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Hillizard

Great post Nathan! Thanks for your information and images! Some of my favorite memories are of a week-long field trip one of my biology classes took to The Desert Studies Center at Zzyzx, (Mojave Desert). One night I had a way-too-close encounter with a solpugid in my sleeping bag! We had botanists and zoologists on our 'expedition' so we got to see things most mere mortals either overlook or miss. Spent time in the Anza Borrego (Colorado Desert) on the same trip.

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Silas_Sancona
13 minutes ago, Hillizard said:

Great post Nathan! Thanks for your information and images! Some of my favorite memories are of a week-long field trip one of my biology classes took to The Desert Studies Center at Zzyzx, (Mojave Desert). One night I had a way-too-close encounter with a solpugid in my sleeping bag! We had botanists and zoologists on our 'expedition' so we got to see things most mere mortals either overlook or miss. Spent time in the Anza Borrego (Colorado Desert) on the same trip.

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Lol, We have "Camel" Spiders here but i've yet to see any.. Not in my bed though.. :bemused:

Can't wait to be able to explore Anza Borrego  once out there.. let alone other spots in the region.. It's kind of funny how " lifeless " some might assume the desert is yet, especially in the Upland portion of the Sonoran, there's always something going on -when you look " between the lines " so to say..  I'll get them posted asap but it certainly wasn't lifeless back out at the Boulder field today.. All the Palo Verde and Acacia are in full bloom atm out there.. Streaks and blobs of Yellow.. Pretty much as far as the eye could see, in every direction. Saguaro are also flowering as well.  Closer to where the highway out to the Boulders meets Hwy. 79 near Florence, all the Ironwood are also in full bloom.. Much more out there than i'd imagined, and it was spectacular.. Only thing was those spots where they are densest, closest to the road, there really isn't any place to pull over safely to get pictures.. Stopped in one spot regardless...

Birds, Rabbits, Lizards, Antelope Squirrels.. Even bees.. that look like bumblebees, but w/ red eyes.. ( trying to look up which species ) all over the place.. Didn't see any snakes again, but know they're around..  Tons of life around out there if you take the time to observe carefully..

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Hillizard
2 hours ago, Silas_Sancona said:

Lol, We have "Camel" Spiders here but i've yet to see any.. Not in my bed though.. :bemused:

Can't wait to be able to explore Anza Borrego  once out there.. let alone other spots in the region.. It's kind of funny how " lifeless " some might assume the desert is yet, especially in the Upland portion of the Sonoran, there's always something going on -when you look " between the lines " so to say..  I'll get them posted asap but it certainly wasn't lifeless back out at the Boulder field today.. All the Palo Verde and Acacia are in full bloom atm out there.. Streaks and blobs of Yellow.. Pretty much as far as the eye could see, in every direction. Saguaro are also flowering as well.  Closer to where the highway out to the Boulders meets Hwy. 79 near Florence, all the Ironwood are also in full bloom.. Much more out there than i'd imagined, and it was spectacular.. Only thing was those spots where they are densest, closest to the road, there really isn't any place to pull over safely to get pictures.. Stopped in one spot regardless...

Birds, Rabbits, Lizards, Antelope Squirrels.. Even bees.. that look like bumblebees, but w/ red eyes.. ( trying to look up which species ) all over the place.. Didn't see any snakes again, but know they're around..  Tons of life around out there if you take the time to observe carefully..

"Tons of life around out there if you take the time to observe carefully.." So true! Patience is rewarded.

 

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Silas_Sancona
2 hours ago, Silas_Sancona said:

 Even bees.. that look like bumblebees, but w/ red eyes.. ( trying to look up which species ) all over the place.

Well, lol.. found it.. Apparently the " Red" in the name refers to the legs, not the eyes.. Didn't notice if they had red legs, lol..

Red Legged Centris, Centris rhodopus.. Apparently fairly common across the Southwest, inc. Southern CA. down into Central America.  Couldn't find all that much info. beyond where it has been observed though.
 Blurry picture alert.. They wouldn't stay still long enough to get a better shot. This was a lucky photo bomb i noticed while editing. Were collecting pollen/ nectaring exclusively on White Ratany,  Kameria bicolor. 
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Silas_Sancona
32 minutes ago, Silas_Sancona said:

Well, lol.. found it.. Apparently the " Red" in the name refers to the legs, not the eyes.. Didn't notice if they had red legs, lol..

Red Legged Centris, Centris rhodopus.. Apparently fairly common across the Southwest, inc. Southern CA. down into Central America.  Couldn't find all that much info. beyond where it has been observed though.
 Blurry picture alert.. They wouldn't stay still long enough to get a better shot. This was a lucky photo bomb i noticed while editing. Were collecting pollen/ nectaring exclusively on White Ratany,  Kameria bicolor. 
 

**Correction, Ratany species is Little Leaf Ratany, Kameria erecta, not  K. bicolor. This particular group of bees apparently collects oils from plants in various families, including the Ratanies, Much like Orchid bees, ( tribe Euglossini ) do.

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Stevetoad

Not native here but cool little guys. They don’t seem to compete too much with the locals. 
 

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bubba

The Big Boys are back:93253392-1E04-4FB8-98A1-76A37D172C66.thumb.jpeg.68ab1c117da62c70330061e94918aadf.jpeg

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Hillizard

This orange dragonfly (Sympetrum spp.) was very accommodating and remained perched on a branch of my potted Delonix regia (hopefully still just winter-dormant?) while I moved around taking pictures of it from different angles.  A windy day here with rain forecast for the next two days. I need to put out more palm fertilizer before then!

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greysrigging

It is a common local spider ( no, not 'scary creature from my worst nightmare' ), its called a Badge Huntsman ( Neosparassus magarevi ) and is fairly common in local gardens, and is quite timid and doesn't require a flamethrower to control it.......
Mind you, one does have to change the underwear when it runs across your hands whilst gardening......
 

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tropicbreeze
On 5/22/2020 at 5:46 PM, greysrigging said:

It is a common local spider ( no, not 'scary creature from my worst nightmare' ), its called a Badge Huntsman ( Neosparassus magarevi ) and is fairly common in local gardens, and is quite timid and doesn't require a flamethrower to control it.......
Mind you, one does have to change the underwear when it runs across your hands whilst gardening......

They are great looking spiders. In initially thought they might have been an Isopedella species but later was told they were Neosparassus magarevi. Recently found a fairly similar looking one, but different. Trying to find out if it's just a variation, or a different species.

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tropicbreeze

An interesting group of fairly large spiders are called Fishing Spiders. Two I've identified on my place, in the genus Dolomedes. They mostly prey on animals in or hanging around water, sometimes things larger than themselves. I've measured the leg spread of some at around 77mm, more than enough to cover the palm of your (average male) hand.

Quite common here is Dolomedes facetus. I've seen them catch tadpoles by vibrating their forelegs and rippling the water. The rippling obscures the spider so a tadpole will be unaware of the danger when it comes to the surface.

This one set its sights higher and brought in a large frog, Cyclorana (Ranoidea) australis. I only saw it after the event so don't know what tactic the spider used. The common name Crafty Fishing Spider possibly alludes to their hunting tactics.

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A less common one here is Dolomedes mankorlod which was only described in 2018. Reported to only occur in a small area about 600 kms east of here. It's named after the locality in central Arnhem Land where it was found. Funnily enough, I used to live about 10 kms from Mankorlod. This one had a leg spread from side to side of 70mm.

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tropicbreeze

Some more hairy legged animals, but this time only four legs per body. Although normally nocturnal this little family of Northern Brush-tail Possums, Trichosurus arnhemensis, was out mid afternoon. Wet season they squeeze themselves into buildings through the smallest of gaps to get out of the weather. Dry season they camp just about anywhere.

I have a lot of African Mahogony saplings, many with the bark chewed off along a lot of the trunks. I suspect it's the Possums doing it. Some of the chewed bark is far too high for Wallabies to reach and no animals around other than possums would do this. Culprits by process of elimination. Wouldn't stand up in court though, but I just want to commend them for doing it.

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tropicbreeze

Early morning encounter today while I was doing a Cane Toad patrol at home. Before the arrival of Cane Toads it was common to see snakes daily, even throughout the 'winter' period. The Toads have taken a heavy toll but it's good to still some around.

Just before day break this small one metre long Darwin Carpet Python, Morelia spilota variegata, had been visiting one of my above ground ponds and was heading back to its daytime roost. Like the way they can climb up virtually vertical faces.

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palmsrgreat

This little guy was hanging out in a mule palm today. I welcome his help with grasshopper control.

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greysrigging

An Aussie Leaf Cutter Bee putting in some hard yards at the Darwin Botanical Gardens yesterday. Collecting pollen from a Gossypium arboreum flower.  Tree Cotton was grown historically at the Gardens ( late 19th century ) when botanists were looking for suitable cash crops for the fledgling settlements on the tropical northern coasts.

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Silas_Sancona

Today's Alien sighting.  Oh, that's just a Praying Mantis:D..  ....Or is it? ( Juvenile Body Snatcher, perhaps? ):bemused:

Lots of them hanging around this year, both green and brown color morphs..
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tropicbreeze

Doing the rounds this morning before sunrise I came across this "cycle of life" event. Most often mantids are seen as vicious killing machines but this one was creating life rather than taking it.

Hierodula werneri is a reasonably large mantid and has been recorded in Darwin eating frogs and small birds. This one, measuring 80 mm, was in the process of laying eggs. The white mass she is producing is called an ootheca and it protects the eggs until they hatch.

She started laying before dawn and was finished just after first light. Not long later she disappeared. The dark spots are unusual and I would suspect some sort of disease. Normally the adults are a clean green colour, although the females can be a golden yellow right up until they mature. (See image of golden one at https://bie.ala.org.au/species/urn:lsid:biodiversity.org.au:afd.taxon:35e21173-f754-4049-a3db-209ccf8dea2a )

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There were green Tree Ants, Oecophylla smaragdina, nearby but she was ignoring them and they didn't approach.

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greysrigging

Look at the size of this fine specimen !

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tropicbreeze
59 minutes ago, greysrigging said:

Look at the size of this fine specimen !

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At a guess I'll go with Homo sapiens with Eurycnema goliath on that one. Photo wasn't taken in Darwin? The local one, Eurycnema osiris, has a uniform green coloured abdomen. E. goliath has some banding on the abdomen and generally occurs in SE QLD and NE NSW. E. osiris occurs across the top of Australia.

 

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greysrigging
40 minutes ago, tropicbreeze said:

At a guess I'll go with Homo sapiens with Eurycnema goliath on that one. Photo wasn't taken in Darwin? The local one, Eurycnema osiris, has a uniform green coloured abdomen. E. goliath has some banding on the abdomen and generally occurs in SE QLD and NE NSW. E. osiris occurs across the top of Australia.

 

I knew you would pick it as not a local one. The Homo sapiens (sp dangerous/horriblis ) and I took this pic in Bali ...lol !

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tropicbreeze

There's 4 species of Eurycnema. One generally across Indonesia. Another in Timor and New Guinea. The other 2 are Australian. Yours would be the Indonesian one, not goliath.

Get a lot of them on my place but they usually stay high in trees. It's after storms you sometimes see them blown down to the ground. If a female doesn't meet "Mr Right" she still lays eggs anyway but they hatch only into females, clones of the mother. Now, wouldn't the ancient Amazons have loved a set up like that.

Eurycnema osiris, Darwin Stick Insect. Despite the common name, it occurs from Broome across to Cairns.

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A totally loveable face.

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A late stage instar, a juvenile probably only one moult off from becoming an adult.

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Silas_Sancona

Yet another Alien summer visitor who stumbled up onto the back patio like a drunk sailor last night..  Lookin' for love in all the wrong places..
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Playin' dead.. Good opportunity for a Ventral ( belly up ) view..
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^^ Diceroprocta apache, aka the Apache or Citrus Cicada, our annual monsoon season bell weather here in Phoenix and across the more developed areas of the Desert.  Interestingly, it is one of 30 Cicada sp. which inhabit the state, and is the second ( or third ) largest in the region. Unlike the 13-17 year "Periodical" Cicadas found in the eastern U.S., these humble summer Aliens spend 1-3 years underground gnawing on the roots of various trees and larger shrubs before emerging over a 3-6 week period starting just before the Summer solstice. While some find the loud mating call annoying, Summer isn't "Summer" without the sound of Cicadas humming somewhere in the background on a hot afternoon or as the sun is setting.. Is far less annoying than listening to someone complain about having to wear a mask when at the grocery store..



Here in Arizona, the infamous " Cactus Dodger " Cicada, Cacama valvata is a common sound heard while hiking among the Saguaro this time of year. Not sure why but this species tends to shy away from suburban landscapes and is hard to approach. While it looks like the Apache, there are subtle differences in color and size, as well as the sounds produced by the males.

Another, less common species encountered along river floodplains in southern AZ, New Mexico, Sonora, ( Mexico ) and in parts of the foothills north of Phoenix is Megatibicen cultriformis, the Grand Western Flood Plains Cicada. It is the largest-sized Cicada sp. west of Texas, and the only member of the mega family Mega/Neo- tibicen ( were all once one group = Tibicen ) that occurs in the far western states. Most species in this group are found in the Eastern/Southeastern states. While generally restricted to AZ, New Mexico, and points south, a male and female specimen were found in a pool in Escondido ( CA. ) in February of 2019. How they got there, no one is 100% sure. Thinking is they were transported as nymphs living among the roots of Cottonwood trees brought to Escondido from somewhere in Southern AZ. Will be interesting to see if they establish themselves in the area. Beautiful insect.

As for the largest Cicada species in the U.S.? that title goes to the Northern Dusk singing Cicada, Megatibicen auletes of the eastern and southeastern states. Second largest is Quesada gigas, the Giant Cicada whose range extends from Central Texas ( presently, may be expanding ) to Argentina in South America. Because the Nymphs feed on the roots of frequently planted tree species such as Sweet Acacia, Mesquite, an other members in the Pea family, it is possible these will turn up in other parts of Texas and the Southwest over time. 

Wish we had some of the really big ( and brightly colored ) species that occur in places like Japan or Southeast Asia..

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tropicbreeze

That's defin8itely right, "Summer isn't "Summer" without the sound of Cicadas humming somewhere in the background....".

I see a lot of exoskeletons but not so many adults, except in the beaks of birds. They must all tend to stay higher up in trees.

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Silas_Sancona
19 minutes ago, tropicbreeze said:

That's defin8itely right, "Summer isn't "Summer" without the sound of Cicadas humming somewhere in the background....".

I see a lot of exoskeletons but not so many adults, except in the beaks of birds. They must all tend to stay higher up in trees.

I find the occasional exoskeleton attached to the trunk of the Mesquite tree most of the ones in the yard hang out in. Other than the occasional wayward straggler that finds it's way to the patio light after the sun is down, they stay up in the canopy.

Years ago when i lived in Kansas ..and Ohio, i somehow timed living in each area w/ which ever brood of Periodical Cicada was emerging at the time.. Never seen so many empty "shells" littering the bases of neighborhood trees, sidewalks, etc.  Was reading that to birds at least, Male Cicadas are pretty much left alone and aren't much of a meal being that they're mostly Chitin. Females on the other hand have a reason to stay silent, lol.

Have never understood anyone who gets annoyed with "natural" sound makers.. To me at least, absolute silence when you walk outside is errie..  If i end up with a big enough property, guaranteed i'll do whatever i can to attract anything and everything that will add to the ambiance of enjoying the garden on a warm spring and summer evening.

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tropicbreeze

Chlamydosaurus kingii is commonly known as Frill-necked Lizard, Frilled Lizard, Frilly, or Blanket Lizard. This is because of the large fold of skin around the neck which it can extend when feeling threatened. Confronted with a perceived threat it charges with mouth gaping wide open and extended frill. To a predator what looked like a nice snack sized lizard suddenly becomes an aggressor ten times its previous size. But it's all bluff. As the predator is thrown into confusion the Frilly does a sudden turn about, drops the frill and runs off at full speed on its hind legs. It's the only lizard that actually runs on two legs.

They usually head for the nearest tree. Another tactic when up a tree is to get around to the opposite side to what it sees as a threat. If you walk around the tree it will keep backing around to stay on the opposite side with just a bit of it head showing. It always keeps an eye on you. They grow up to around a metre length, of which, as with a lot of Agamid (dragon) lizards, two thirds is tail.

In the photo you can see how lightly it's on the front feet. They're barely touching the ground, just ready to race off on it's hind legs if it necessary.

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In my teens I tried to keep one as a pet. Caught it in the bush very close to Darwin. Kept it in a cardboard box in my bedroom. Not very practical really. After a few days it was obvious this wasn't going to work. It was too set in its wild ways. So I let it go in the bush about 60 kms from town.

In the photo I'm trying to get it to extend its frill. The other hand is on a camera shutter release cable.

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Basically arboreal lizards, you rarely see them throughout the dry season. It's only in the build-up, the forerunner to the monsoon, that they'll often come out of the trees and you see them on the ground. Relying on camouflage they remain quite still with head pointing upwards looking like a bit of a small tree stump. They even do this on roads where you wouldn't expect to see a tree stump. But, if they don't move, they think you won't see them. Not being seen when you're on a road isn't the wisest strategy.

This one is on a Coconut Palm stump in my garden.

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Silas_Sancona

One of the less alien looking summer visitors,  Anthanassa texana  ..also known as  the Texas Cresentspot, one of the smaller, tropical members of the Nymphalidae, or Bush-footed Butterflies.. year round resident in southern Texas and points south to Guatemala, and fairly common most of the year in Southern AZ.  Range supposedly extends to the southern half of California as well, though observations of it in the state seem scant.  Larval host are many members on the Shrimp Plant family, Acanthaceae including common landscape plants in such genus as Ruella, Justicia, etc.
First time i have observed one in the 4 years i have been here. Much more easily approached than most other butterflies you see in the area.. while not the easiest to capture w/ its wings fully open, spent a lot of time slowly flitting around close to the ground among plants i keep directly beneath the mesquite out back, in the always shady cove created by a shed and the block wall.

Is the one spot in the yard i always check for interesting visitors since the warm shade created by wide mesquite canopy above is a perfect spot for anything extra special which might wander north from Mexico this time of year to stop and hang out, and not get fried, lol.. Flight behavior is similar to some of the Heliconian species,  particularly the Zebra Heliconian, for those familiar with the species. Those also sometimes wander north from Mexico as well, but don't think they have been recorded in this part of the state.  Popular species in butterfly enclosures however.

Cooperated just long enough for a few ok shots.. Seemed to like hanging out on the leaves of my Cordia sebestena, before moving over to the block wall nearby.
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tropicbreeze

We have Nymphalids that behave similarly. They flit about and alight with wings spread wide open. Come anywhere near them with a camera and they close up immediately. They only open up again to fly off. Can be frustrating.

 

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greysrigging

Watch through to the end....lol....the infamous Darwin Bush Chooks ( Orange Footed Scrub Fowl ) having a full on brawl. Common behavior at the beginning of the breeding season.
The pairs mate for life..... unless an un mated male bird can steal a female. The paired male bird generally takes a dim view of these efforts.... ( bit like humans haha )

 

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Silas_Sancona

Well, i guess if you're gonna spend the morning hanging out, waiting for a meal, no better place to hide than inside a Trichocereus flower. 
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I see you, Human!
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tropicbreeze

I find Mantis 'faces' quite cute, and they seem expressive. But then, I'm not small insect-sized while looking at them close up.

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tropicbreeze

One of my favourite Mantises, Paraoxypilus armatus, a Boxer Bark Mantis of which there are (so far) 8 recognised species in Australia. They're not recorded anywhere else.
This one is a female, the males look far less impressive and have fairly long wings. Most of those I find on my place are ground runners and usually jump off if I put them on a tree to get a better photo. This one was the only exception.

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Not quite the usual 'cute' mantis face.

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Quite small though, only about 17mm.

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Silas_Sancona
1 hour ago, tropicbreeze said:

One of my favourite Mantises, Paraoxypilus armatus, a Boxer Bark Mantis of which there are (so far) 8 recognised species in Australia. They're not recorded anywhere else.
This one is a female, the males look far less impressive and have fairly long wings. Most of those I find on my place are ground runners and usually jump off if I put them on a tree to get a better photo. This one was the only exception.

 

Not quite the usual 'cute' mantis face.

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Quite small though, only about 17mm.

 

That's quite the face, lol.. 

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Silas_Sancona

Some locally common Dragonflies i sought out while taking a walk in a local "Oasis" this morning.. Figured the heavy storm we had last night, -first of this years' Monsoon season- and the extra humidity in the air this morning afterwards might bring out more critters.. After reading over a site dedicated to the native sp. here, figured i'd  take a look around and see what i could find.

After looking through the site, az dragonfly.org, was quite surprised just how diverse Dragon and Damsilflies are here in the Desert. Not the kind of insects you'd think about much in a place that is so hot and dry.

Park i visited is already a significant birding magnet well known for attracting numerous rarities that stray north out of Mexico, especially this time of year.  Adding to the "interesting" factor, appears this area is a hot spot for several species of Dragonflies that have been turning up in the state in recent years well north of the more tropical portions of Southern Sonora/ Northern Sinaloa as well. 

Most of what i noted and got decent pictures of - by pocket camera standards - are fairly common anywhere there is a permanent water source here but admit, didn't hang out long enough to really scope out more spots away from the main "lake" in the Park.. which has several other ponds that are periodically flooded and serve as Groundwater recharge basins.  Unlike a similar area up in Gilbert, a decent hill in this park offers better views of the San Tan Mountains to the south of Chandler. Nice Stream that empties into the main lake, and stream side habitat following it's course also starts at the top of this hill.  Quickly warmed up this morning, so cut the visit short..  Will return next time it is cloudy and humid..  Hoping August is much wetter than this month has been..

Not sure on the species.. Might be a Female Western Pondhawk, Erythemis collocata. Male Western Pondhawk is in pics # 2 & 3.  Intermediates between this sp. and the Eastern Pondhawk which look similar, and also occurs in the state turn up here also.
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Male Widow Skimmer, Libellula luctosa
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Not sure on this one, bit too far away to get better looks at markings.. Might be another Pondhawk.
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Sometimes, even  flying dragons become dinner..
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tropicbreeze

Years ago I took lots of photos of Dragonflies and Damselflies but they were on slide film. I'd gotan old camera bellows which had a few holes, patched them up and they worked perfectly. Used to go out bush, mainly close to floodplains. Just sitting in the shade mosquitos would come around which in turn attracted Dragonflies. Setting up the camera and waiting, the Dragonflies would get used to me and settle close by. Managed some great macro shots.

 

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Silas_Sancona
On 7/26/2020 at 3:28 PM, tropicbreeze said:

Years ago I took lots of photos of Dragonflies and Damselflies but they were on slide film. I'd gotan old camera bellows which had a few holes, patched them up and they worked perfectly. Used to go out bush, mainly close to floodplains. Just sitting in the shade mosquitos would come around which in turn attracted Dragonflies. Setting up the camera and waiting, the Dragonflies would get used to me and settle close by. Managed some great macro shots.

 

Somewhere in a box currently in a relatives garage, i've got a bunch of pictures i'd taken of various insects when i lived in Kansas some 20 years ago. Dragonflies were always the most skittish while many of the native Butterflies there would sit and hang out while being photographed. The one Odonate i wish i had pictures of is a species of Jewelwing ( Genus Calopteryx ) native to shaded creeks/ pools mainly east of the Mississippi River.  Jet Black wings, Bright metallic Blue Green or Green Body, especially when backlit by the sun.. Spectacular insect for such a non- tropical location. Pretty approachable also.

Marco or two are on the list for when i purchase a good DSLR next year.  Almost bought one a few months ago but the move out of the desert is the more important priority atm.

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tropicbreeze

I had to look it up, a Damselfly. They seem to prefer shadier damper habitats and are a bit slower flying around. About 16 species (of Calopteryx), mainly eastern USA (and adjacent Canada), western Europe and Japan/Korea. Some of the photos look really great. Don't recall any of ours being that gaudy. Will have to keep an eye out. It's the dry season (winter) so haven't seen any Damselflies around, but we do still get some Dragonflies.

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tropicbreeze

Cute and cuddly looking, but cuddles aren't recommended. Brushing against the hairs causes severe stinging.

Larva of a small moth, Orgyia australis. I have only the one small seedling of Freshwater Mangrove, Barringtonia acutangulata, that I'm trying to nurse through its first dry season. This little bloke has chewed through most of its leaves, but the plant  looks like it will be okay.

Can't help but think, it looks like the poodle of the caterpillar world.

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greysrigging
6 minutes ago, tropicbreeze said:

Cute and cuddly looking, but cuddles aren't recommended. Brushing against the hairs causes severe stinging.

Larva of a small moth, Orgyia australis. I have only the one small seedling of Freshwater Mangrove, Barringtonia acutangulata, that I'm trying to nurse through its first dry season. This little bloke has chewed through most of its leaves, but the plant  looks like it will be okay.

Can't help but think, it looks like the poodle of the caterpillar world.

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Are they related to the processional caterpillars down Alice Springs way ? Similar defence mechanism with the stinging hairs....

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tropicbreeze
8 hours ago, greysrigging said:

Are they related to the processional caterpillars down Alice Springs way ? Similar defence mechanism with the stinging hairs....

Only related in that they're both moth larvae, but they're in different families. The processional caterpillars are found all over Australia but I've never found them on my place.

This is some in the Top End (about 250kms south east of Darwin), no doubt having a rest after a bit of 'processioning'. I think they're probably more closely related to Cousin It.

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tropicbreeze

Another stinging caterpillar, only these are savagely so.

Different family of moth again, some of the species get very gaudy colours and patterns. They're collectively called Slug Caterpillar Moths.

If you get about out bush in the wet season with shorts on you're bound to make their acquaintance. They feed on Cocky Apple, Planchonia careya, which often growns short and bushy, just around bare leg height.

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