Sunday, May 6, 2018

HumBug: A 10-year Mystery

Posted By on Sun, May 6, 2018 at 10:54 AM

click to enlarge An as-yet unidentified scarab beetle. - PHOTO BY ANTHONY WESTKAMPER
  • Photo by Anthony Westkamper
  • An as-yet unidentified scarab beetle.

About 10 years ago I found a round black beetle about the size of a large pea in my dog's water bowl. I could tell right away it was a scarab. A closer inspection revealed it had an impressive horn on the tip of its nose. Although I wasn't actively collecting, it was impressive, it was dead, I still had the tools and I hated letting it go to waste.

Looking for something to try out my new Canon 6D Mark II in conjunction with my StackRail, I got the little scarab out. It broke in two so I glued it back together. Unfortunately, I didn't have any museum-sanctioned insect repair adhesive so I used some “Head cement” from my dry fly tying kit. It didn't turn out to be the best choice but I did manage to get the little critter repaired, positioned and, 238 images later, processed into one image.

Identification has been challenging so far. It might be a burrowing scarab. While seldom seen, they are more common than one might think since they don't usually come out into the world of humans and deadly dog bowls.

click to enlarge An endangered San Francisco lacewing. - PHOTO BY ANTHONY WESTKAMPER
  • Photo by Anthony Westkamper
  • An endangered San Francisco lacewing.
A walk along the Van Duzen River today yielded another uncommonly seen critter, a San Francisco lacewing (Nothochrysa californica), which is considered an endangered species. As rare as it is, I can't find any references as to its life history. Likely as not, like their green and brown cousins, they are predators of tiny insects like aphids.

click to enlarge A tiny fairy moth on an English daisy. - PHOTO BY ANTHONY WESTKAMPER
  • Photo by Anthony Westkamper
  • A tiny fairy moth on an English daisy.
To round out my day, I saw a favorite I've been expecting: a tiny fairy moth. They are the only species of moth hereabouts with such luxuriously long antennae. We can usually expect to see them for a couple of weeks at this time of year.


  • Pin It
  • Favorite
  • Email

Tags: , , ,

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Readers also liked…

more from the author

Latest in HumBug Online

© 2018 North Coast Journal

Website powered by Foundation