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A Naturalist Picking Blueberries Makes First Sighting of a Rare Cicada in a Century - Observation(s) of the Week, 8/12/20

Our Observations of the Week are these Okanagana arctostaphylae cicadas, the first documented in over 100 years! Seen in the United States by @lcollingsparker and @easmeds.

[As the hoodwinker mola observations showed, one of the coolest things about iNaturalist is how it can bring people of all interests and experience levels together, and here’s another cool example. I apologize for the tardiness of this post, but it took some time to synthesize everything.]

Lucinda Collings Parker (@lcollingsparker, photo below) tells me “I spent my early life and the past 20+ years living in the country and mountains, which I love, but never really paid attention to the individual plants, animals, insects, or fungi.” After retiring two years ago, she took an iNaturalist class run by UC Davis and the American River Conservancy and credits iNat, along with nature journaling, “[as playing] a big part in learning to really look. My current aim is to get familiar with what lives in my part of California, first focusing on my own property. I’m still just a beginner.”

Last month, while out picking blueberries in her garden (a garden surrounded by many wild plants, including manzanita), Lucinda found the cicada you see above in the shade cloth draped over her blueberry bushes. She posted her photo to iNaturalist, where Will Chatfield-Taylor (@willc-t)l identified it as the first documented observation of Okanagana arctostaphylae since 1915. “It was exciting to see how quickly the researchers responded and how more sightings were quickly made,” she says, “and since I mainly use iNaturalist to learn about what I’m seeing, it was fun to be able to give back, however accidentally, with a helpful observation.”

Will is collaborating with Jeff Cole of Pasadena City College (@bugsoundsjc) and Elliott Smeds (@easmeds), a Master’s student at Sonoma State University, and they’re “currently working to create a complete molecular phylogeny of the 57-species genus [Okanagana] and numerous species that will need to be described,” he tells me. 

iNaturalist has become a critical way for us to obtain specimens that we would be unlikely to ever collect. You can see the full list of contributions on the Okanagana Citizen Science Project I created on iNaturalist. It's become so important that we are actually considering writing it into a grant as a citizen science aspect to reimburse costs for shipping specimens from people.

Because no one had seen this cicada in over a century, Elliott (below) says “all of us were understandably freaking out a little bit. I live a couple of hours away from the area, so I ended up being the one to go look.

I got into cicadas largely thanks to iNaturalist. I had just received my degree in Biology and I was trying to figure out what to do with it. And meanwhile I had begun looking at local cicada observations on iNat and very quickly realized that there was a staggering diversity of species right in my backyard. At that point there were no active iNat users with expertise in Western North American cicadas, so the identifications were often either very broad or completely inaccurate. So I dug into the literature and started cleaning things up. I created a project called Cicadas of the Western US to keep track of all the observations people post. It became clear that there is precious little known about these Western taxa, and I decided I wanted to help fill that gap.  

Alas, his first day on the hunt was unsuccessful, and as not much is known about this species Elliott had no idea if he would find any at all. But while driving back from the field,he heard a call very similar to its likely closest relative, Okanagana opacipennis, and “got chills.” He returned the following day, received permission to search a stand of manzanitas from the property owner, and found them (*photo below).

“Cicada biology is not a large or glamorous field,” says Elliott. 

Collecting this species and including it in our research was going to be big news for maybe fifteen people on the entire planet. But finding that beautiful insect, camouflaged so perfectly against the smooth red bark, and knowing that I’m the first scientist in 100 years to see this creature—that’s a moment I will cherish for the rest of my life.

Elliott heard quite a few more individuals in the area, and two more independent observations of Okanagana arctostaphylae have been posted since. So, “as for why it took so long for anyone to find it, the main answer seems to be that no one was looking particularly hard...the population is not small by any means,” he surmises. But now that they know where to look, this species can be monitored over time.

“I currently have 4 different people actively collecting cicadas for us,” says Will. “One in Utah, one in New Mexico, and two in Eugene, Oregon. @birdernaturalist (Rich Hoyer) possibly re-found a species called O. sequioae, which was last seen in 1964 when it was described.” Another quite rare cicada was found in Ontario, Canada by an iNat user and @silversea_starsong (more on him below) contacted a friend and a specimen is on its way as well.

“iNaturalist has been an invaluable research tool, but just as importantly it has made me more curious about organisms that I might have overlooked previously,” Elliott says. “It is now almost effortless to snap a few photos of a plant and have an expert tell me what it is, and going forward I will have that knowledge filed away in my head for the next time I encounter it. I am a better biologist thanks to the iNaturalist community.”


Bonus Content!

This is not the only manzanita-loving cicada in California that has recently been photographed on iNaturalist. @silversea_starsong and @ronvaderhoff posted the first known photographs of living Okanagana opacipennis last year. Unlike most members of the genus, these two species do not have transparent wings. And as Elliott mentioned above, the two have a similar call. James explains, 

I've been hearing the song of "opacipennis" in that part of the state, and when I was out with Jeff and Will, we also heard this song and were puzzled by it. It's fitting that this song turned out to be arctostaphylae -- the two manzanita species are closely related in habits, appearance, and genetically, so the shared song makes sense. That song type is quite distinct to all the other Okanagana.

James, who has currently observed the most species of anyone on iNat, visited the Bay Area last summer and was kind enough to talk with me on camera about the cicada find, as well as iNat in general. Here’s the cicada part of our discussion, I’ll post a longer video soon (hopefully!).


* This photo is taken from another observation made later on the same day, to give a clearer view of the bug. :-)

Ingresado el 12 de agosto de 2020 por tiwane tiwane | 3 comentarios | Deja un comentario
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Laura's notes...

@scubabruin wrote:

California Wild Women in the International Biodiversity Bioblitz 2020

Given the current crisis and close proximity to home for so long, this challenge was a welcome diversion. It also coincided with one of our regular trips to Mammoth. Even though I needed to balance family vacation time along with being part of a competitive bioblitz team, I felt good about my ability to contribute to our species count since I’d be in a different part of the state during part of the event.

It’s terrific having such a dedicated and enthusiastic team, because without them I might have let Sunday evening slide on into Monday morning and start then. Having said that, we did walk around for about 30 minutes on Sunday evening searching for moths in the lights and hoping our resident black bear would make an appearance. Sadly, no luck.

Monday morning dawned and after some coffee and light nourishment, we headed out to
Benton Crossing near the Owens River and Crowley Lake, to what is a popular fishing area. We also stumbled upon a hot-springs nearby. This outing proved worthwhile in finding a number of species new to me, including two birds, the Sage Thrasher and Yellow-headed Blackbird.
https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/55565171
https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/55648040

Most of the plants were new to me as well. I didn’t include the cows all around as they belong to a local rancher, but I do wish I could have caught a photo of the weasel dashing across the road and had taken better photos of the flame skimmer/pond hawk which I didn’t include due to poor quality.

Later in the morning, while family did some work, I took a short trip to the Sherwin Lakes trailhead. Alas, most of the wildflowers there had long since dried up, but I was able to make observations of several firs and pines as well as local scrub.

Our Monday afternoon outing involved a drive into Devil’s Postpile National Monument. After a late lunch at the café, we took a lovely walk around Sotcher Lake where I found a few more new species and quite a lot of flowers, birds, and insects, such as: a crackling forest grasshopper, woodland pinedrops, and a Western Forktail. The trail around the back side of the lake was quite overgrown and we weren’t sure where it went a few times, but we were rewarded with great views and I managed a good variety of observations.
https://www.mammothtrails.org/trail/87/sotcher-lake-loop/

Our next stop included a short hike to Devil’s Postpile itself and the loop trail over the top, where I’ve never been before. Lots of chipmunks and ground squirrels, including a close up with one cutie who posed and communed with us for a few minutes.
https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/55344049

Our last stop of the afternoon was the wildflower walk near Agnew Meadows, where we found plenty of wildflowers. None were new species to me, but many were new for this event. I only wish I had stopped to record the massive mound of bear scat we noticed…sigh.

That was it for the day, exhausted after 6.2 miles of walking and it was time to go back home to make dinner. Uploading at the slow Mammoth internet speeds took hours, and that was just the observations made on my cell phone. Camera photos have yet to be downloaded, sorted and added.

Tuesday, August 4th, I was on my own for the morning, so I headed out to Mammoth Creek and the Hayden Cabin area then up old Mammoth Road where I walked out toward Mammoth Rock as well as a quick stop near the old mining site. After exhausting those areas, where I found quite a lot to record, I took a short drive out the scenic loop looking for more wildflowers and pollinators. Many of the spring flowers have died off, but the Sulphur buckwheat is a stalwart plant giving its all to last longer than most. Some of my favorite photos from the morning were these that I shot of pollinators on Ranger’s Buttons:
https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/55569527
https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/55569525
https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/55569523
https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/55569522

In the early afternoon, we began the long 2-hour drive to the Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest. Somewhere I’ve never been and have long wanted to see. Despite being a little apprehensive about the drive being steep and narrow, after all, the road rises 6,000 feet in elevation in just 24 miles, I was super excited to see these majestic pines in person and add new species for myself as well as the team. To my pleasant surprise, the area was not as barren as I expected. We encountered not only the gnarly, beautiful pines themselves, but plenty of other hardy plants, including wildflowers and pollinators, chipmunks, squirrels, and a Yellow-bellied Marmot. Although four hours of driving time cut into other opportunities for more observations, I believe showcasing the wealth of diversity in California was more important and along the lines of our team’s focus. Not to mention, my family and I are on vacation and truly enjoyed exploring the White Mountains/Bristlecone Pine Forest trails and interpretive signs which were very well-done. I recommend the side trip to all. Fun fact: there are actually two species of pine surviving the harsh conditions over 10,000 feet in the White Mountains – the Great Basin Bristlecone Pine and the Limber Pine.
https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/55456184
https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/55457136

That was it in terms of observations for the day as we arrived back home at sunset and went straight into making dinner. Of course, observations from my phone were added right away, but camera photos will have to wait.

Third day of the challenge, and another day to be spent driving, meant I was up early and out at Minaret Vista to see what I can find. Thankfully, we were rewarded with stunning views as well as few new species. At this point, I realized it was also a good idea to start snapping a lot of photos even if they are duplicative of species I had already documented.
https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/55571872

Later in the morning, I returned to Mammoth Creek as I had some extra time before heading back to Los Angeles. Despite all of my trips to Mammoth, I had never realized there were public trails through a federal reserve along the creek and what a joy it was to discover that area. Hardly anyone was nearby and I was able to comingle with many varieties of wild flowers, plants, and insects. Of course, the elusive sulphurs are always frustrating to photograph, so I came up empty-handed on that one. However, I was pleased to collect plenty of observations and a few more species.

Afternoon arrived and time to drive south, meaning 5 hours in the car with no real opportunities to document along the way. Partly because the more stops, the longer the drive, and my family wasn’t keen on that. Additionally, as my teammates have noted, a lot of the plants are past their prime this late in the summer. Besides, it was just darn hot on the drive south…about 100 degrees the entire way. At one stop, I managed to snap some photos which included a weedy-type species which was new to me: Annual Bur-Sage.
https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/55554605

Once home, it was time to turn to family/household business of unloading and reconnecting with my other sons and dogs, who stayed home. Hence, I did not record much by way of observations later on Wednesday. I spent the entire evening downloading and sorting through the camera to add those observation to iNat and the competition. By 11pm, it was time to go to sleep and continue uploading in the morning.

Thursday, August 6th, the last day of the competition dawned cloudy, cool, and dreary. This meant the insects would not be especially active, nor would the birds, so I worked on finishing uploading of camera observations until the weather improved. Once it warmed up, I headed over to the neighborhood community garden where I can always find lots of lizards, birds, and insects. I did not photograph any plants, however, as they are all cultivated. Since I wasn’t likely to add any new species to the list, I just felt as though I could help ramp up the number of observations for the team before the competition ended at 1pm. Amazingly, I did find a new species, both for me and the team: a Mexican Cactus Fly.
https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/55630271

I was sure to get home with enough time to transfer photos from camera to iNat. With just a few minutes left, I scoured my yard yet again. To my surprise, I found an alligator skin shed, a species not yet added to our team.

My takeaways after the competition are much the same of those already discussed. It was tiring, but I definitely did not put in as much time as others. If we do it again, I won’t commit to so much driving time where I lost valuable observation opportunities. On a personal note, I have recorded over 50 species new to me during this challenge and learned more about the Eastern Sierra flora. I cherish our new team relationship and hope we can continue doing community science and iNat-related activities in the future. Thanks so much for going on this journey with me.

By Laura Schare, @scubabruin

Ingresado el 12 de agosto de 2020 por andreacala andreacala | 4 comentarios | Deja un comentario
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Black Bear - 8/12/20 @ 6:45 am

Saw a black bear about 0.7 miles west of the Sandy Seep Trailhead (East Eldon Mountain) at 7100' elevation. We surprised each other. It climbed dow from the lower branches of a juniper tree and took off running. Needless to say, I didn't get a photograph!

Ingresado el 12 de agosto de 2020 por jameswittke jameswittke | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario
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What's that LOUD buzz?

If you've heard a noise like a power saw coming from treetops lately, you were the wrong audience. The noise is male cicadas calling out to females in a brief courtship time following years of juvenile life underground.
Some cicadas, called periodic cicadas, emerge all together after 13 or 17 years sucking root juices beneath the soil. After emerging, cicadas mate and lay eggs in twigs, which eventually fall to the ground to start the cycle anew. Just why some cicadas are periodic remains a mystery, though one hypothesis is that the burst of many individuals emerging after so long overwhelms predator populations.
Citizen scientists are well positioned to contribute important data on cicadas, just by observing them! Try using the audio recording option with iNaturalist, or zoom in if you find the large insect in your neighbourhood for a great photo. Submit your observations, and read up on neat cicada facts like these:

Cicadas have antimicrobial wings that engineers have tried to recreate:
https://pubs.acs.org/doi/10.1021/acsami.5b08309

Certain fungi parasitize cicadas so that the insects act like zombies to spread the fungal spores:
https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1754504819300352

Researchers can glean info about climate change and environmental toxins from cicada lifecycles, which are so linked to the trees in their forest and urban habitats:
https://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/what-are-cicadas-180975009/

Ingresado el 12 de agosto de 2020 por ecospark ecospark | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario
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Только вперёд!

По возвращении из Крыма и всего южного путешествия окончательно стало ясно: смартфон позволяет собирать колоссальные объемы пространственных данных о растениях.

Стало страшно за свое будущее: обработать такие данные одному уже становится сложно. Но, очевидно, что никто кроме меня мои маршрутные съёмки не разберёт.

Выход простой: каждый день нужно загружать по 150 наблюдений, начиная с грантовой Москвы и Краснодарского края. Во что бы то ни стало. Без перерывов, без выходных, даже если этот день в подмосковном лесу. Иначе всё зря.

Я продержался, хотя иногда тошнило - всё ж сеточное картирование даёт многократную повторность. Сегодня я загрузил последнюю порцию перед отъездом в дальние поля. С учётом Чемпионата получилось +4000 наблюдений с 22 июля. Осталось загрузить 29 тыс фоток за этот год плюс то, что ещё приедет из полей.

Только вперёд!

Ingresado el 12 de agosto de 2020 por apseregin apseregin | 2 comentarios | Deja un comentario
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One week down, one week to go!

Hello BioBlitz participants! We’re half way through our two-week self-guided BioBlitz at Morton Outcrops SNA! We have 217 observations of 113 species, 39 identifiers, and 5 observers! This is wonderful, thank you for helping document the biodiversity of this site and keep up the great work!

A few fun finds so far are Purple Coneflower observed by @bwnfld, a Common Nighthawk chick observed by @kemerso21, and an Easter Tiger Swallowtail observed by @dianen5 . Thank you all!

We have one more week left to get out and explore this special place!

Have questions or want more information? Email Kari Wallin, SNA Volunteer Outreach Specialist, at kari.wallin@state.mn.us.

Ingresado el 12 de agosto de 2020 por minnesota_scientific_and_natural_areas minnesota_scientific_and_natural_areas | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario
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Exploring my own backyard

Recently to get in the spirit of exploration I did some heavy duty observing in some local parks and my own backyard and this is just a smattering of what I discovered!

-There exists a damselfly (you can tell the difference from dragonflies by where their wings sit on their back while resting!) called an Ebony Jewelwing that frequents a local park! They're exquisitely beautiful, and the name suits them wonderfully. I'd seen them for years but never learned what they were called!

-Ant Wars! I've always loved these. Take a walk around the block and if you see a big mass of ants get down on your hands and knees and look closer. You'll see ants interlocked in combat all over the place, plus hordes of the dead being ferried back to nests (to be eaten?). It's wild! I like stroking the group with a single blade of grass or blowing on them to turn the tide of battle. Who knows what empires I've shifted the destinies of!

-I found some pods recently that looked like they were made of clay. Upon breaking them open I discovered about 30 little spiders in one. How cool! I'd found a spiders nest! But no - some of the spiders were of different species, and in one of the pods was a huge and fat larvae. My friend explained that certain wasps hunt spiders and leave them as a living bounty for their egg to feed on and grow from. Gruesome but awesome!

-I'm learning some bird calls! I can now confidently identify a cardinal, mourning dove, blue jay and chickadee calls. Indeed - the chickadee has a few calls and one I finally linked to it is a particularly lovely two note call I'd always affiliated with my Oma's house. I will always have a special fondness for it in my heart!

-Rabbits. They breed like rabbits. I'd never noticed just how many live in my neighbourhood and in parks. I almost got run over by a particularly jaunty one on a trail the other day.

-Trumpeter swan cygnets! I saw a bunch while at an island park in the city and there were seven and they were delightful.

I hope you have fun exploring your own backyards and have similar great stories to tell!

Ingresado el 12 de agosto de 2020 por jessehildebrand jessehildebrand | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario
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Rising Numbers

Another week has passed! The project has had an additional 34 observations added during the week and it probably would've been more if I had uploaded my latest photos quicker. That means the project not officially has 174 observations with 22 species sighted. We also have our newest addition to the project, a Sharp-shinned Hawk but I'm waiting to see if the observer has more photos since Sharp-shinned Hawks are not all that common in the summer.

Now it is time for the observation of the week. I think it should go to @craigjhowe for an excellent photo of a juvenile Red-tailed Hawk near Klamath Marsh National Wildlife Refuge, Oregon. I'm not what there is to say about the photos, I think they speak for themselves. I'm always fascinated by Red-tailed Hawks since even though they're the most common species of raptor in the Pacific Northwest, they are so variable, how can you lose interest? You can see the photos here:

https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/55934060

What can we expect for next week? Well it's cloudy in northeastern Oregon today so maybe that's a sign of cooler temperatures and an escape from intense heat. Hawks like cooler whether so be sure to check your valleys. Wheat fields are also being harvested across Washington and plows attract hawks like moths to a light. We could see a lot happen.

Ingresado el 12 de agosto de 2020 por birdwhisperer birdwhisperer | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario
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Abundance

Walking in the old slough on the upper east side of LTNP I note the dry dips and hollows. No rain for over 3 weeks. The slough has been filled with rain and backwater from this springs flood. The cypress and tupelos rise from the dry earth with only the dark decay past growing seasons. My trajectory brings me to what was the last pool of water now only a wet spot in the spongy earth. At first I didn't see anything other than what was water just days before. I noticed the different colors in concentric rings - dark wet leaf litter in the middle surrounded by greenish yellow algae then rings of pale dried duckweed then finally the ashy colors of dried earth. then I became acutely aware of a loud humming sound emerging from the former puddle. As I look across the scenario I had just been observing, a totally new scene materialized. It had been there all along I just couldn't see it!
The humming buzz was from hundreds of flies in a magnetized frenzy above a shag rug of tiny dead fish. Thousands of them in mottled layers of decay and slime. Then I saw him - the lucky one! The conquistador of the bottoms, lord of the flies. I certain he was aware of my approach (which was certainly not subtle) but other than a slight glance over his no-shoulders he went on about his focus on the all you can eat buffet. The beautiful brown and orange pattern of his sleek body glowed against the murky colors of death. How did I miss seeing him from the get go? I watched him scoop up and swallow fish after fish, their lumpy forms riding through the long neck into the thick muscle of his body. It's not every day the swamp offers fast food for water moccasins.

The searing red spikes of cardinal flowers rising above a sea of pale green sedges lightly swayed to the wingbeats from the mosquito armada in my wake.

Ingresado el 12 de agosto de 2020 por rjwhitfield rjwhitfield | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario
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Less than 4 days, folks!

August 16th is quickly approaching and I am thrilled to once more participate from my back yard!
Hi, I'm Margaret and based in Trinidad and Tobago. Rainy season is in full wet mode and I can't wait to see what new observations I come across on Sunday!

To the continuing participants welcome back aboard and we hope you're as enthusiastic and excited as the first time (I know I am). To the new comers we are delighted to have you along and I trust you will be our keen eyes in your part of the world. Please post as few or as many observations on the day as you encounter.

We all look forward to see what is out there. Have a great socially distant bioblitz all!

Ingresado el 12 de agosto de 2020 por magichin magichin | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario
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劍尾魚也是外來種喔,請協助移除!

今年釣魚大賽有感覺,好像外來種越來越多了。

除了吳郭魚和紅胸鰂,有種長得很美的劍尾魚,身上帶著黃紅藍的炫目顏色,公魚性成熟後,還會拖著一條長長的尾巴,根本是魚類世界裡的孔雀。

很多人知道劍尾魚是外來種後,驚訝中帶著點失望,「可惜那麼美麗...」

但有時整個水池,放眼望去都是劍尾魚的景象,也真是讓人擔憂。大家趕快來幫忙移除吧。

大賽期間如果有捉到外來魚種,直接放到小間書菜門口由主辦單位所準備的水桶中,一旦工作人員確認是外來物種後,會以人道方式送進冰庫冷凍,之後製成魚肥給在地的小農使用,永續循環,回歸大地。

▼ 想知道深溝有什麼外來種嗎?深溝魚蝦蟹龜小圖鑑上線囉,物種陸續增加中喔~https://fangyeelin.wixsite.com/fishfish/shop

▼ 探索、拍照、上傳,簡單三步驟參加2020年「深溝釣魚大賽」
https://fangyeelin.wixsite.com/fishfish

Ingresado el 12 de agosto de 2020 por linfy66 linfy66 | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario
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Fine-tuned Observation Comparisons

As of this writing, there are 1,325 species of fungi documented in Michigan. This number is likely inflated by singletons - species that have only been observed once and therefore may be a result of misidentification. For whatever reason, I was unable to see species with fewer than four oberservations in the Michigan Macrofunga Project page to suss out these singletons and other rarely observed species. My dilemma was solved when I learned about a handy iNaturalist feature: the compare tool. I wanted to bring this tool to everyone's attention because it seems so useful! (Note, however, that at the bottom of the page iNaturalist warns that this tool is experimental and may be removed at any time!)

This tool works by entering two or more queries. Each query filters all the observations in iNaturalist by some criteria that you specify, and then lists species that are shared or not shared between these different lists. So maybe you want to compare the different polypore species you've found relative to all the polypores found in Michigan? The first query would include the taxon number for Polyporales and the project name for Michigan Macrofunga Project. The second query would include these same two filters (assuming you were interesting in only looking at your observations made in Michigan) as well as your user number. So for myself, the two queries would look like this:

  • taxon_id=47380&project_id=michigan-macrofunga-project
  • taxon_id=47380&project_id=michigan-macrofunga-project&user_id=1180604

I can see that I've only documented 14 of the 87 species (as well as some groups at the genus level) in Michigan! If I want to compare observations of Polyporales in Michigan to all Polyporales species in the world, I can simplify the queries as such:

  • taxon_id=47380
  • taxon_id=47380&project_id=michigan-macrofunga-project

Now I can see that we have documented 84 species (maybe a few at the genus level) in Michigan out of the total of 681 species of Polyporales listed in iNaturalist. I can then sort the species in Michigan by number of observations to find the singletons. There was one observation of Laetiporus huroniensis, which looks like Laetiporus sulphureus but grows on conifers. It seemed to me like this one observation was misidentified given that the forest floor was coverd with deciduous leaves. There were also a few species with inactive names that never got synonymized. A few singletons are indeed good species. A species with one observation, Fibroporia radiculosa, is one that I found at a professional foray and was identified by a polypore expert Hal Burdsall.

I hope this small demonstration showed how useful this tool can be for comparing your own observations as well as aiding in identification of Michigan mushrooms!

Ingresado el 12 de agosto de 2020 por aldendirks aldendirks | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario
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Основные ошибки

Дорогие студенты!
Проект работает, много удачных снимков, есть любопытные наблюдения. На сегодня я в основном исправляю неточные определения.
Тем не менее, есть повторяющиеся ошибки.
1) Не забывайте отмечать культивируемые растения. В зачет такие снимки не идут, но любопытство -- биологическое свойство Homo sapiens. Не всегда отличия диких от культивируемых растений очевидны. Например, заброшенные городские или парковые посадки. Или какая-нибудь кукуруза по раю проселочной дороги... Комментируйте, пожалуйста, такие ситуации.
2) Попадаются снимки без дат, без координат и, наоборот, "наблюдения" без фотографий. Будьте внимательны.
3) Не всегда на снимке достаточно информации для определения, например, корзинка сложноцветного сверху -- и все. Желательны серии снимков с разных ракурсов.

На сегодня я в основном исправляю неточные определения.

Всем успехов!
СМ

Ingresado el 12 de agosto de 2020 por phlomis_2019 phlomis_2019 | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario
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Motýlí hody na spadaném ovoci

Zralé ovoce je vítaným zdrojem cukrů a minerálů nejen pro lidi, ale i pro spoustu motýlů. Těm dělá hlavně radost hnijící popadané ovoce, které mi už nijak nezužitkujeme. Hrušky, jablka, švestky, blumy, ale třeba i víno 🍇.Tak na to pamatujte a nechte pár hnijících kousků ovoce na zemi i na svých zahrádkách ;-). Kdo nemá zahrádku, může pro motýly udělat krmítko - https://bit.ly/HledejtePražskéMotýly_krmítko.

A kde hledat v Praze volně přístupné ovocné stromy, pod kterými by se mohli motýli shlukovat na šťavnaté hody? Poradí Vám mapa https://na-ovoce.cz/web/ ;-) nebo http://www.praha-priroda.cz/ovocne-sady-a-aleje/. Třeba se Vám tak poštěstí na spadaném ovoci najít i babočku osikovou, kterou zatím v Praze nikdo letos nenašel 😲.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OGzaTCq1zhg

Ingresado el 12 de agosto de 2020 por ladajakubikova ladajakubikova | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario
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Flora Frankfurt / Flora und Rote Liste Hessen

Zwei neue spannende iNat-Projekte in Frankfurt und Hessen:
https://www.inaturalist.org/projects/flora-und-rote-liste-von-hessen
https://www.inaturalist.org/projects/flora-von-frankfurt
Viel Spaß beim Mitmachen!

Ingresado el 12 de agosto de 2020 por marcoschmidtffm marcoschmidtffm | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario
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250 observateurs

Le projet Flore de Haute Savoie a dépassé le cap des 250 observateurs le 10 août 2020.

Ingresado el 12 de agosto de 2020 por alainc alainc | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario
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Diversibipalium sp., 1 striped

Dongducheon-si, Gyeonggi-do
https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/55258435
"This specimen is close to Diversibipalium multilineatum but lacks the pale zone either side of the dark mid dorsal longitudinal stripe. There are 2-3 other similar species in South Korea that have a black mid dorsal stripe, but they vary in details of the headplate and other morphology." (leigh_winsor, 4 Aug 2020, https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/55258435)

Geoje Isl
https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/50956108
"An interesting specimen, as there are at least two-three single-striped species in Korea. This specimen differs from Biaplium monolineatum because of its length, that the dark mid-dorsal stripe passes onto the headplate, and that there is not a pale zone either side of the mid dark stripe. The other two species are much smaller, with a light yellow ground colour and median stripe passing onto the headplate." (leigh_winsor, 27 Jun 2020, https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/50956108)

Ingresado el 12 de agosto de 2020 por robonokara robonokara | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario
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Bipalium nobile (Bn) / Diversibipalium multilineatum (Dm)

Diversibipalium multilineatum: pale color? dark upper head plate?

Seoul
https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/9253403 Bn?
https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/9253405 Bn?

Cheonan
https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/50237357 Dm

Ullung Isl
https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/14414304 Bn? dark head plate

Pusan
https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/2342065 Bn? dark head plate

Ina, Nagano, Japan
https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/52343590 Dm? upper head plate is dark (but IDed as Bn)

Ingresado el 12 de agosto de 2020 por robonokara robonokara | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario
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Tips for taking photos of Shrubby Samphires

Ever put a photo of a samphire up on iNat, to have it languish unidentified for months? It is a problem that is common in plant groups that don't have flashy flowers, or where many species look very similar. So how to increase your chances of a successful identification? The tips below should help. They look at photographing an important samphire, Tecticornia arbuscula, the shrubby samphire. There is a current project looking at the health of this species in Southern Australia. Check it out at https://www.inaturalist.org/projects/shrubby-samphires-and-climate-change

First up, a photo of the entire bush in its habitat tells potential identifiers a lot - is it a low prostrate plant or an upright shrub? Near the sea? Inland? The shrubby samphire in this photo https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/43537254 is clearly a large shrub. In this photo you can see the woody structure of these long-lived plants: https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/44119604. And in this photo the shrubs are clearly growing in the intertidal zone - they are at least double the height of the sea rush that grows with them: https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/46912966.

Next we zoom in to look for flowering spikes. Flowers on samphires are greenish, and are arranged in groups around a spike. Each group is separated from the group above by a bract of fleshy material. All greenish! The flowers of Tecticornia arbuscula actually hide down behind the bracts BUT a closeup photo will often reveal the single female flower on each side of the flower spike. You can see the divided stigmas sticking out in this iNat record https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/45466897

As the fruits mature, the flesh of the bract yellows and shrinks back a bit around the fruit, which is buried close to the stem. The woody female style which was topped with those delicate stigmas dries and hardens, and remains sticking out of the fruiting body, like little Pinnochio noses. https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/36479163

A set of pictures that includes these details is simple to identify, and will result in your contribution bring rapidly identified.

Ingresado el 12 de agosto de 2020 por peri3 peri3 | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario
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Left behind

For the 10th, and final, weekly challenge, we want you to record what is 'Left behind' that could lead to an identification, including footprints, scat, bones, shells and more. We'll accept images taken in the past (so long as they haven't already been added to a national database) but you should upload your observation to the Backyard Species Discovery project during the challenge week. To enter, send a link to your observation to bushblitz@awe.gov.au by next Wednesday 19 August. For full details visit the Bush Blitz website. Don't forget, our sound challenge closes at midnight AEST tonight Wednesday 12 August.

While 'Left behind' is the final weekly challenge, don't despair, as we have a one-off challenge to announce next Wednesday. And, before we even get to that, we have National Science Week starting this weekend. Bush Blitz is celebrating National Science Week by launching the Backyard Species Discovery Scavenger Hunt which will run until Sunday 20 September. For a sneak peak, visit the Bush Blitz website - the checklist and full details will be made available this Saturday 15 August.

We had some amazing entries for last week's bird challenge and the judges had a tough time picking a winner. Congratulations to @kalimata whose images included this Powerful Owl, listed as Vulnerable in New South Wales. Highly commended were @narelle_b and her 8 year old daughter Ava, who got some lovely shots of a Tawny Frogmouth visiting their garden during lockdown in Metropolitan Melbourne.


© kalimata

Ingresado el 12 de agosto de 2020 por bushblitz bushblitz | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario
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Using Found Feathers observations as reference specimens

Thanks to your contributions, the Found Feathers project has become quite an extensive virtual feather collection! I wanted to take a moment and explain how you can use this project as a source for reference specimens in cases where you want to back up an identification by referencing previously-identified observations. This way, we can more effectively utilize the time and energy investment of the many dedicated identifiers who have already reviewed and collectively identified thousands of feather observations (especially the talented @karakaxa who has single-handedly reviewed nearly every single observation in the project!).

To navigate to the project observations, click on Observations under the Totals section on the front page of the Found Feathers project on a computer or mobile browser. Use iNaturalist's search bars to narrow down the results (Species, Location). You may also want to click on Filters, select Research Grade, and Update Search.

If you're looking for observations of feathers of a specific placement (i.e. primary, secondary, tail, body), click to this previous journal post to choose which placement you're looking for, and then use the search bars/filters to narrow down the results.

Here's an example search, which I might use if I wanted to see research-grade observations of Great Horned Owl primary wing feathers found in the United States.

I hope this is helpful! I find it fun to navigate the project observations this way to learn more about what's being added to the project.

Happy feather finding!
Amanda @featherenthusiast

Ingresado el 12 de agosto de 2020 por featherenthusiast featherenthusiast | 7 comentarios | Deja un comentario
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temporary

https://www.naturing.net/o/593612

https://www.naturing.net/o/593172

https://www.naturing.net/o/588632

https://www.naturing.net/o/588568

https://www.naturing.net/o/583565

https://www.naturing.net/o/582328

https://www.naturing.net/o/581527

https://www.naturing.net/o/576496

https://www.naturing.net/o/576317

https://www.naturing.net/o/575771

https://www.naturing.net/o/568907

https://www.naturing.net/o/566729

https://www.naturing.net/o/506955

https://www.naturing.net/o/505798

https://www.naturing.net/o/505593

https://www.naturing.net/o/489129

https://www.naturing.net/o/415047 black

https://www.naturing.net/o/401064

https://www.naturing.net/o/389897

https://www.naturing.net/o/387753

https://www.naturing.net/o/374421

https://www.naturing.net/o/372984 koreen

https://www.naturing.net/o/366745

https://www.naturing.net/o/345197

https://www.naturing.net/o/336426

https://www.naturing.net/o/335114

https://www.naturing.net/o/287589

https://www.naturing.net/o/263356

https://www.naturing.net/o/244440

https://www.naturing.net/o/207499 ullung

https://www.naturing.net/o/184394 Bipalium nobile

https://www.naturing.net/o/184062 black

https://www.naturing.net/o/165165 ullung

https://www.naturing.net/o/165151 ullung

https://www.naturing.net/o/165057

https://www.naturing.net/o/159965

https://www.naturing.net/o/140499 black

https://www.naturing.net/o/113775

https://www.naturing.net/o/113582

https://www.naturing.net/o/113560

https://www.naturing.net/o/107625 black

https://www.naturing.net/o/99938

https://www.naturing.net/o/96883 black

https://www.naturing.net/o/73518

https://www.naturing.net/o/73161

https://www.naturing.net/o/58859

https://www.naturing.net/o/57870

https://www.naturing.net/o/56748

https://www.naturing.net/o/53152

https://www.naturing.net/o/47031

https://www.naturing.net/o/46272

https://www.naturing.net/o/38883

https://www.naturing.net/o/38663

https://www.naturing.net/o/38636

https://www.naturing.net/o/38630

https://www.naturing.net/o/33011 Bipalium nobile or

https://www.naturing.net/o/12334

https://www.naturing.net/o/11724

https://www.naturing.net/o/1235

Ingresado el 12 de agosto de 2020 por robonokara robonokara | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario
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Week 0.5: Getting Started with iNaturalist

Welcome to the Fall 2020 term of ENT 311! Over the course of this term, we will be creating a virtual 'Insect Collection' using iNaturalist.

This week, you will set up your iNaturalist account and upload your very first digital image to our iNaturalist project page. Make sure to read the tips and tricks for taking good insect photos, on your Canvas course page before you start!

Ingresado el 12 de agosto de 2020 por gail61 gail61 | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario
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July 2020 EcoQuest Results

The July EcoQuest was a tough one, both in subject and for observing. Wildfire in the Sonoran Desert can seem devastating, especially knowing how long it can take to recover. This season was also record breaking, with 34 days over 110 degrees Fahrenheit so far. But, you still managed to get out and observe plants that can help naturally make a comeback after a fire.

Here are the results:

Most Observations:
@thegardenhound 579
@tmohseni 3
@ezpixels 3
@tristap 2
@lroselle 2

Most Species:
@tmohseni 3
@ezpixels 3
@tristap 2
@thegardenhound 2
@lroselle 2
@dap624 2

Most Observed Species:
Triangle-leaf bursage(Ambrosia deltoidea) : 498
Jojoba(Simmondsia chinensis) : 83
Brittlebush(Encelia farinosa) : 5
Creosote(Larrea tridentata) : 5
Desert globemalow(Sphaeralcea ambigua) : 2
White rattany(Krameria bicolor) : 2

Final Counts:
Observations: 604
Observers: 18
Identifiers: 9

Shoutout to @thegardenhound who made a whopping 579 observations. WOW! We can definitely see where these plants can provide habitat for others to grow and provide a source for seed.

Thank you for your contribution, Neighborhood Naturalists!

Ingresado el 11 de agosto de 2020 por jenyonen jenyonen | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario
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Steiroxys Revision Beginnings

Steiroxys is a genus of shieldback katydids with currently four described species. Though we know there are many undescribed species (Caudell 1907) and though it's sister genus Idiostatus was revised (Rentz 1973) with many new species, now much work has been done on this genus. All we know is, there are many species and most probably have small ranges. I've decided to tackle this issue and use citizen science to view distinguishing features of potential species. The downside to this, I cannot be able to revise the genus with just photos naturalists posted because in order to describe a species, you must have a holotype specimen. Which means I have to go out into the field, capture and ultimately kill the insect. I can send the specimen to a museum with my description of species and only then will the science community accept my work. Right now, this is just a outline of eight potential species photographed on iNaturalist and I will tag the observers as I go.

We have additional problems with this. Out of the four described species as of now, S. trilieatus and S. pallidpalpus holotype specimens are lost so we have no clue what they look like. To add onto the problems, I cannot get a sufficient view of holotype of S. borealis to determine the distinguishing features. As mentioned by Caudell, potential species can be identified by the male's cerci, the sensory organs on the abdomen end and the shape or size of it can determine species. For females, subgenital plate shape seems to play a role in identification but since no iNaturalist observer has photographed the female underside, they are all genus level for me. So here's the list:

Steiroxys species-a

Observer: @jimmylegs
Individuals: 2 males
Range: South-central valleys of British Columbia; Kamloops Lake to Kettle River Recreation Area.
Cerci: Probably incorrect terminology but the cerci have two "prongs". The two prongs in this potential species are close to the tip of the cerci and they curve sharply inward in unison.
Notes: A lot of confusion here for this. The cerci of James's individuals are identical to Steiroxys trilieatus photographed by Dan Johnson in the website "Katydids North of Mexico". What I need to decide is whether these are a described species or Dan misidentified and his individual is a part of species-a.

https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/55532673
https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/48959879
https://orthsoc.org/sina/330a.htm

Steiroxys species-b

Observer: @justine_dm
Individuals: 1 male
Range: White Lake Grasslands Protected Area, British Columbia.
Cerci: Compared to species-a, the inner prong is thicker, shorted and triangular-shaped. The outer prong is straight and long.
Notes: Might not be a potential species since it's a nymph.

https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/27234583

Steiroxys species-c

Observer: @geographerdave
Individuals: 3 males
Range: Mount Saint Helens, Washington
Cerci: Short and stubby. Inner prong curves slightly and the outer prong may bend outward. The indentation between the two prongs is indistinct.
Notes: If I were to name this species... Steiroxys helenae

https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/16266565
https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/16266563
https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/15961135

Steiroxys species-d

Observer: geographerdave
Individuals: 1 male
Range: Cascades near Panther Creek Falls, Washington
Cerci: Short and stubby. Almost identical to species-c but the inner prong is straight, not curved and is almost equal length of outer prong.

https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/55331279

Steiroxys species-e

Observer: @axyaliendragon
Individuals: 1 male
Range: Willamette National Forest near Rainbow, Oregon
Cerci: Intermediate between species-a and species-c. The prongs angle inward at a slight curve but not as distinctive as species-a. Inner prong has a more definitive prong.
Notes: I admit the cerci in the photos are kind of blurry so its possible it's not species. Could be S. strepens.

https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/50346899

Steiroxys species-f

Observer: jimmylegs
Individuals: 2 males
Range: North Shasta Mountains, California
Cerci: Cerci enormous with the two prongs exceptionally curved and they'll meet in the middle.
Notes: This could be a new species but this part of California is within the proposed range limits of S. borealis. Unfortunately the provided photo on Orthoptera Species Files (OSF) regarding the holotype does not clearly show the cerci.

https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/45973643
https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/45973620

Steiroxys species-g

Observer: birdwhisperer (myself), @coreyjlange and @birdernaturalist
Individuals: 3 males
Range: Eastern Oregon
Cerci: Identical to species-a but the inner prong is placed near the base of the cerci not near the tip. This type of cerci shape occurs in three in the same general vicinity leaving me to believe it is indeed different from species-a.

https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/56099976
https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/16191058
https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/16661120

Stieroxys species-h

Observer: Heidi (BugGuide user)
Individuals: 1 male
Range: Lucky Peak near Boise, Idaho
Cerci:: Similar to species-i, long, mostly straight prongs though the outer prong has a slight arch to it.

https://bugguide.net/node/view/500769/bgimage

Steiroxys species-i

Observer: @maybedre
Individuals: 1 male
Range: Atla, Utah
Cerci: Short and straight, very similar to species-d but the outer prong is significantly longer than the inner.
Notes: This sighting is well within the proposed range of S. pallidpalpus but since the holotype specimen has been lost, I cannot confirm if the cerci are correct.

Summary: So there you go, 8 potential species. I hope with help of James, we can collect a few specimens and clear up the waters of this genus. I'm expecting quite a few more species to show up since we do not know which species live in Montana, Colorado, Idaho, eastern Washington and species limits throughout the Cascades. I wouldn't be surprised if the number doubles. Through citizen science, we can make plans on where to go to find species and that's what makes iNaturalist such a great platform for a project like this.

Ingresado el 11 de agosto de 2020 por birdwhisperer birdwhisperer | 3 comentarios | Deja un comentario
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Observation of the Week 2017-08-14

Our Observation of the Week is this Carpathian Blue Slug, seen in the Ukraine by cloudya!

Originally from Berlin but in America after studying Forest Ecology at Humboldt State University amongst California’s giant Coast Redwoods, Claudia Voigt dug up photos from a survey in Ukraine to show her friends that there’s an “even more magical slug” than North America’s famed Banana slugs.

Three years ago, when she was studying at the University of Sustainable Development in Eberswalde, Germany, “travelled to the Carpathian Biosphere Reserve in Ukraine. The reserve holds one of the only remaining virgin old-growth forests in Europe. We did a rapid biodiversity assessment and studied the impacts to the reserve by the emerging tourism industry but also by changes in traditional land uses. The Carpathian blue slug was one of the amazing endemic creatures of the old-growth beech forest.”

As its common name suggests, the Carpathian blue slug is endemic to the Carpathian Mountain range of Eastern Europe, and is blue in color. The blue ranges from a turquoise to dark blue and even black, and the slug can be found under logs or in the leaf litter in damp conditions. It’s also a large species, with adults growing up to 14 cm in length!

Claudia, who now does forestry work for California State Parks (and is at Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park in the above photo), says “I always thought of myself more as a naturalist than a forest ecologist or botanist.” Of iNaturalist, she says “[I] am glad that iNaturalist shares observations with other databases. I want researchers to better understand the distributions and ranges of the organisms they study and find the quality control by curators is very important to make iNaturalist a truly valuable tool.”

- by Tony Iwane


- Here’s a Carpathian blue slug in (slow) action: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WhgDkkVDwaY

Ingresado el 11 de agosto de 2020 por hannahsun99 hannahsun99 | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario
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Observation of the Week 2017-08-04

Our Observation of the Week is this Pachyrrynchus congestus beetle, seen in The Philippines by tonyg

The son of two Biology teachers, Tony Gerard has always been into nature and the outdoors, and he’s even followed in his parents’ footsteps, as a teacher of Biology (and Physical Geography) at Shawnee Community College. “I grew up, and currently live, in an area of great biodiversity- the Cache River wetlands in southern Illinois. It's a great place to visit and an even better place to live!” Tony’s main interest is herpetology (“It's so odd to me that now it's even trendy,” he says, “as a kid I was somewhat ostracized for being the weird kid into snakes and salamanders.”), but he’s also quite interested in other critters such as leeches, flatworms, and gastropods.

And weevils, of course, are also an interest of Tony’s, but mostly in his wife’s homeland, the highlands of Luzon island in the Philippines. “The weevils in the states have always been a nondescript bunch of small brown beetles in my experience,” Tony explains. “Here in the Philippines many are much larger and come in great fun colors and patterns. When they feel threatened they usually just let go and fall into the undergrowth. I've missed a lot of good shots that way. This guy I stuck my hand under as I was focusing - sure enough he dropped - but into my hand. Problem was he didn't want to set still. He kept walking and I had to keep turning my arm to keep up with him.”

There’s not too much information about Pachyrrynchus congestus online, but intrepid iNat user @sambiology was able to dig up this paper, which looks at the structure behind the orange markings of the beetle. From the abstract:

The orange scales that cover the colored rings on the animal’s body were opened, to display the structure responsible for the coloration. This structure is a three-dimensional photonic polycrystal, each grain of which showing a face-centered cubic symmetry. The measured lattice parameter and the observed filling fraction of this structure explain the dominant reflected wavelength in the reddish orange. The long-range disorder introduced by the grain boundaries explains the paradoxical observation that the reflectance, although generated by a photonic crystal, is insensitive to changes in the viewing angle.

“iNaturalist has definitely made me a better naturalist and field biologist,” says Tony (above, with a huge snail in hand). “I'm much more aware and informed about certain groups - especially arthropods and gastropods - from responses I've received on iNaturalist….There is one class I teach, "Field Biology" in which I require students to post observations to iNaturalist. With the current decreases in funding for sciences, iNaturalist is one way in which regular folks can help fill in the gap.”

- by Tony Iwane


 - Like the orange colors on this beetle, many blue colors in nature are structural rather than pigmentary

- There are a ton of awesome organism in the Philippines, check out the faved ones on iNat

Ingresado el 11 de agosto de 2020 por hannahsun99 hannahsun99 | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario
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Observation of the Week 2017-07-27

Our Observation of the Week is this group of Cookeina fungi, seen in Costa Rica by robberfly!

“One of the earliest memories I have is being in the backyard of my childhood home (I'm not sure I was even walking yet) and finding a tiny Western Toad in the grass,” recalls Liam O’Brien (@robberfly). “My brother Colin and I had quite the Tom Sawyer boyhood with a creek nearby. We were constantly bringing frogs and things-in-the-creek home. We converted our baby's sister's pink, plastic wading pool into a pond, with rocks, strands of algae and polliwogs. We got busted from our Mom. The biggest punishment we could get was not "Go to your room!’ or ‘You're Grounded!’, it was...‘No Creek for a Week.’”

“After a great stage career in Repertory Theatre and Broadway, I've gone full circle back to...Nature. The fates handed me a new chapter as an Environmental Conservationist in the niche corner of Invertebrate Restoration. I surveyed all the butterflies of San Francisco in 2009, had an idea of how we could help a little green hairstreak continue on in the county (the Green Hairstreak Corridor) and became involved with many butterfly conservation efforts here.” Liam also monitors endangered Mission Blue butterflies for the National Park Service, and is part of the nascent Operation Checkerspot, which is restoring Variable Checkerspots back to the Presidio National Park. He is also an artists, and illustrates nature for trail signs in San Francisco and publications throughout the county.

While he specializes in butterflies, Liam has a broad interest in the natural world, and he was recently in Costa Rica, taking a Dragonfly Class with Dennis Paulson. The group was allowed into the La Selva Biological Reserve. “We were there to see (and did see) the bizarre Helicopter Damselflies (Coenagrionidae). With four wings beating independently, the tip spots seem seem to whirl around these large, very slender species. They pluck spiders from their webs while in flight. Amazing day, but the humidity was literally dangerous and as I made my way back out of the jungle (to find...oxygen), the light hit the fungi in such a way that made me stop. Like I say on my profile on Instagram (robber_fly) : I love Nature, Color & Form - the Cookeina fulfilled all three.”

Aptly called “cup fungi,” Cookeina make up a genus of fungus that are found mainly in the tropics. Their beautiful cup shape is directly related to their main purpose, which is of course spore distribution. As the cup, or apothecium, fills with rain water, asci, or spore-containing cells, become engorged. When the water evaporates, the tips of the asci pop, releasing spores into the air.

“My use of iNaturalist is slightly selfish - I exploit it daily...trying to...learn. Trying to become a better teacher.  Trying to...see what other's see and being utterly jealous and happy for them :),” says Liam. “I don't do Facebook or Twitter, so, iNat is kinda my main social platform. I've come to make friends with many folks here and that, by far, is my favorite part. Meeting up with other Nature Nerds and letting them show Me what They find...enthralling.”

And for folks who send him robberfly (Asilidae) observations to ID, Liam has a confession:

I picked them as a handle because...I wanted to butch up the butterfly thing. They eat butterflies and- are long, sinewy, creepy and wolf-like, like me. But...I don't know my Asilids (does anyone?) and there are days I regret it, but not when I was in the Puerto Vallarta Botanical Gardens a few years back. "Gracias, Señor Robberfly" That, I liked.

- by Tony Iwane


- Check out this short video of Cookeina speciosa releasing spores.

- Listen to an interview with Liam on KQED’s Forum.

- There are over 150 observations of Cookeina on iNaturalist, and they are quite beautiful.

- Here’s some charmingly old school footage of helicopter damselfies.

Ingresado el 11 de agosto de 2020 por hannahsun99 hannahsun99 | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario
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Observation of the Week 2017-07-21

This Alloniscus mirabilis isopod, seen in California by alex_bairstow, is our Observation of the Week!

While many high school students are working summer jobs, volunteering, and just having fun, Alex Bairstow is finding and documenting new species for iNaturalist!

A resident of Southern California, Alex describes himself as a “nature enthusiast,” and is interested in birds, fish, mollusks, and more. Right now he’s gearing up for his senior year of high school in the fall and he says that after he graduates, “ideally, I'd like to go into a career in marine biology.”

Alex is already on the right path, as he posted iNaturalist’s first two observations of Alloniscus mirabilis, an isopod native to California (here’s the second observation). According to iNat Co-director and isopod enthusiast Scott Loarie (@loarie), these are the first documented photos of this species he’s been able to find on the web. “This is a pretty awesome contribution to iNat,” he says.

Alex discovered these isopods while on a trip to Cabrillo National Monument, where he took some of his relatives who were visiting from Sweden. “[Cabrillo National Monument] has some pretty great tide pools, but it was high tide when we arrived, so I decided to check the cliff faces bordering the upper intertidal zone instead. That's when I came across a few interesting woodlice, which thanks to Scott Loarie and Jonathan Wright, I learned were Alloniscus mirablis,” he tells me.

According to Jonathan Wright, it was interesting that Alex found the creatures in crevices on a cliffside (see above); these isopods are usually found on the sand, under driftwood and other cover. According to UC-Santa Barbara Marine Science Institute researchers David Hubbard and Jennifer Dugan, sand-dwelling isopods in Southern California, including members of Alloniscus, are declining in population and range (see article here). Loarie muses that perhaps the isopods are moving into the cliff faces due to lack of suitable beach habitat; obviously more studies would have to be done, but it’s an intriguing possibility. That a teenage nature enthusiast would find these creatures in an unlikely habitat, then post the first photos of the species online, illustrates the potential of citizen science.

“Since joining iNaturalist about a year ago, the way I view nature has changed drastically,” says Alex. “Instead of focusing on just one group of organisms (i.e. birds), iNaturalist has encouraged me to see the bigger picture and enjoy all that nature has to offer.”

- by Tony Iwane


- Check out some of the other faved Isopod observations on iNat!

- We’re used to seeing tiny isopods, but of course there are enormous ones at the bottom of the ocean.

Ingresado el 11 de agosto de 2020 por hannahsun99 hannahsun99 | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario
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