|Platycentrus acuticornis Montezuma Wells, Yavapai County, Arizona, USA|
May 30, 2010...
|Enchenopa sp. (undescribed)|
Florida Canyon, Pima County, Arizona, USA
November 19, 2010
|Santa Rita Lichen Grasshopper, Leuronotina ritensis, Ruby Rd, AZ|
Anyway, all observations I know of are from AZ, so I'd be curious to see any from other areas - Sonora Mexico probably has them, too....
The grasshoppers seem to be confined to rocks with those specific encrusting lichens, so I assume they also feed on them,
By the way, the hind wings are bright orange
|Sphingicampa montana (Syssphinx)|
All of them live in leguminous trees or bushes with leaves broken down into little leaflets, like mimosa and mesquite. I had no good daytime photo (I borrowed this one from Ken Cave)... I usually don't see the caterpillars during the day because they are so well camouflaged. All the white markings and even more so the reflective bits break down the shape of the big caterpillar among those tiny leaflets, even seen against the light. You will find white or silver markings on almost all insects that live among Mesquite leaves, Creosote leaves, and Tamarix and Juniper twigs. There are stink bugs, geometrid caterpillars, leaf hoppers, katydids, grasshoppers - I'd even count the silver striped Glorious Scarab here (it feeds on juniper)
|Synchlora frondaria, a green geometrid|
on Acacia, Molino Basin, Pima Co, AZ June,
|Mecaphesa (?) sp. and Misumenoides formosipes (middle and right) from AZ desert and sky islands|
"Crab Spiders in the genus Misumenoides formosipes are a sit-and-wait predators that do not use a web for prey capture. Instead, they sit perched atop flowers with their front pairs of legs spread open wide in preparation for capturing whatever unlucky insect comes near. These spiders are actually capable of actively changing their body color from yellow to white, or vice versa, depending on the flower they are perched on. They do this by transferring a liquid, pigmented material to the cuticle. The color change is not instantaneous; it can take anywhere from three to nine days to complete (G. N. Dodson, personal communication, June 2014)." Adapted from http://www.spiders.us/species/misumenoides-formosipes/
|Hamataliwa grisea, a Lynx Spider. Molino Basin, Pima County|
Hamataliwa grisea, a Lynx Spider. Molino Basin, Pima County
|Tetragnatha (Longjawed Orbweaver) Santa Cruz River bank,Marana|
Pima Co AZ,
These spiders are often close to water where they spin circular (orb) webs, mostly in the horizontal plane, often just inches above the surface of water where they can intercept emerging insects like midges, mayflies, and stoneflies.
|Arizona Unicorn Mantis Nymph (Pseudovates Arizonae) |
Molino Basin, Catalina Mts, Pima Co, AZ
|Gratiana pallidula (Eggplant Tortoise beetle)|
Gratiana pallidula (Eggplant Tortoise beetle)
can be found on several solanaceae
|Gerstaeckeria sp. on Cholla, Blue Sky Rd, Willcox, Cochise Co. AZ|
|Gelastocoris oculatus, Big-Eyed Toad Bugs.|
|Schinia miniama Kitt Peak, AZ, March|
|Chrysoecia thoracica, Lochiel, Cochise County, AZ|
These were my contributions to this weeks topic of the Facebook Group SW U.S. Insects & Arachnids. While many aspects of camouflage and hiding in plain sight were covered, many more could have been mentioned, or were posted by other members. Robyn Waayers had a particularly nice Bag Worm cocoon.
Amy Jaecker-Jones posted trichoptera larvae masquerading as leaf litter at the bottom of a creek