16 de diciembre de 2022

Recent past in summary

A good part of my time the past few days have been spent working on the fossil project, trying to get my collection documented (still a very long way to go) and trying to figure out how best to use the tags and fields as tools to help learn the biostratigraphy and (hopefully) shed light on some patterns that correlate faunas with lithological characteristics (an even further way to go). https://www.inaturalist.org/projects/paleozoic-life-of-missouri

But also, a request from Ray, who is trying to learn more about the spiders of the genus Dolomedes, has gotten me out hunting spiders. While this hunt was not nearly as fruitful as I would have hoped toward its specific goal, it did represent a very focused survey of active spiders with the accompanying satisfaction of learning firsthand more about spider's winter phenology. Namely that Rabidosa punctulata, outside of caves, appears to be the most active and abundant spider of the season. https://www.inaturalist.org/observations?d1=2022-12-01&d2=2022-12-16&place_id=any&taxon_id=47118&user_id=ozarkpoppy&verifiable=any&view=species

Also, this hunt sent me to the caves, which I had not visited in a bit, where I noticed for the first time an abundance of Anopheles punctipennis - https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/144328207. I am not saying they have not been present in the past, but that I probably just now noticed them. I am not sure why this kind of thing happens, but they grabbed my imagination - they were abundant and seemingly (at least when I shined my light on them), relatively active. I would think that the moderated temperatures of a cave would not be cool enough to slow metabolism down to the point of considerable energy savings so what do they feed on? However, the Herald Moth is known to overwinter in caves, and I'd assume they also are not feeding - https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/102992702. It is probably obvious to some that for an insect to go months at a time without feeding is no problem - that is the danger of dabbling in things I know nothing about - in this case the physiology of insects.

And while on the topic of arthropod physiology, I'll go ahead and mention an observation made concerning Dolomedes albineus. I captured a specimen for Ray - https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/144292597 - and trying to keep it alive without food I thought it best to keep it cool, so I set its container on the back porch where I forgot to bring it in one night (that dipped well below freezing). I would have expected that this spider, had it been left alone on the Boxelder on which I found it, would have retreated to somewhere of moderated temperature at the approach of subfreezing weather. But this spider in the plastic yogurt tub on the back porch had no such option - I was feeling very guilty when I opened the container the next day but to my surprise it was alive and well (as it could be, being held hostage).

Another of the past week's highlights was seeing the first Waltzing Fly of the season - https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/144358533. As usual, on a deer carcass. However, the next day, coming across one of the ubiquitous armadillo carcasses that litter the Ozark's winter forests, I stopped to observe it without seeing a Waltzing Fly and realized I had never seen one on an armadillo before. Why? What would make them unsuitable? or do they use them, and I just have not observed it yet?

Publicado el 16 de diciembre de 2022 11:59 por ozarkpoppy ozarkpoppy | 5 comentarios | Deja un comentario