Stony Brook Mass Audubon   Leave a comment

In summer, I often end up taking only insect photos.  I took a walk at Stony Brook Mass Audubon to correct this imbalance and take some landscapes, but many insects crept in nonetheless.

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Scirtidae.  Scirtes orbiculatus, or something very close to it:

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A sawfly in Tenthredinidae:

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Sunset and swifts:

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Posted 2019-08-03 by gaurav1729 in Uncategorized

Borderland State Park, again.   Leave a comment

Beautiful interplay of light and leaf.  I’m trying to get the crop right, so here are a few options.

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This Linyphiid (Neriene radiata, I think) caught a crane fly:

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Some more Atanycolus, I think:

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I believe that this is a tumbling flower beetle, Mordellistena trifasciata.

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Another Mordellidae member, not sure which:

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Hypsosinga, I think, but could be something like Steatoda instead?

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Probably an Oriental beetle, Anomala orientalis.

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This is an Evaniidae wasp.  If you think I was capable of identifying it by myself, you really don’t have any idea of my level of expertise!  It was waggling its abdomen up and down the whole time.  I don’t understand the behavior, but here’s what Wikipedia says:

“Evaniidae have the metasoma attached very high above the hind coxae on the propodeum, and the metasoma itself is quite small, with a long, one-segmented, tube-like petiole, and compressed laterally over most of its length (segments 2-8). The ovipositor is short and thin. When active, these wasps jerk the metasoma up and down constantly, as referenced in their common names.

And here’s an explanation I was given: ‘Basically the abdomen is flat attached basically on the top of the back end of the thorax through a thin waist and looks like a little flag that they move up and down thus “ensign wasps”.

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I think this Tenebrionid (darkling) beetle is a Haplandrus fulvipes.  Xylopinus is another possibility.

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Dolichopodidae, perhaps Condylostylus:

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Battaristis nigratomella, in Gelichiidae.

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Lovely Mutillid wasp female (aka velvet ant).  Pseudomethoca cf simillima.

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Posted 2019-07-28 by gaurav1729 in Uncategorized

Borderland State Park   Leave a comment

Lycosidae, Schizocosa.

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Tumbling beetle, Mordellidae.  Mordella marginata?

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Long legged fly, Dolichopodidae.  Maybe Condostylus.

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Tiphiinae?

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Earwig, Dermaptera:

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Muscidae?  Sarcophagidae?  I may never know.

EDIT: “Well, wing veins rule out Oestroidea, including Sarcophagidae. So I’d start with Muscoidea.  https://bugguide.net/node/view/1122748/bgimage “

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Thomisidae, Misumena vatia.

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Four toothed mason wasp (Eumeninae, Monobia cf. quadridens) with gorgeous, gorgeous blue wings:

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Eastern Pondhawk:

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An uncanny resemblance to Homer Simpson:

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Laphria robber fly (Asilidae):

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Posted 2019-07-09 by gaurav1729 in Uncategorized

Spiny oak-slug moth   Leave a comment

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Spiny oak-slug moth

Euclea delphinii, in Limacodidae (slug caterpillar moths)

Posted 2019-06-27 by gaurav1729 in Uncategorized

Borderland State Park, Northeast trail   Leave a comment

The Northeast trail never disappoints!

To lead off, this big chonk of a snapping turtle was sitting in the path.  It had the aura of a dinosaur, especially when it extended its hind legs.  As it dove in the water, watch it wave goodbye!

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I believe these are Atanycolus, in Braconidae.

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This is another Cantharidae firefly mimic.  Podabrus cf basillaris?

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This is an oak leaf rolling beetle, Synolabus bipustulatus.

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This Lycosid is in Schizocosa:

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I saw between 20 and 25 different six-spotted tiger beetles (Cicindella sexguttata) in one morning.  That’s stunning for me.  I didn’t get THE photo, but did get some decent ones.

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I love photos of insects in flight.  This is a Condystylus in Dolichopodidae, and it was taking off, not landing.

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Phidippus, I think.

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Cute little grasshopper!

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This spider is Bassaniana, in Thomisidae.

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I love Green Lacewings.  This one is in Chrysoperla.

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Female of the common whitetail, Plathemis lydia.

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This is Anyphaena genus, in Anyphaenidae.   The best fit is A. pectorosa, which has no bugguide reports anywhere in New England.  However, identifying to species by photo in Anyphaena is not reliable at all.

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This beautiful robber fly (Asilidae) is in Laphria, sericia complex.

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These beetles are in Chrysomelidae, perhaps Diachus auratus.

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Gorgeous damselfly!  Best ID is Enallagma geminatum.

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Strangalepta abbreviata:

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Araniella displicata:

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Female corporal dragonfly (Ladona genus):

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Won’t be long before I come back this way.

Posted 2019-06-16 by gaurav1729 in Uncategorized

Borderland State Park wow   3 comments

I’ve always thought King Phillip’s Rock was the best insect hunting grounds around, but I’ve officially changed my mind.  Borderland State Park, the trail that starts on Mansfield St. that connects to the Northwest Trail.  Just the first few yards, I could spend all day on.  There’s shade and there’s sun; there’s dead wood, leaf litter, shrubs and soil.

Linyphiids are always found there.  Here’s a mating pair of Neriene radiata.  Notice that the palps of the male are enlarged, because they’re transferring sperm to the female.  (The jokes write themselves.)

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Things got interesting: another male arrived, and the two started sparring for mating rights.

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And here’s another mating pair, with a better view of the enlarged pedipalps for the male.

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Here’s a Naphrys pulex.  I desperately tried to get photos of it in midair, but was mostly unsuccessful (see below for more about that).

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The jumping spider in mid-air is my white whale of photos; I’ve taken more than 1000 photos.  And this is the best I land up with?

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Cerambycidae: Cyrtophorus verrucosa (tribe Anaglyptini).

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Ichneumonidae, Xoridinae:

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It seems that there’s a healthy population of velvet ants here, I’ve seen multiple in the same spot.  This seems to be Pseudomethoca cf simillima.

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I was ready to file this away as a firefly such as Pyropyga.  But it’s actually a Cantharid firefly mimic, Rhaxonycha carolina.

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A sawfly, perhaps Pergidae:

 

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Another sawfly, perhaps Tenthredinidae:

 

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Dictyniidae, probably Emblyna:

 

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Nice dramatic view of a Leucauge venusta:

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Elateridae, probably Cardiophorus gagates:

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Pompilidae, Anoplius:

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Snipe fly, Rhagio mystaceus:

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I have no idea about this fly, but it’s definitely cute:

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Weevil, Curculinidae, Piazorhinus scutellaris:

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Probably a gall wasp of some kind:

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Don’t know who this moth is:

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Stonefly, will try to pin it down further to genus/species:

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This Buffalo treehopper, Ceresa was playing peekaboo a lot:

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Angle moth?  Need to look into it further:

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Dictyniidae, Emblyna sublata:

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Pelegrina proterva:

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Syrphidae, Toxomerus marginatus:

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Every time.  Every single time I see a scorpionfly I get so excited I forget how to use a camera.  Anyway.  This is the best I got.

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Nomada bees, and a flying photo!  Nomada are cuckoo bees, and they look for other bee’s nests to lay their eggs in, kleptoparasitism.

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Six spotted Tiger Beetle: Cicindella sexguttata.

 

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Posted 2019-05-28 by gaurav1729 in Uncategorized

King Phillip’s Cave   Leave a comment

For some reason, all the orb weavers we seem to get are Cyclosa conica, Leucauge venusta, and the occasional Uloborus glomosus.  Very few of the Araneus or Argiope that other people seem to swim in.  Cyclosa conica here:

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Elateridae:

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The Uloborus glomosus I was talking about:

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A little abstract design:

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Eratoneura sp.?  Dikrella cf. cruentata?

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I really don’t know who this is.  Best guess Dictynidae.  Maybe Emblyna sublata?

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This particular pattern of Salticids is found in a lot of different genuses, and drives me crazy trying to identify it.  Maybe Eris?

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Leucauge venusta:

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Moss backlit by setting sun:

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Anyphaena cf. fraterna, maybe A. pectorosa?  Neither has many sightings in New England, and A. pectorosa would be a first.

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A gorgeous red color to the buds:

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First warm day in a while!

 

Posted 2019-05-18 by gaurav1729 in Uncategorized