|Admiring those tall stalks of Swertia radiata (Frasera speciosa) Green Gentian|
|The lovely, melancholy song of the Hermit Thrush set the tone for our walk. But this individual was too busy for such frivolities|
|Gasteruption sp. female and Polistes sp. male|
On the sloping forest floor a little Ericaceae is hiding in deep shade. But Bumblebees love heather and all its relatives, so Bombus melanopygus (southern color form) zoomed in and put the flash of my mini camera to the test. Luckily, the photo turned out well enough for an identification by our bee-wizzard John Ascher.
|Little Wasps, Encyrtus sp.|
On the leaves of Silver-leave oak little ant-like wasps were running about. There tiny wings seemed non-functional (?) enhancing the ant similarity (there will be a follow-up blog to this topic).
Another Wasp, Tenthredinidae (Common Sawflies) - these are vegetarians and no threat to the beetle. The larvae feed on pine needles or leaves, looking like caterpillars with extra legs, usually feeding in groups. They take on a characteristic s-shaped position when threatened - and most predators recognize it as a warning of their high toxicity.
|Lycus fulvellus femoratus|
|Discodon bipunctatum, Ellychnia corrusca|
We first found the Soldier Beetle Discodon bipunctatum, which I nearly mistook for a firefly. No wonder, he's a close mimic of a toxic beetle in that family (I'm not sure if the soldier beetle, a Cantharid, is toxic as well, it might be, it shares it's name with the substance Cantharidin, but that is supposed to be a historical misnomer) . Soon we also found the Firefly Ellychnia corrusca (diurnal, no flight display of lights at night). Extremely common.
Lygistopterus rubripennis, then a little higher up mostly Lycus fulvellus femoratus. Of course, elevation was not the only changing parameter - we also came closer to some running water, the canopy cover increased and the temperature increased as the day progressed. Lycus arizonensis at least was not found on the way up, but rather common on the way back later in the day.
|Lycus sanguinipennis, Lygistopterus rubripennis, Lycus fulvellus femoratus, Lycus arizonensis|
|Oh, no! They did!!!!|