29 de septiembre de 2021

A whole collection of ID resources

Ingresado el 29 de septiembre de 2021 por jbecky jbecky | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario

31 de agosto de 2020

Animal ID Resources


🦆Feathers: https://www.inaturalist.org/projects/found-feathers
🦆Feathers (from @artemesia): USFWS Feather Atlas if you’re looking to help with IDs! It’s pretty neat and not many people seem to know about it. They have an ID tool here and a general browser of the database here, if you click through the family + genus links. . :)

Ingresado el 31 de agosto de 2020 por jbecky jbecky | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario

28 de agosto de 2020

Mushroom ID Resources

🍄Texas Mushroom Identification Facebook group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/TexasMushroomID
🍄Tree slime, stump flux and microbial consortia: https://blog.mycology.cornell.edu/2010/04/30/tree-slime-stump-flux-and-microbial-consortia/
🍄 An iNaturalist Introduction to Mushrooming: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LKF_pIY0Zpc

Ingresado el 28 de agosto de 2020 por jbecky jbecky | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario

10 de julio de 2020

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

🐞US and Canadian "bugs": https://BugGuide.net
🐞North American Moth Photographers Group: http://mothphotographersgroup.msstate.edu/
🐞Austin Bug Collection: http://www.austinbug.com/index.html (by Valerie G at BugGuide.net).
🐞Large Milkweed Bug vs Small Milkweed Bug (plus other species in those genera), from @fabienpiednoir:
"More than than, at least three Oncopeltus and two Lygaeus species.
Oncopeltus nymphs have a transverse black bar running alongside the posterior pronotum margin.
Lygaeus nymphs don't, but rather have two small diagonal black marking on the anterior pronotal lobe."
🐞 Flies: from @trinaroberts "Try the ID guides and keys at https://sites.google.com/view/flyguide if you want to know more about how to distinguish this species from others."

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

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17 de mayo de 2020

21 de octubre de 2019

Texas Flora Resources and Cheat Sheet

Plant ID Books and Websites

🌻 Shinners and Mahler’s Illustrated Flora of North Central Texas pdfs can be found on the BRIT website: https://www.brit.org/brit-press/nctexasflora. (Thanks to @rymcdaniel for the tip.)

🌻 Central Texas Wetland Plants: http://www.austintexas.gov/watershed_protection/publications/document.cfm?id=203088

🌻 wildflower.org. Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center

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

🌻 Studies on the Vascular Plants of Williamson County, Texas: Dr. Art Gibson, a retired professor from UCLA now living in Georgetown, has an ongoing project aimed at providing field-based descriptions of the native and naturalized plant species of Williamson County: https://w3.biosci.utexas.edu/prc/K12/pdf/

🌻 Wildflower Identification Website, Search for wildflowers by location, color, shape and time: https://wildflowersearch.org/. (This website has links to a variety of sites for descriptions of each species.)

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

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

🌻 Wildflowers of Texas web site by a guy named Jay. Don't know their creds, but it has lots of photos and can be easily verified: http://www.wildflowersoftexas.com/

🌻 David Bogler's Interactive Key to the Legumes of Texas:

🌻 David Bogler's Interactive Keys by state:

🌻 The Weedy Species of Sandmats (Euphorbia sect. Anisophyllum) in Texas : https://www.inaturalist.org/guides/2412

Becky's Identification Cheat Sheet

Trees and Shrubs

Trees and shrubs with once-compound leaves

🌿 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"
🌿 Prairie Flameleaf Sumac (Rhus lanceolata): leaves alternate, pinnately compound, 12 inches long; 7-15 leaflets per leaf, narrowly lanceolate leaflets, slightly hooked, leaflet margins are entire. “Prominent wings” on rachis (I see them as less prominent and less green than R. copallinum, more like fatter rachis with a channel down the middle). Monoecious. Pyramid-shaped terminal inflorescence (panicle).
🌿Shining Sumac (R. copallinum): leaves alternate, pinnately compound, 12 inches long; 7-15 leaflets per leaf, lanceolate leaflets (rounder and broader than R. lanceolata). Leaflet margins are entire. Not hooked. Prominent wings along rachis (greener and leafier than R. lanceolata). Monoecious. Pyramid-shaped terminal inflorescence (panicle).
🌿Smooth Sumac (R. glare): leaves alternate, pinnately compound, 12-18 inches long, 11-31 leaflets per leaf. Not hooked. Leaflet margins are serrated. No wings on rachis. Dioecious. Inflorescence panicle, up to 8 inches long (inches longer than Prairie and Shining), upright when flowering, drooping when fruit matures.
🌿 Staghorn Sumac (R. typhina): not found in Texas or other deep south states.
🌿 Poison Sumac (Toxicodendron vernix): Not found in central Texas. Leaves alternate, pinnately compound, 8-13 inches long, 7-13 ovate leaflets. leaflet margins are entire. Inflorescence in leaf axils, pendant. Found in swampy areas.

🌿 Tree-of-Heaven (Ailanthus altissima): leaves alternate, pinnately compound, 1 -3 feet long. Leaflets 11-41, 2-6 inches long, pointed at the tip with a slight hook, with glandular teeth near the base. Fruit is an oblong twisted samara, seed in the middle, hanging in dense clusters.
🌿Kentucky coffeetree (Gymnocladus dioicus): not found in Texas or other deep south states. (Someone used this as an ID in Central Texas.
🌿Black walnut (Juglans nigra): Leaves alternate, pinnately compound, 12 to 24 inches long with 10 to 24 leaflets (poorly formed or missing terminal leaflet), leaflets are ovate-lanceolate, finely serrate, and 3 to 3 1/2 inches long. Rachis slightly fuzzy.
🌿Chinese pistache (Pistacia chinensis): Leaf: Alternate, pinnately compound, 10 to 12 inches long, 10 to 12 lanceolate to narrow ovate leaflets, entire margins, tapering pointed tips. Shiny green. Dioecious; red to green, males in tight 2 to 3 inch long clusters (like buds) along last year’s stem, females in looser, longer groups, somewhat showy since they appear before the leaves in early spring.
🌿Western Soapberry (Sapindus drummondii): Leaves alternate, pinnately compound, 8 to 13 inches long, 9 to 15 lance-shaped, inequilateral (similar to Prairie Flameleaf Sumac), pointed leaflet (less so than Prairie Sumac), each 2 to 3 inches long, yellow-green above, slightly fuzzy beneath.

From @baldeagle: “First, young soapberries have a tendency to produce leaves that are not true to form in a couple of ways:
They are odd, not even, pinnate.
In the case of S. drummondii, they have the wings that are typical of S. saponaria.

Fortunately, we have an easier way to distinguish between S. drummondii and S. saponaria: if it's west of the Mississippi, it isn't S. saponaria. Even I can remember that. :-)”
🌿Soapberry (Sapindus saponaria): We don’t have it west of the Mississippi. Our young Western Soapberries often have winged rachis.

🌿Mexican Buckeye (Ungnadia speciosa) has 3-lobed fruits similar to the buckeyes in the Horse Chestnut genus Aesculus but its leaves are pinnately compound instead of palmately compound.

Trees and shrubs with bi- and tri-pinnate compound leaves

🌿Chinaberry (Melia azedarach): Leaves alternate, single to doubly pinnately compound, 10 to 22 inches long, leaflets coarsely toothed or lobed. Long, loose cluster of purple flowers. Fruits in hanging clusters, up to 3/4 inch diameter, yellow-brown drupe. Ripen in fall, persist through winter.
🌿Goldenraintree (Koelreuteria paniculata): Leaves alternate, pinnately (or partially bi-pinnately) compound, irregular serrations or lobes on leaflets, 8 to 14 inches long, 9 to 15 leaflets, deep green above, lighter below. Bright yellow flowers, about 1/2 inch wide), in a 10-15 inch, many-branched, terminal panicle. Fruits are a triangular, papery capsule, in clusters.
🌿Nandina domestica: Upright canes instead of a trunk; leaves all come off the cane. No lateral branching. Thrice odd pinnate.


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

🌻 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).

🌻 Cen Tex frogfruits, genus Phyla, from https://warcapps.usgs.gov/PlantID/Species/Details/4050:
"Phyla nodiflora has leaf blades mostly widest toward the apex and toothed only near the apex. Phyla lanceolata has leaf blades that are mostly widest at or below the middle and toothed from below the middle to the apex (also fits P. ... Peduncle less than or slightly longer than the leaves (4-9 cm)."

🌻 Mexican Primrose-willow (Ludwigia octovalvis, a native) vs Peruvian Primrose-willow (L. peruviana, an exotic invasive): Both are yellow flowered, water-loving, bushy evening primroses with largish yellow flowers with 4 petals and 8 stamens. Fruits are 4-sided. Leaves are alternate in both.

  • Leaves of L. octovalvis have a short but distinct petiole, where leaves of L. peruviana have no petiole (or just a suggestion of a petiole, if you're not really into the specifics of petiole attachment). Neither species has wings.
  • L. peruviana has moderately squat fruits--about 3-4 times longer than the width at the tip--and very noticeably wider at the tip than the base. L. octovalvis fruits are elongated and thinner with less prominent widening at the tip.
  • Their habitats overlap in marshy places and along streams and ponds, but L. peruviana can apparently handle less water and may grow in ditches and other places not actually near the edge of or in water.

Primrose-willow ID info:

🌻 Small blue sages:

Salvia texana: "Upper corolla lip shorter than in S. engelmanii and not pilose on the upper surface. Also, this corolla is slightly more blue than the pale lavender you generally see in S. engelmannii." (From @alex_abair)

🌻 Monarda, Beebalms and Bergamots (https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/84118325)
M. citriodora has showier flowers than M. punctata. Both have multiple tiers of flowers.
🌿M. punctata (Spotted Horse Mint):

  • Bracts underneath the circle of flowers are white with pink/rosy tips.
  • Bracts extend much farther out than the flowers.
  • Flowers are yellow with spots. (smaller than M. citriodora)

🌿M. citriodora (Lemon Beebalm, Horsemint):

  • Bracts underneath the circle of flowers are purple.
  • The flowers extend almost as far out as the bracts.
  • Flowers are shades of purple/pink/white with spots. (larger than M. punctata)

🌿M. fistulosa (Wild Bergamot) has a single ring of flowers with no bracts above the flowers.

🌻 Gutierrezia texana vs Amphiachyris species in North Central Texas, by @rymcdaniel: https://www.inaturalist.org/journal/rymcdaniel/28366-differentiation-of-gutierrezia-texana-and-amphiachyris-species-in-north-central-texas

🌻 That plant from Llano County with small silver leaves that looks like Silver Ponyfoot but the leaves are wrong: Eriogonum tenellum var. ramosissimum, https://www.inaturalist.org/taxa/240663-Eriogonum-tenellum-ramosissimum

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

🌻 How to Identify Anemones in TX, by @pfau_tarleton : https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/1llZApbJ29F2h9w7EYA7D3B-cDAcQra0GC01zWMCvVc8/edit#slide=id.p

🌻 Identification of Milkweeds in Texas (by TPWD and Baylor U): https://tpwd.texas.gov/publications/pwdpubs/media/pwd_rp_w7000_1803.pdf

🌻 Zephyranthes rain lilies:
📍Z. drummondii: You can see the anthers in the flower tube, but they don't stick out. You can't see the stigma. Also tends to be larger.
📍Z. chlorosolen: The anthers stick out of the flower tube. You can see the stigma, which is capitate (like a head or balled up fist). Generally smaller.
➡️ From @joshua_tx: "In the first photo, to the right of your hand about even with the top of your knuckles there is a visible joint on the stem. Above this joint is a slightly pinkish papery sheath around the stem. This joint marks the transition from stem to flower, meaning everything above this point is flower. You can see that makes for a reallyyy long flower! Both species show some natural variation as to floral tube length but Z. drummondii is never going to be that long. Z. drummondii can sometimes appear to have long flowers if the flowers happen to sit atop long stems but if you look for that joint you won't be fooled. The anthers either being protruding outside the floral tube in Z. chlorosolen or retracted inside the floral tube in Z. drummondii is probably the best single clue to species. Z. drummondii also has wider, usually blue-green leaves that more or less trail along the ground while Z. chlorosolen has narrower, greener leaves that are held more erect. Z. drummondii blooms primarily in the Spring but also blooms in smaller numbers through Fall while Z. chlorosolen blooms primarily in late Summer/early Fall and is not common to find it blooming out of season in the Spring." — https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/59656594

🌻 Yellow Passionflower vs. Bracted Passionflower: "The easiest way to distinguish these two are the filaments - lutea can be wavy, affinis can be straight - but look at the end of the filaments - affinis will be clavate at the tip (club shaped), where lutea will not" — From Texas Flora Facebook Page

🌻 Mimosas: We have half a dozen similar native Mimosa species across Texas but most have stem prickles and are called Sensitive briars and the flower heads all appear as pink "puffs" like this. M. strigillosa has only hairs instead of prickles. Mimosa pudica is an introduced species which has escaped in a few SE coastal states, Florida, Virginia and Maryland. It is sold by biological supply houses for classroom demonstration of the leaf sensitive feature. It is the number one plant misidentification because of its prominence in Google. Supposedly native to South and Central America but introduced elsewhere in Asia. — Floyd Waller, Texas Flora Facebook page,

🌻 Smilax: Smilax tamnoides (Bristly Greenbriar) has dark, needle-thin prickles. Fruits don't have the waxy coating of many other Smilax. S. bona-nox (Saw Greenbriar) has tricolored prickles (green on the wider bottom, narrowing to a point through brown and yellow).

🌻 Agalinis, False Foxgloves: https://www.inaturalist.org/journal/pfau_tarleton/27184

🌻 Erodium of Texas (from https://ucjeps.berkeley.edu/eflora/eflora_display.php?tid=25041):

Ingresado el 21 de octubre de 2019 por jbecky jbecky | 4 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