20170709 King Phillip’s Rock   3 comments

Taking the new macro lens for a walk.  A lot of flies and moths, and not that much by way of identification.  A wonderful walk nevertheless!

This was suggested as more likely to be a cluster fly than a Sarcophagid.  I’ll look into this in more detail; I’m not familiar with cluster flies.

DSC04737.JPG

The stiletto fly, Thereva frontalis, I think.  What is it doing with its abdomen, ovipositing perhaps?

DSC04743.JPG

DSC04837.JPG

A long-legged fly (Dolichopodidae), gorgeous as always, and a closeup.  Something like Medetera?

DSC04749.JPG

DSC04749gimp.JPG

This Salticid is probably Naphrys pulex:

DSC04755.JPG

I believe these are march flies (Bibionidae), perhaps something like Penthetria sp.  But I don’t know how to distinguish this from the dark-winged fungus gnat, Sciaridae (Epidapus or Sciara genus).  Or, for that matter, Axymyiidae.

DSC04766gimp.JPG

Perhaps a Prionyx searching for a grasshopper or a cricket to parasitize?  On further thought (look at the orange legs!) something in Sphex, like S ichneumoneus looks better to me.  In any case, it was found on a path in the woods, not necesssarily great grasshopper or cricket area.

DSC04768.JPG

Probably a tachinid fly.  A suggestion give to me was this.

DSC04789.JPG

Best guess: Toxomerus geminatus.

DSC04793.JPG

In Corinnidae, this is Castianeira longipalpa (a male).  This site helpfully adds that “Castianeira” means “endowed with a pre-eminent husband.”  These are considered ant-mimic spiders, but it doesn’t seem that close a mimic to me.

DSC04798.JPG

My ignorance of Lepidoptera is profound.  This one is close to Olethreutes fasciatana.

DSC04809.JPG

And this beauty is something close to Olethreutes astrolagana.  First July sighting in Massachusetts that was recorded in bugguide.

DSC04825.JPG

Crane flies mating, and a closeup of the eyes.  My best guess for the genus is Tipula, maybe paludosa?

DSC04830.JPG

DSC04830gimp.JPG

Probably a sepsid fly:

DSC04835.JPG

Maybe Perithemis tenera (Eastern Amberwing).

DSC04836.JPG

 

Posted 2017-07-09 by gaurav1729 in Uncategorized

20170702 Backyard   2 comments

After many years of interest in insect photography, I finally went ahead and bought a macro lens.  I got about fifteen minutes today to go into the backyard and see how it worked.  Initial impressions are very positive!  Even though about half way through the session I realized I had my Raynox filter on, reducing the depth of focus.

“Valets do it, surfer babes do it,

Even summertime Syrphidae do it.”

DSC04686.JPG

From Tom Murray’s book, I would guess Toxomerus marginatus, based on the abdominal pattern.  I don’t know if you’re allowed to guess species based on that, though.

DSC04683_gimp.JPG

 

Here’s are some surprisingly intricate leaf landscapes:

DSC04662_gimp.JPG

 

DSC04668.JPG

An assassin bug nymph.  Perhaps Zelus luridus?

DSC04695_gimp.JPG

Perhaps a katydid nymph (identified for me as genus Scudderia):

DSC04708.JPG

 

Posted 2017-07-02 by gaurav1729 in Uncategorized

Some miscellaneous wildlife   1 comment

Here is a Platycryptus undatus on my house window.

DSC04632_gimp.JPG

Aglossa caprealis, the stored grain moth.

DSC04592.JPG

A groundhog in our backyard.  My son felt they were cool, not pests!

DSC046161.jpg

Posted 2017-06-24 by gaurav1729 in Uncategorized

Bugshot Delaware   2 comments

I’ve been interested in insects for about ten years now.  Until a couple of months ago, I had never met anyone face to face with the same interests; until a couple of days ago, I had never gone on a walk with anyone else.  It’s been a completely solitary hobby, which is fine with me, but it was nice to finally have a change.

I took part in Bugshot Delaware, and had an amazing time.  The instructors, John Abbott, Alex Wild, and Piotr Naskrecki were incredibly knowledgeable and happy to share, and Kendra Abbott shared her own knowledge and took great care of the arrangements.  An old college friend Huzefa was there, too, which made it more special.

It took place at St. Jones Estuarian Reserve for a very good reason: this is the site of the great annual horseshoe crab spawning, on full moon nights in May and June (and apparently new moon nights, too, which I hadn’t realized).  Keep reading for more photos.

I’ve always been a sucker for photographs of flying insects.  John explained that 1/4000th of a second isn’t really fast enough to freeze most insects (high speed flash photography was later a major theme for the workshop).  However, I’m always happy to share my photos of insects in the air, no matter how crappy they are.  Heaven knows that each photo takes plenty of blood (from insect bites), sweat (from holding tough positions in the sun) and tears (from hours and hours of patience) to obtain.

Here’s a takeoff and a landing:

DSC04065g1.JPG

Genus Toxomerus.

DSC04067_crop.JPG

Hover fly mouthparts look weird:

DSC03882.JPG

The wheel position:

DSC04068_gimp.JPG

The luckiest single aphid in St. Jones reserve, to walk away from this encounter unscathed:

DSC04114.JPG

A millipede showing off:

DSC04140.JPG

And now for the stars of the show, horseshoe crabs.  Magnificent, magnificent beasts, materializing from the rising surf, each one a memorial to all they have survived.

DSC04172g1.JPG

DSC04177g1.jpg

DSC04254.JPG

DSC04331g1.JPG

DSC04342g1.JPG

DSC04353.JPG

Some more insects.  I fell in love with this gorgeous Dolichopodidae member.

DSC04414g2.JPG

DSC04436g2.JPG

This was either the “Charlie Brown” beetle, or the “batman” beetle:

DSC04446g1.JPG

Everyone knows that Salticids are the smartest, most charismatic and most endearing of arthropods, but not everyone knows that they can fly on magic carpets.

DSC04452.JPG

A wasp and a beetle I need to look up when I get the time (watch this space for better IDs).

DSC04460g1.JPG

DSC04467.JPG

A hairy click beetle dreaming of exploration and discovery.

DSC04490g1.JPG

Finally, an absolutely gorgeous fly identified for me by Alex as a Sepsid fly.  Beautiful purple that I didn’t know could be found in the natural world, contrasted with the glossy green thorax.  Alex also pointed out that the wings are supposed to be very bright in the UV, which is why this one just happened to be sitting on a branch, displaying his wings, playing with his ball of spit.  Pretty much the equivalent of sitting on a motorcycle wearing a leather jacket and puffing some sort of leafy green.

DSC04510g2.JPG

DSC04515g1.JPG

DSC04521g1.JPG

And here are the other photos for the sake of a better record of the arthropod life there:

DSC03852.JPG

DSC03865.JPG

DSC03918.JPG

DSC04071.JPG

Some sort of sac spider?

DSC04107.JPG

 

DSC04387.JPG

 

DSC04408rt.jpg

DSC04410.JPG

DSC04455g1.JPG

 

DSC04499.JPG

 

DSC04505g1.JPG

Rove beetles:

DSC04527.JPG

 

DSC04546.JPG

 

DSC04574.JPG

Firefly trails:

DSC04585.JPG

 

 

Posted 2017-06-12 by gaurav1729 in Uncategorized

20170528 King Phillip’s Rock   Leave a comment

For some reasons, this has always been the best place in Sharon for finding insects.  Today was no exception.

Crane fly, Tipulidae:

DSC03644_gimp.JPG

 

Snipe fly, Rhagionidae, Rhagio mystaceous

DSC03647_gimp.JPG

DSC03755_gimp.JPG

Crab spider, Thomisidae:

DSC03651.JPG

 

Perhaps Soldier beetle (Podabrus or Rhagonycha).  Perhaps a leaf beetle.

DSC03662.JPG

DSC03716.JPG

 

Brown marmorated stink bug?

DSC03674.JPG

Detail of the characteristic hairs on the fourth leg of Leucauge venusta (orchard spider).

DSC03679.JPG

DSC03682.JPG

Probably a rove beetle.

DSC03695_gimp.JPG

Alderfly, perhaps genus Sialis.

DSC03706.JPG

Linyphiidae?

DSC03715.JPG

Jumping spider:

DSC03725.JPG

I have no idea what this is.  Maybe a checkered beetle, Cleridae.

DSC03732.JPG

No idea, really.

DSC03739.JPG

Weevil:

DSC03753_gimp.JPG

Assassin bug, Reduviidae.  Zelus luridus was suggested.DSC03758.JPG

DSC03764.JPG

Treehopper:

DSC03796_gimp.JPG

 

DSC03806.JPG

DSC03808.JPG

Suggested was a dance fly (Empididae), genus Rhamphomyia.

DSC03815_gimp.JPG

Suggested as Muscoidea, Anthomyiidae.

DSC03730.JPG

Sugested as Sepsidae, Black scavenger fly.

DSC03799.JPG

A beautiful pair of vultures.  Here’s the interesting part:  I saw a vulture here, in pretty much the same exact location to the meter, about five years ago, and then saw a bobcat.  I thought it might have been following the bobcat to share in the kill.

DSC03839_gimp.JPG

 

Posted 2017-05-28 by gaurav1729 in Uncategorized

20170527 Backyard   Leave a comment

I only had fifteen minutes to spare, so what better way than to drop into the backyard and look around?  It was pretty windy, so I wasn’t able to take a lot of great photos of insects.DSC03606.JPG

 

DSC03602.JPG

 

A closeup of the surface of a leaf:

 

DSC03599.JPG

 

DSC03612.JPG

Posted 2017-05-27 by gaurav1729 in Uncategorized

20170429 Moose Hill   Leave a comment

DSC03421.JPG

DSC03428.JPG

Identified for me as a cuckoo bee, Nomada:

DSC03457.JPG

DSC03467.JPG

DSC03488.JPG

DSC03517.JPG

DSC03535.JPG

DSC03567.JPG

I believe this is a spring azure butterfly (Celastrina ladon).  Beautiful color when the wings are open, but I couldn’t quite catch that.

DSC03576.JPG

DSC03427.JPG

DSC03467.JPG

Posted 2017-04-30 by gaurav1729 in Uncategorized