01 de julio de 2023

100 Insecta in a Month

Last year, one of my I-nat goals was to have research grade observations of at least 100 bird species (~1% of all birds) every month. I was able to achieve this goal comfortably, especial in the winter months with all the migratory birds. One of my I-nat goals this year was to have research grade observations of at least 100 insecta species (~0.002% of all insects) in any month (insects are somewhat seasonal here where I'm living compared to where I grew up so an every month goal was infeasible). Since the species population for Insects is orders of magnitude greater than Birds, I thought this was a comfortable goal, but have I been wrong. The biggest hurdle in achieving the goal is getting research grade observations for insects as identifying birds is much easier than insects for several reasons. 1) Birds are larger animals and can be easily identified from photos. Insects tend to be smaller and many insects need to be observed at the microscopic level to narrow down to a species. 2) The majority of birds have been described and named, while there are many insects that still need to be described/named. 3) More identifiers feel comfortable identifying birds (even amateurs), while insects usually require experts in the field for identification. Given all these hurdles, I was finally able to get to my goal in June with exactly 100 research grade insecta speices for the month and counting (see full list below). As always I liked to thank all the identifiers that put up with all my photos :), especially @brianahern and @tvl for all the Lepidoptera ids, @catherine_g, @trinaroberts @stephenluk for all the diptera ids, @bdagley, @pedro3111, @mettcollsuss, @something5067 @tiwane for the Hymenoptera ids, @ameeds, @mydadguyfieri for the Hemiptera ids, @elytrid, @reptipods for the Coleoptera ids, @jimjohnson for the Odonata ids and @tgrant999 for the Orthoptera ids. There were 72 identifiers that made this possible and I wouldnt' have hit 100 without all of them.

Order Common Name Scientifc Name
Lepidoptera = 28
Acmon Blue Icaricia acmon
Anise Swallowtail Papilio zelicaon
California Sister Adelpha californica
Checkered White Pontia protodice
Common Checkered-Skipper Burnsius communis
Common Ringlet Coenonympha california
Darker-spotted Straw Moth Heliothis phloxiphaga
Echo Azure Celastrina echo
Gray Buckeye Junonia grisea
Gray Hairstreak Strymon melinus
Great Copper Tharsalea xanthoides
Margined White Pieris marginalis
Monarch Danaus plexippus
Mylitta Crescent Phyciodes mylitta
Northern Fiery Skipper Hylephila phyleus
Pacific Azure Celastrina echo
Painted Lady Vanessa cardui
Red Admiral Vanessa atalanta
Rural Skipper Ochlodes agricola
Satyr Comma Polygonia satyrus
Small White Pieris rapae
Strawberry Crown Moth Synanthedon bibionipennis
Tailed Copper Tharsalea arota
Umber Skipper Lon melane
Variable Checkerspot Euphydryas chalcedona
West Coast Lady Vanessa annabella
Western Pygmy-Blue Brephidium exilis
Western Tiger Swallowtail Papilio rutulus
Diptera = 20
Compsomyiops callipes
Chyliza notata
Bathroom Moth Fly Clogmia albipunctata
Black-backed Grass Skimmer Paragus haemorrhous
Black-margined Flower Fly Syrphus opinator
Common European Greenbottle Fly Lucilia sericata
Common Lagoon Fly Eristalinus aeneus
Common Thick-leg Fly Tropidia quadrata
Diamond Spottail Fazia micrura
Forked Globetail Sphaerophoria sulphuripes
Large-tailed Aphideater Eupeodes volucris
Margined Calligrapher Toxomerus marginatus
Oblique Streaktail Allograpta obliqua
Single-banded Plushback Palpada alhambra
Sugarcane Soldier Fly Inopus rubriceps
Swift Feather-legged Fly Trichopoda pennipes
Western Aphideater Eupeodes fumipennis
Western Calligrapher Toxomerus occidentalis
Western Forest Sedgesitter Platycheirus trichopus
Yellow-haired Sun Fly Myathropa florea
Hymenoptera = 14
Sphex lucae
American Sand Wasp Bembix americana
Argentine Ant Linepithema humile
European Paper Wasp Polistes dominula
Foothill Carpenter Bee Xylocopa tabaniformis
Golden Paper Wasp Polistes aurifer
Hairy Smooth Carpenter Ant Camponotus laevissimus
Odorous House Ant Tapinoma sessile
Pacific Velvet Ant Dasymutilla aureola
Western Honey Bee Apis mellifera
Western Velvety Tree Ant Liometopum occidentale
Western Yellowjacket Vespula pensylvanica
Yellow-faced Bumble Bee Bombus vosnesenskii
Yellow-legged Mud-dauber Wasp Sceliphron caementarium
Hemiptera = 12
Pagaronia triunata
Cosmopepla intergressa
Bagrada Bug Bagrada hilaris
Common Water Strider Aquarius remigis
Harlequin Bug Murgantia histrionica
Hedge Nettle Stink Bug Cosmopepla conspicillaris
Hyaline Grass Bug Liorhyssus hyalinus
Large Milkweed Bug Oncopeltus fasciatus
Red-shouldered Bug Jadera haematoloma
Southern Green Stink Bug Nezara viridula
Syzygium Leaf Psyllid Trioza adventicia
Western Boxelder Bug Boisea rubrolineata
Coleoptera = 12
Dicheirus piceus
Platynus brunneomarginatus
Strophiona tigrina
Calathus ruficollis
Asian Lady Beetle Harmonia axyridis
California Lady Beetle Coccinella californica
Convergent Lady Beetle Hippodamia convergens
Ornate Checkered Beetle Trichodes ornatus
Red-eared Blister Beetle Lytta auriculata
Seven-spotted Lady Beetle Coccinella septempunctata
Spotted Cucumber Beetle Diabrotica undecimpunctata
Twenty-spotted Lady Beetle Psyllobora vigintimaculata
Odonata = 9
Blue-eyed Darner Rhionaeschna multicolor
Cardinal Meadowhawk Sympetrum illotum
Common Whitetail Plathemis lydia
Flame Skimmer Libellula saturata
Pacific Forktail Ischnura cervula
Red-veined Meadowhawk Sympetrum madidum
Variegated Meadowhawk Sympetrum corruptum
Vivid Dancer Argia vivida
Widow Skimmer Libellula luctuosa
Orthoptera = 5
Brown-spotted Bush-cricket Tessellana tessellata
California Chaparral Katydid Platylyra californica
Clear-winged Grasshopper Camnula pellucida
Fontana Grasshopper Trimerotropis fontana
Pallid-winged Grasshopper Trimerotropis pallidipennis
Publicado el julio 1, 2023 03:40 TARDE por muddphoto muddphoto | 6 comentarios | Deja un comentario

19 de junio de 2023


One of my favorite things to observe and photograph is Lepidoptera (butterflies and moths). At the start of 2019 (2 years B.I. i.e. before I found Inat) my life list was at 0. Fast forward 4 years later and I'm at 118 research grade and counting :), with hopefully many more to go. Before Inat, butterflies meant either a Monarch, or a western tiger swallowtail (since that was the extent of my knowledge). Thankfully, Inat has exposed me to so much more, and motivated me to find even more! I'll like to thank my identifiers for helping and sharing this journey especially to people like @akk2, @tvl, @birdernaturalist, @roomthily, @stomlins701, @brianhem, @konrad_k, @aguilita. Thanks again, and if you're curious about the journey, my lifelist broken down my family and year can be found here

Publicado el junio 19, 2023 05:10 TARDE por muddphoto muddphoto | 1 comentario | Deja un comentario

05 de noviembre de 2022

100 Birds in 4 Days

One of my new year's resolution this year was to observe at least 100 bird species a month (research grade observations), as detailed in my previous journal post (https://www.inaturalist.org/journal/muddphoto/70269-thank-you). Thankfully, I've been able to hit this goal (which is not super difficult as my home location grants me easy access to many diverse bird habitats) every month of the year, and so 1 of the things I track to make it more interesting is how long does it take to get to 100 bird species observations. Previously, the fastest I've gotten to 100 was in May, where I was able to do it in 5 days (although in my mind this month always had an * since I spent the first day of the month in Southern California which made it much easier to get to 100). Today, when I woke up and checked I-nat I was at 73 bird species for the month and started to think, maybe, just maybe, I can get a new personal record and get to 100 bird species observed in 4 days...I just needed 27 more observations. So I went for it, drove south and north along the coast (thanks to hybrid work week 'working from home' for making this possible), visited elkhorn slough, wilder ranch state park, natural bridges state park and Swanton Berry farm and was able to get 101 bird species observations at the time of writing this post. Again I will like to thank all the people that take time out of their busy lives to ID my photos (special shoutouts to @burtosa @feathered @roomthily @david99 @guyincognito). I've enjoyed the journey and looking forward to observing more bird species in California and on my travels.

Publicado el noviembre 5, 2022 04:23 MAÑANA por muddphoto muddphoto | 1 observación | 1 comentario | Deja un comentario

24 de septiembre de 2022

Thank You!!

When I stumbled on iNaturalist less than a year ago I couldn't imagine the journey I was about to partake in. What started out as a means to identify some animals observed from my wildlife photography, turned into a quest to observe 1000 species, which got refined to 1000 species of research grade animalia(plant photography is just not as fun). During the process I've learned so much from the over 1000 identifiers that have added identifications to my observations, such as; gull identification is next to impossible, it's basically impossible to tell the difference between a short bill and long bill dowitcher, parrotfish identification is next to impossible, different species of ladybugs have a different number of spots and some have no spots, there are a large number of pollinators that exist that are not called Western honey bees. I've also learnt some not so pleasant things; the deformed wing virus affecting western honey bees, that over 50 of the species I've observed are threatened in some way, and that a few are endangered, like the Jamaican Ameiva, Caribbean reef shark, Caribbean whiptail sting ray.

The journey has been amazing (setting some mini goals along the way, e.g. 100 bird ids a month, and 300 animalia ids a month in any month that I leave the state of California) and I have reached my goal (which seemed impossible at the start) and I would like to specially thank certain identifiers for helping to reach my goal.

Clas aves
@david99, @guyincognito, @lsueza , @roomthily, @motmot, @bigsam, @a-tristis, @feathered, @bridgetspencer, @paniaguanaturalista, @eric_centenero-alcala, @aguilita, @quiltedquetzal, @dougstotz. Special mention to @burtosa for helping me identify that small gull in Santa cruz.

Class Actinopterygii
@sue1001, @uconnbirdfish, @maractwin, @socal_angling, @nat_t, @jbrasher, @kempe. Special mention to @prickly_sculpin for al the sculpin ids.

Class Arachnida
@tigerbb, @e16, @jumping_arachnids

Class Insecta
@akk2, @josefloribundus, @kgrebennikov, @tvl, @jimjohnson, @roomthily, @elytrid, @trinaroberts, @lupoli_roland, @bdagley, @pedro3111, @aguilita, @zdanko

Phylum Porifera
@blue_lotus for all the sponge identifications

Phylum Cnidaria
@joe_fish, @phelsumas4life for all the coral identifications

Phylum Mollusca
@jeffgoddard, especially for those limpets

Class Reptilia
@inbar for all the anole identifications

Class Malacostraca

Phylum Annelida

Phylum Echinodermata
@predomalpha, @jbrasher, @phelsumas4life

Special shoutout to @damionwhyte for all the Jamaica animalia ids.

Thanks again for sharing your knowledge and bearing with me as I posted over 10,000 observations in the past year.

For those who are curious here is the breakdown
Birds, Class Aves, 284
Insects, Class Insecta, 225
Ray-finned Fishes, Class Actinopterygii, 208
Molluscs, Phylum Mollusca, 59
Cnidarians, Phylum Cnidaria, 41
Arachnids, Class Arachnida, 35
Reptiles, Class Reptilia, 35
Mammals, Class Mammalia, 31
Malacostracans, Class Malacostraca, 29
Sponges, Phylum Porifera, 16
Echinoderms, Phylum Echinodermata, 12
Segmented Worms, Phylum Annelida, 8
Amphibians, Class Amphibia, 5
Elasmobranchs, Class Elasmobranchii, 5
Barnacles and Copepods, Class Hexanauplia, 4
Millipedes, Class Diplopoda, 2
Sea Squirts, Class Ascidiacea, 1
Entognathans, Class Entognatha, 0
Centipedes, Class Chilopoda, 0

Publicado el septiembre 24, 2022 08:18 TARDE por muddphoto muddphoto | 14 comentarios | Deja un comentario