Posts Tagged 'New York'

Mole Cricket

Jumpin’ creepers! A mole cricket: the European Mole Cricket Gryllotalpa gryllotalpa? iNaturalist seems to think so. Found on the NY/CT border recently.

There is a Northern Mole Cricket (Neocurtilla hexadactyla) found in Massachusetts and, belying its name, further south, but there are no Westchester Co. iNaturalist reports for it. Is this the song that Henry David Thoreau referred to:

“It is the sound associated with the declining year — and recalls the moods of that season. It is so unobtrusive yet universal a sound, so underlying the other sounds which fill the air — the song of birds, rustling of leaves, dry hopping sounds of grasshoppers, etc. — that now in my chamber I can hardly be sure whether I hear it still, it so rings in my ear.”
***

A crazy blog fundraising idea.

Another crazy idea: Brooklyn Bird Club lecture tonight on stopping the slaughter of birds crossing the Mediterranean.

Backswimmer

Notonectidae family backswimmer, so named because they swim upside-down. They pack a bite — more of a tube-like harpoon’s jab — belying their size. These bugs go after prey bigger than themselves. Some species hunt tadpoles and fish, others other insects. I understand their bite stings like the dickens. Their hid legs are like oars on a scull.

Sometimes these are called water boatmen, but true water boatmen are of the Corixidae family and swim right-side up.

Caterpillars

In case I spoiled your breakfast with the carnivorous devouring of an adult Monarch’s brain, here’s the famous caterpillar stage of Danaus plexippus. Spotted in Virginia recently.Although the Yellow Bear caterpillar is named Spilosoma virginica, this one was spotted in Westerchester Co., NY. It’s a Tribble! And it looks like it might have some mites on it. The moth of this species is resolutely unspectacular, but the caterpillars are, in David L. Wagner’s words, “exceedingly variable in coloration, ranging from beige or yellow to dark red-brown or nearly black.” The very long hairs are key to ID. Here’s an example from Staten Island. Another from Prospect Park.Insert exclamation point. This is the Redhumped Caterpillar (Schizura concinna). Nothing else looks like it in these parts. The raised rear end is a defensive posture, one of a number of which-end-is-which caterpillar strategies . Such flamboyant patterns (check out Wagner’s book, Caterpillars of Eastern North America, for an excellent guide to the amazing world of caterpillars) are warnings. Or fake-outs. This specimen was found on the same property as the Yellow Bear.


Share

Bookmark and Share

Join 579 other followers

Twitter

Nature Blog Network

Archives