Sunday, April 28, 2019

HumBug: Spring Bug Break

Posted By on Sun, Apr 28, 2019 at 11:16 AM

click to enlarge California darner (Rhionaeschna californica). - PHOTO BY ANTHONY WESTKAMPER
  • Photo by Anthony Westkamper
  • California darner (Rhionaeschna californica).

Spring is finally, really, underway. I took a walk along the Van Duzen River got nearly 100 photos of invertebrate wildlife. There were three different kinds of dragonfly: California darners, variegated meadowhawks and a single female red rock skimmer.

click to enlarge Variegated meadowhawk (Sympetrum corruptum). - PHOTO BY ANTHONY WESTKAMPER
  • Photo by Anthony Westkamper
  • Variegated meadowhawk (Sympetrum corruptum).
This is the third year I've photoed the latter species here despite the fact that in all my books it is listed as a desert creature. To the best of my knowledge, I'm the only person ever to report this species from Humboldt County.
click to enlarge Red rock skimmer female (Paltothemis lineatipes). Males are brick red with black markings. - PHOTO BY ANTHONY WESTKAMPER
  • Photo by Anthony Westkamper
  • Red rock skimmer female (Paltothemis lineatipes). Males are brick red with black markings.
Rustic anglewings were the most common butterfly taking up stations and aggressively defending their territory against all comers.
click to enlarge Rustic anglewing (Polygonia faunus rusticus) on fringe cups. - PHOTO BY ANTHONY WESTKAMPER
  • Photo by Anthony Westkamper
  • Rustic anglewing (Polygonia faunus rusticus) on fringe cups.
There were quite a few painted ladies, all showing faded colors and quite a bit of wear.
An intricately patterned Mylitta crescent butterfly put in an appearance, as well as the first tiger swallowtail I've seen so far this year.
click to enlarge Mylitta crescent (Phyciodes mylitta) on wild blackberry flower. - PHOTO BY ANTHONY WESTKAMPER
  • Photo by Anthony Westkamper
  • Mylitta crescent (Phyciodes mylitta) on wild blackberry flower.

Quite a few tiger beetles ran ahead of me as I walked through the sandy places, many of them paired up.
click to enlarge Oregon tiger beetle (Cicindela oregona oregona) displays a wicked set of chompers. - PHOTO BY ANTHONY WESTKAMPER
  • Photo by Anthony Westkamper
  • Oregon tiger beetle (Cicindela oregona oregona) displays a wicked set of chompers.
Here and there toad bugs hopped and skittered ahead as well.
click to enlarge Toad bug (Gelastocoridae species) has extremely good camouflage on the sand where it can be found. - PHOTO BY ANTHONY WESTKAMPER
  • Photo by Anthony Westkamper
  • Toad bug (Gelastocoridae species) has extremely good camouflage on the sand where it can be found.
A bald faced hornet buzzed by on her way to a dead stick that she commenced to gnaw on, probably making wood pulp to build a paper nest. And I saw one of my favorites, our local fairy moth.
click to enlarge Ocean spray fairy moth (Adela septentrionella) on poison oak. - PHOTO BY ANTHONY WESTKAMPER
  • Photo by Anthony Westkamper
  • Ocean spray fairy moth (Adela septentrionella) on poison oak.
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