10 de julio de 2020

Insect, Spider, Harvestmen, and other terrestrial "bug" ID resources

🐞US and Canadian "bugs": https://BugGuide.net
🐞Austin Bug Collection: http://www.austinbug.com/index.html (by Valerie G at BugGuide.net).

Ingresado el 10 de julio de 2020 por jbecky jbecky | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario

26 de mayo de 2020

🗝 Assorted Keys to Plants

🗝 Flora of the Southern and Mid-Atlantic States: http://www.herbarium.unc.edu/FloraArchives/WeakleyFlora_2015-05-21.pdf

🗝 A REVISION OF PHYLLANTHUS (EUPHORBIACEAE) IN THE CONTINENTAL UNITED STATES, by GRADY L. WEBSTER: https://herbarium.ucdavis.edu/publications/webster/40.Brittonia%20Vol.%2022%201970.pdf

🗝 Equisetum Species: These keys all require the vegetative stalks in addition to the reproductive ones.

Ingresado el 26 de mayo de 2020 por jbecky jbecky | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario

24 de mayo de 2020

Cultivated Plant ID Resources

Ingresado el 24 de mayo de 2020 por jbecky jbecky | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario

17 de mayo de 2020

21 de octubre de 2019

Texas Flora Resources

🌻 wildflower.org. Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center

🌻 Wildflowers of Texas (A Timber Press Field Guide) by Michael Eason

🌻 https://www.flickr.com/photos/162482904@N06/. Michael Eason's TexasFlora Flickr feed.

🌻 The Biota of North America: http://BONAP.net

🌻 Argemone info: https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/44209042

🌻 Lindheimer Senna: Extrafloral nectaries between the leaflets (all pairs), thin colored tips. White leaflet margin, hairy. Tip from @jeanphilippeb:

🌻 Walnut species in Central Texas, courtesy of @lanechaffin:
J micro leaflets 11-25 / leaf length 10- 14" / leaflet size 2-3"L x .5 - .75" / fruit .5- .75"
J major leaflets 9-15 / leaf length 7- 14" / leaflet size 2.5-4"L x .6- 1.3" / fruit 1 - 1.5"
J nigra leaflets 13-23 / leaf length 12- 24" / leaflet size 3- 5"L x 1- 2" / fruit 1.5- 2.5"

🌻 Info about Texas plants from Austin College (found while looking for a milkweed, haven't yet figured out how to get to the rest of it): http://artemis.austincollege.edu/acad/bio/gdiggs/NCTX%20pdf/FNCT%200210-0617.pdf

🌻 Small blue skullcaps: Scutellaria wrightii vs Scutellaria drummondii: curve upward in corolla tube and woody stems from past growth point to this perennial (from @franpfer).

Ingresado el 21 de octubre de 2019 por jbecky jbecky | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario

Cactus ID resources

So many prickly pears! Here are resource that might help me tell them apart. I guess I have to start photographing them again.

🌵 Cacti of the Trans-Pecos & Adjacent Areas by A. Michael Powell and James F. Weedin has lots of information on various Opuntia spp.

🌵 Opuntiads.com website (descriptions with herbarium scans and images of live plants, etc.). It also does the chollas, which recently split out of genus Opuntia.

🌵 Texas opuntia species: https://www.opuntiads.com/category/texas-opuntias/

🌵 The Opuntiads group on FB is another great resource, plenty of knowledgeable people there.

🌵 "Texas Cacti" by Brian Loflin and Shirley Loflin. Some species have variability within a species and there are sub species.

Ingresado el 21 de octubre de 2019 por jbecky jbecky | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario

19 de octubre de 2019

Wild Basin Nature Preserve, Arroyo Vista Loop, walk 10/18/19

My summer of rediscovering Texas flora was interrupted in June by an injury requiring foot surgery. In early October, I was cleared to put full weight on my foot (in a surgical boot) and walk on uneven surfaces, but today (4 months later) was the first day since then that walking outside has been an option. We’ve either had slip-and-fall-risk terrain from rain or heat-stroke weather with temperatures approaching 100F and high humidity. Because the idea of walking around my neighborhood on concrete in a surgical boot was unappealing, my husband, a friend, and I went to a nearby greenbelt, Wild Basin Wilderness Preserve on Loop 360 in Austin, TX. Its accessible trail, the half mile Arroyo Vista Loop, was a challenge for my wobbly ankle and stiff arch. I remember that when my dad visited years ago, the path was smooth, flat, and well mulched. Apparently when I walk with more sure-footed people, I pay much less attention to the trail’s maintenance, so I was surprised to see that the years had not been kind to the trail footing. But I survived.

A birthday party of elementary school girls thundered past us throughout our walk, but I was unable to work up any outrage for the noise. Mostly I enjoyed the clean smell of nature, admired and photographed the plants, watched the occasional butterfly flit by, and glimpsed a few insects and spiders before they disappeared. Butterflies were small yellow Sulfurs (?) and a few Monarchs passing through on their way to their wintering grounds. Boot-encumbered old ladies with cell phone cameras aren’t going to photograph butterflies on a rocky hillside, so you’ll just have to take my word for it.

My favorite observation today was a fine textured twining vine with small, narrow leaves and minuscule flowers. I could see it had tiny white flowers but I needed the zoom screen on my phone to have a clue about their shape and I had to see it on my tablet to really see its features. I've tentatively IDed it as an Edwards Plateau native,
Bearded Swallow-Wort, Metastelma barbigerum. It’s easy to see, with extreme magnification, why it’s called "bearded." Don’t know about the swallow-wort part. Maybe it’s something to do with sore throats...

Looking up this plant led me down a dark path. Two European species of swallow-worts have become a well-researched, invasive scourge on wildlands and fields in the eastern US 🍁🍂. Both Black Swallow-wort and Pale Swallow-wort are aggressive vines that can form a solid canopy or fill up a field by twining up itself, which isn’t good for the plants they compete with for light, water, and nutrients. Their roots give off allelopathic compounds that prevent or reduce the germination and growth of other plants, including native milkweed species that are the “proper” larval hosts of Monarchs and many related butterflies. They’re also larval trap plants, meaning that the adults will lay their eggs on the invaders but the larvae die because their host plant doesn't nourish them. Talk about three strikes for the Monarchs!

I didn’t learn whether M. barbigerum is a good, bad, or indifferent host for Monarchs, although other native Metastelma species are acceptable hosts for other butterflies. But I did learn something about climate change and the milkweed/Monarch relationship 🐼. It’s fairly well-known that Monarch larvae accumulate toxins from their host plants for defense against predators and parasites 🍃 🍁 🍂. But it was news to me that when the plants grow in warmer temperatures, they produce too much of the toxin, which reduces the vigor of the larvae and adult butterflies. Plus, when CO2 levels rise, the toxins become less effective at protecting against parasites 🌿. This is bad news about climate change that I had somehow overlooked.

Taxonomically, swallow-worts are milkweeds. You probably figured that out for yourself because they’re Monarch hosts. They’re in the Milkweed subfamily (Asclepiadoideae) of the Dogbane family (Apocynaceae). Wait, you hadn’t heard about the dogbanes absorbing the milkweeds? That’s OK. Except in botanical circles, it didn’t make headlines. In the taxon scheme iNaturalist uses, the European invaders are in a different genus than “my” swallow-wort: Cynanchum versus Metastelma. But in other schemes, the Bearded Swallow-wort is lumped in with them as Cynanchum barbigerum. I’m glad iNat keeps up with taxon juggling for me and Google makes it easy to look up obsolete names.

If you feel like exploring or IDing, here are my observations:

I’d be overjoyed if someone who knows Harvestmen, bees, or mites would look at my arthropods


Ingresado el 19 de octubre de 2019 por jbecky jbecky | 1 observación | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario

09 de septiembre de 2019

Use Duplicate instead of uploading multiple copies of a photo that has multiple observations in it

I scuba dive and frequently have a photo of a school of fish. The fish in the school might all be the same or not, and fish that school together often appear very similar. So either I have a picture with one species or many species.

🐠 If I think they're all the same species, I post the photo and explain in the Notes/Description that I think they're all the same and to please correct me if they're not.

If someone suggests they're multiple species, I:

  1. Duplicate the observation. That photo is now referenced by 2 observations.
  2. Identify which species I want to ID in each observation. Sometimes you can just explain in the text of each observation like I did in this pair of observations:

    Sometimes you need to circle them in copies of the photo and add a marked photo to each observation. I can't find an example of this scenario.

This doesn't allow me to record how many fish are in the school in a searchable way, like would be possible if I made an observation for each fish regardless of species. It also doesn't allow me to mark attributes like adult versus juvenile, male versus female, and so on, if the photo contains a mix. But I don't care about that. If someone does care, they can ask me.

🐠 If I think a photo contains multiple species, I do it similarly:

If I think iNat users will be confused, like if I want to identify a camouflaged fish on a colorful sponge, I create an observation for one of them, duplicate it, and then add a closeup of the transparent fish as the first photo to the fish's observation. I also include an explanation in the sponge's observation that the observation is the sponge.

Check out this example:

🐠 In coral reef photos, there are often many species. Here's a photo where I got carried away and created many observations. The duplicated photo links to all the associated observations:

(Based on my reply to an iNat forum question)

Ingresado el 09 de septiembre de 2019 por jbecky jbecky | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario

19 de agosto de 2019

Nudibranch & Sea Slug ID Resources

🐌 Nudibranchs and Sea Slugs Identification: Indo-Pacific book, Vol 2, by Gosliner, Valdés, and Behrens (available in print and online from New World Publications)

🐌 Reef Creature Identification 3rd EDITION: Florida Caribbean Bahamas, by Paul Humann, Ned DeLoach and Les Wilk (available in print and online from New World Publications)

🐌 Nudibranch Behavior, by Behrens (available in print and online from New World Publications)

🐌 The now reference-only Sea Slug Forum (http://www.seaslugforum.net)

🐌 Sea Slug World: https://en.seaslug.world/
🐌 Sea Slugs of Hawaii: http://seaslugsofhawaii.com

🐌 http://fijireeffish.com (user iNat maractwin's site about the marine critters of Fiji)

🐌 An article I want to read behind a $50 paywall:
Title: Reading between the lines: revealing cryptic species diversity and colour patterns in Hypselodoris nudibranchs (Mollusca: Heterobranchia: Chromodorididae)
A molecular phylogeny is presented for 48 species of the genus Hypselodoris (Family: Chromodorididae), which incorporated 64 newly sequenced specimens. Hypselodoris is monophyletic and divided into clades that exhibit varying support. Novel diversity was found, with the distinctness of 17 new species of Hypselodoris supported by the molecular phylogeny, subsequent species delimitation analysis and morphological data. The following species are described here: Hypselodoris alburtuqali Gosliner & Johnson sp. nov., Hypselodoris brycei Gosliner & Johnson sp. nov., Hypselodoris cerisae Gosliner & Johnson sp. nov., Hypselodoris confetti Gosliner & Johnson sp. nov., Hypselodoris iba Gosliner & Johnson sp. nov., Hypselodoris juniperae Gosliner & Johnson sp. nov., Hypselodoris katherinae Gosliner & Johnson sp. nov., Hypselodoris lacuna Gosliner & Johnson sp. nov., Hypselodoris melanesica Gosliner & Johnson sp. nov., Hypselodoris paradisa Gosliner & Johnson sp. nov., Hypselodoris perii Gosliner & Johnson sp. nov., Hypselodoris roo Gosliner & Johnson sp. nov., Hypselodoris rositoi Gosliner & Johnson sp. nov., Hypselodoris skyleri Gosliner & Johnson sp. nov., Hypselodoris variobranchia Gosliner & Johnson sp. nov., Hypselodoris violacea Gosliner & Johnson sp. nov. and Hypselodoris yarae Gosliner & Johnson sp. nov. Further examination of colour patterns supports previous suggestions that inheritance of colour patterns from common ancestors occurs, as do convergences, driven by Müllerian mimicry.

Ingresado el 19 de agosto de 2019 por jbecky jbecky | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario

14 de agosto de 2019

Marine Reef Shrimp ID Resources

🔹 Reef Creature Identification: Tropical Pacific, by Paul Humann and Ned DeLoach, from New World Books available online in print and eBook.

🔹 Banded coral shrimp/boxer shrimp:

🔹 Vir commensal shrimp:

🔹 More shrimp:

🍤 How I identify a specific goby shrimp that's not in the Humann & DeLoach book

Fine-striped Snapping Shrimp, Alpheus ochrostriatus
It's more clear when you can see the two white saddles farther down the shrimp's body. But the fine beige lines down a pale body (or vice versa) with yellowish legs is how I ID them.

Here is an example from a site with (I think) a good ID track record:

It also seems to be used in the aquarium trade:

If I'm wrong, I'll have to go back and correct a bunch of IDs.

There's a Red Sea shrimp that has the 2 white saddles but it's not in any way yellow in any pictures I've seen, has dark antennae & a fat dark crescent under its front leg, and has dark bands in addition to the saddles. It's the Djedda Snapping Shrimp, Alpheus djeddensis.

I explained it in this observation:

Ingresado el 14 de agosto de 2019 por jbecky jbecky | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario