.

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Perhaps Ellychnia corrusca, winter firefly.  They were everywhere.

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This seems to be Nomada (nomad bees).  Bugguide: “ruficornis species group, Typical Nomad Bees”  maybe?

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Perhaps orchard bee, Osmia.

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Halictidae? Best guess Lasioglossum coeruleum.
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Spring azure (Celastrina ladon)

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Cyclosa conica.  Another reliable early spring spider.

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Posted 2020-04-25 by gaurav1729 in Uncategorized

Devil’s Brook   Leave a comment

Cold, rainy day.  Spent time lying on the ground to get this.

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Posted 2020-04-03 by gaurav1729 in Uncategorized

Devil’s Brook   Leave a comment

Freezing weather leads to ice and light.

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Posted 2020-02-16 by gaurav1729 in Uncategorized

Stony Brook   2 comments

A light snowfall last night made this morning a good time for a walk.

House finch:

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Posted 2020-01-19 by gaurav1729 in Uncategorized

Devil’s Rock   2 comments

I try to take a photo walk at least once every calendar month.  December was a bit of a failure in that regard, but I wanted to start the new year off right.  A rainy day meant lots of yummy droplets, and a healthy flow in the brook.

 

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Posted 2020-01-05 by gaurav1729 in Uncategorized

Joshua Tree National Park   5 comments

A four day backpacking trip, through REI.  Incredible experience!

The afternoon sun bleaches the land, so it’s probably not surprising that some of the best photos are sunrise and sunset.  Plus, during the day, the guides were driving us mercilessly, so who had time to take photos?

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Morning sunlight through a dried Joshua tree branch:

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Posted 2019-11-21 by gaurav1729 in Uncategorized