|The view from Proctor Road|
|temperatures and precipitation during June at the SRER in Florida Canyon|
|The sound of summer and heat - Cicada song|
|Mozena sp., Leaf-footed Bug on Mesquite|
|A Flower Scarab, Euphoria leucographa|
|Chlorion sp. and Cotinis sp.|
|Acanthocephala thomasi, Giant Agave Bug|
|Polistes dorsalis and E. leucographa|
For years this area close to the ticket booth for Madera Canyon used to be dominated by several colonies of Polistes major, but it seems that they have been replaced by Polistes comanchus this year.
Finding this Leptinotarsa haldemani chomping on the leaves of a bush instead of the usual herbaceous Nightshades surprised me until I realized that it is Lycium pallidum – Wolf Berry, or Pale Desert-thorn - in the family Solanaceae. Still to me it's a new host for this beetle.
Brightly aposematic Leaf Beetles, Lema trabeata, are using a Datura Plant to provide for their offspring. A reliable source of juicy leaves and protective alkaloids if the monsoon holds its promise.
Zygogramma piceicollis pairs are hiding in Asteraceae that are shooting up now and will soon produce yellow flowers and later those annoying black, elongate seeds that seem to be waiting for entomologists swinging insect nets as their chosen form of distribution. I hope the beetles and their larvae are very hungry!
|White Tail Deer grazing under Silver Leaf Oaks|
A hunter is hanging out among the small flowers: a small ambush bug in the genus Phymata. Waiting motionless for prey to walk into the reach of it's short, strong raptorial arms, it is ready to take on prey several times its size. Brachial power is not its only weapon: its bite will quickly paralyze its prey.
The usual mass orgy of Rose Chafers is still ongoing and beetles are flying around their wings catching the afternoon sun and their long legs trailing.
Soon several species of red Net-winged Beetles (genus Lycus) will join them and buzz around the oaks in great numbers, but this time I only see a couple of individuals.
Weevils in the genus Pandeleteius nibble on the tips of oak leaves. They look like spiders from afar, but close up they always remind me of Popeye after a good meal of spinach.
Weevils in the genus Curculio are extremely difficult to identify to the species, but I feel some justification in calling this one an Acorn Curculio. I usually see them at the black lighting sheet and never realized how well their subtle pattern matches that of a young acorn.
A persistent irritation under my shirt drove me into the privacy of the trail head restroom. The culprit: a rather large tick that obviously had not found a spot that it liked. Luckily. We don't seem to be in an area with a lot of Lyme disease here, but a tick bite is never pleasant. Trying to identify the tick, I end up with the eastern genus Amblyomma. Now I wished I had collected the specimen as a voucher because that would be a considerable range extension for that genus.