Archive for April 2021

Moose Hill boardwalk   Leave a comment

Second foray with the new Laowa 24mm macro probe lens, using its ability to explore underwater. Instead of a vernal pool, focused on the area around the boardwalk. It becomes a swamp or a pool during spring melt, but does dry up at other times of the year.

The inside of a skunk cabbage that had been submerged by the spring melt:

Is this spirogyra?

Mosquito larva:

This beetle (which looks BB8 from Star Wars) is Desmopachria, in the tribe Hyphydrini, subfamily Hydroporinae, family Dytiscidae. I’m excited because it’s the first BugGuide report of this tribe and genus in Massachusetts — my third taxon that I have a state first (Dolichurus and Podium luctuosum are the two others).

I think this spider is Erigoninae, in Linyphiidae. It had fallen in the water, but managed to successfully get out. Going down to genus or species is very difficult, but Walckenaeria communis is a good fit, for whatever that’s worth. For example, compare with

The abdomen looks shiny from that angle, but in this photo you can see the hairs:

So many tiny springtails all over the place. It turns out that these are Sminthurides malmgreni, and that makes it the first report in BugGuide/iNat of this species anywhere in the USA. There’s another report in British Columbia, though. Combined with the Desmopachria (see below), that makes my fourth taxon that’s a first for Massachusetts.

Water mite, Hydrachnidia, with a springtail photo-bombing, as springtails do.

I saw a cluster of debris, that seemed to move when there was no current. Hmm. Then I saw another one, and another. After the fourth or fifth, it finally dawned on me that I was seeing caddisfly larvae. I’m not always the sharpest guy around.

They’re gorgeous and fascinating!

Here you can see the caddisfly larva emerging from the casing:

Water skimmer. Gerris sp? Need to rule out Aquarius cf remigis.

BugGuide: “Gerris: connexival spines not prominent, metatibia <3.3 as long as metatarsomere 1″. Whatever that means!

“Aquarius: hind tibia at least 4 times as long as metatarsomere 1; connexival spines prominent; pronotum dull; antennomere 1 more than 0.9 as long as antennomeres 2+3; adults winged or wingless”

Underwater plant, smooth and silky.

Salamander eggs. Note the gel completely surrounding the egg mass. Probably Ambystoma genus, Spotted Salamander egg clutch. Note that Jefferson salamanders do not come this far East, and blue-spotted salamander egg clutches are not this big.

A water beetle with distinctive markings. Haliplus, in Haliplidae (crawling water beetles).

another view, more of the dorsal pattern:

I’m including this information here, so I can search for it later. How to distinguish Gladicosa gulosa from Schizocosa:

This species in the particular is tough to distinguish from Schizocosa, but generally speaking, the stripe on the prosoma fans out slightly right around the eyes of Schizocosa. In Gladicosa, the PLEs visibly “cinch” the stripe in.
To illustrate:

Also: “You’ll also notice the overall shape of the prosoma in Schizocosa is rounder.”

Posted 2021-04-04 by gaurav1729 in Uncategorized