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Daryl

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amh
6 minutes ago, Silas_Sancona said:

Here's the iNat map for the Chihuahuan Raven..  Looks like both occur there, and down by Tucson, w/ the Chihuahuan straying up this way, at least at this point ( may be expanding it's territory more ).
https://www.inaturalist.org/taxa/8003-Corvus-cryptoleucus

They're very intelligent for sure.. Just don't cross them the wrong way, lol
https://qz.com/1000035/when-you-cross-a-raven-the-bird-will-hold-a-grudge/

Looks like the common raven. I've known about the grudge thing for some time; really all of the covidae family.

The weird thing is that the ravens like to pace me when I'm riding the motorcycle.

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Silas_Sancona
8 minutes ago, amh said:

 

The weird thing is that the ravens like to pace me when I'm riding the motorcycle.

Have heard they like to follow Police along highways too.

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amh

Getting propositioned by a doe. Beggin' for layer pellets, cat food, bird seed, etc.

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amh

Here is a wheel bug, arilus cristatus, molting.

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Silas_Sancona
20 minutes ago, amh said:

Here is a wheel bug, arilus cristatus, molting.

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:greenthumb:

Kind of neat, kind of creepy... Depending on one's opinion of bugs.. ( I'm in the " neat bugs " camp ) Great pest control, ..just don't let them poke you  w/ their " Beak " Wound can take days to heal, & some people can be a bit sensitive to the Saliva too.  They can also squeak when handled ( At least the ones i'd find in KS and FL. would...  Is also how i know what that little beak feels like, lol )

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amh
12 minutes ago, Silas_Sancona said:

:greenthumb:

Kind of neat, kind of creepy... Depending on one's opinion of bugs.. ( I'm in the " neat bugs " camp ) Great pest control, ..just don't let them poke you  w/ their " Beak " Wound can take days to heal, & some people can be a bit sensitive to the Saliva too.  They can also squeak when handled ( At least the ones i'd find in KS and FL. would...  Is also how i know what that little beak feels like, lol )

I'm in the neat camp, but I dont handle bugs. Ive never been poked by one of these, but I've had many a scorpion sting and have been bit by our two bad spiders. Just hoping to avoid the puss caterpillars and giant centipedes.

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Silas_Sancona

Just a couple today..

One of the Male Ornate Tree Lizards, giving me the side eye ( guess he doesn't want to be captured again, lol ) He was doing push ups, ...until i pulled out the camera. ( Guess he didn't realize you're supposed to show off those lizard muscles for the camera  ya' know:mrlooney: )
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Uncommon species of Bee Fly in the Genus Poecilanthrax .. Possibly P effrenus..  Only time i have seen one hanging out in the yard was wayy back in September of 2016.  Interesting critter.. Despite mirroring a Wasp or larger Bee in appearance, & Like Hover Flies, these only feed on Nectar rather than decaying matter. Think the larvae attack the caterpillars of certain species of Moths.  Can also be found in parts of S. Cal. New Mexico, and Central/ Southern Texas down into Mexico.
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Silas_Sancona

Spent the morning seeing who might be out and about at a local park after some early monsoon showers overnight into the morning.  Seemed it wasn't just humans enjoying much more comfortable temperatures, and those showers..

Widow Skimmer, Libellula luctuosa staying just still enough for some decent pictures. Cloud cover today helped keep the Dragonflies mellow.

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Western Pond Hawk ( Erythemis collocata ).. Most likely. A cross, and the Eastern variant of the species sometimes show up here.
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One of ..a gazillion sp. of Damsilfly sp. ..getting ready to combat the fleet of Mosquitoes that are sure to follow rains ahead.
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Desert Spiny Lizard, Sceloporus magister.. As mentioned up in the " Current Temp. Thread in the WX section, have only seen these wandering about once or twice while visiting here. After enjoying getting caught in a passing shower, seemed these guys decided to venture out from nearby cover to grab a drink ..before skittering away when approached.

Seems the ones which live here are more shy of people compared to those i have seen when visiting various gardens, despite the park here being a very " human heavy " place to explore/ hang out. At some of the gardens, these lizards will casually wander close to people passing by, if not sit on a path and casually give you the side eye while lounging in the sun as you pass.


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Darold Petty

NSFW

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Reyes Vargas
On 6/23/2021 at 8:19 PM, Silas_Sancona said:

Spent the morning seeing who might be out and about at a local park after some early monsoon showers overnight into the morning.  Seemed it wasn't just humans enjoying much more comfortable temperatures, and those showers..

Widow Skimmer, Libellula luctuosa staying just still enough for some decent pictures. Cloud cover today helped keep the Dragonflies mellow.

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Western Pond Hawk ( Erythemis collocata ).. Most likely. A cross, and the Eastern variant of the species sometimes show up here.
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One of ..a gazillion sp. of Damsilfly sp. ..getting ready to combat the fleet of Mosquitoes that are sure to follow rains ahead.
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Desert Spiny Lizard, Sceloporus magister.. As mentioned up in the " Current Temp. Thread in the WX section, have only seen these wandering about once or twice while visiting here. After enjoying getting caught in a passing shower, seemed these guys decided to venture out from nearby cover to grab a drink ..before skittering away when approached.

Seems the ones which live here are more shy of people compared to those i have seen when visiting various gardens, despite the park here being a very " human heavy " place to explore/ hang out. At some of the gardens, these lizards will casually wander close to people passing by, if not sit on a path and casually give you the side eye while lounging in the sun as you pass.


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A little off topic but what camera do you use to take all those great pictures?

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Silas_Sancona
4 minutes ago, Reyes Vargas said:

A little off topic but what camera do you use to take all those great pictures?

Right now?   Just a simple Sony point and shoot.. ( 20.1 megapixel / 5 X zoom ). Goal is a mid-range DSLR since i have a habit of breaking lenses while out ( in the past, when i had a regular SLR film camera ) 

For the time being, this camera does alright, but the best " point and shoot " i've had was a Samsung ( can't remember the model atm ) that i believe isn't made anymore.. Really good color saturation, zoom was decent as well. Wish this camera had a better zoom.. Missed some great sunset / moon rise opportunities simply because i couldn't pull in the scene enough w/ out it looking horrible / out of focus. Not the greatest response in really low light situations either ( Usually lots of " Noise " / grainy looking pictures )

W/ most of the bugs / shyer animals, ill get as close as possible, and crop pictures as necessary.  Much easier to zero in on such critters w/ a better zoom ( on better point and shoot cameras ) or lenses ( on DSLR Cameras w/ detachable lenses ) 

Have thought about renting one of the newer, Mirror-less Cameras to evaluate how good they are.

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philinsydney

Powerful Owl

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Butch

I don't think I've posted these videos before.. A little wile back I found this preying mantis on a one of my hibiscus.. Three videos is a bit much, but I found it fascinating..

 

 

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dmc

20210626_154325.jpg

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Butch
13 minutes ago, dmc said:

20210626_154325.jpg

Cool shot...

Butch

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greysrigging

This morning's visitor
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philinsydney

Bluetongue Lizard

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greysrigging

Plenty of butterflies enjoying the garden atm.
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Silas_Sancona

Back out at Veteran's Oasis ( Park ) checking on the progress of developing Desert Willow seed, and seeing who is out and about after quite a soupy humid weekend.. Still no rain, at the house, and around most of the East Valley at least, but other parts of the valley got something Saturday evening. Regardless, Dew points reached a record high of 71deg at Sky Harbor yesterday, with a PWat reading just over 2" ..Which is another record for the date ( and a high degree of moisture in the atmosphere for so early on in Monsoon season )


Aside from checking on the trees, spent time chasing around more Dragonflies and had a surprise encounter w/ one of the harder to photograph local Lizards..   W/ the extra humidity in the air / rains across more of the state in recent days, Dragonflies are out in droves. Citrus / Apache Cicadas are getting there, but would benefit from a good downpour or two.  Anyway.. more critter shots..

More Western Pondhawk, Erythemis collocata  close ups..

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Mating Male / Famale " Wheel "
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Flame Skimmer, Libellulia saturata   After chasing it around for awhile..
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Red Tailed Pennant, Brackymesia furcata..
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Mexican Amberwing, Perithemis intensa.. Not the best shot but i wasn't about to wander waist deep into the lake to try and get a better picture, lol. 
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Desert Spiny Lizard, being shy as usual.. Tempted to carry some Meal worms w/ me.  No Lizard can resist Meal Worms, lol.
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I'm sure i'd mentioned somewhere how difficult photographing some of the more skitterish local lizards can be. If one in particular would top that list, it would be Whiptails.. These have to be one of the most weary - of - people lizards that can be encountered fairly regularly in most parks or larger yards that border open desert ..or other suitable habitat ( species in this case is widespread across the Western U.S. ). One may hear them moving through nearby brush, but they'll often be moving away from whatever may be passing by fairly quickly which makes them tough to photograph, esp. with a simple point and shoot w/ a very limited zoom.

As many times as i have seen these buggers, they're usually well out of sight by the time i'll have them centered up through the camera lens. Occasionally, they'll sit just still enough to capture ( w/ the camera ) but only briefly.. Any issue.. say a low battery making the camera respond slower, or bad lighting where they're sitting.. and you'll miss a shot. As w/ most Reptiles, best opportunities for photographing up close are often earlier in the day, around/ after Sunset ..or when it is cooler.  While i caught one wandering through reeds close to the lake out at the park, it was a different encounter shortly after the first that was especially unexpected.. and a first for sure.


Local form of the Western Whiptail ( Aspidoscelis tigris ) sitting just still enough to photograph.

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Unexpected encounter w/ not one, but a male/ female pair of Whiptails..  Appears someone was trying to put the moves on this lady too, lol..  Our bachelor was quite skittish and would flee into the brush numerous times when i'd try to position myself.. then make his way back to his girlfriend, before darting off. 
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Lady Whiptail was surprisingly approachable.
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Sound of the season,  Diceroprocta apache , Citrus / Apache Cicada.
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Butch

Great pics!..

Butch

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tropicbreeze
On 7/6/2021 at 6:24 AM, greysrigging said:

Plenty of butterflies enjoying the garden atm.
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Hypolimnas alimena darwinensis, Blue-banded Eggfly. The species is wide spread, but this subspecies is endemic to the Top End.

Looks like it's on that weed, Antigonon leptopus - Coral Vine. Don't see a lot of it round, but where you see it there's a lot.

 

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greysrigging
12 minutes ago, tropicbreeze said:

Hypolimnas alimena darwinensis, Blue-banded Eggfly. The species is wide spread, but this subspecies is endemic to the Top End.

Looks like it's on that weed, Antigonon leptopus - Coral Vine. Don't see a lot of it round, but where you see it there's a lot.

 

That weed is on my garden tool shed. I hate it with a passion. A fair amount of my gardening time is taken up with controlling the cursed stuff ! Coral Vine is another one of those old school Darwin plants that at least provided some colour back in the days when colour was somewhat limited in the region.  Fallen out of favour now of course because of its vigorous weediness.

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Silas_Sancona

Another of the half dozen ( that i've managed to count so far ) Praying Mantis hanging out in the yards this year.
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Com pot of TX. Persimmon Seedlings is an interesting spot for one of the local Potter Wasps ( Possibly Eumenes bollii ) to build it's nest. For all the hatred of them, this is another group of insects we'd be screwed with out..   Aside from the most temperamental / un- approachable, most could care less about people and only sting when defending themselves.  Life ( and the health of the plants ) is better with  them around.
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Silas_Sancona

A couple interesting critters ( besides the Turtles ) seen while visiting Agua Caliente Park in Tucson earlier today.  

While both would be considered " Desert  Fauna "  One has been extending it's range a bit in the last several years, and the cross between two similar species has made it's way to parts of Southern CA. recently and will likely continue pioneering new territory out there.


Vermilion Flycatcher, Pyrocephalus rubinus... About as good a picture as i could get w/ this camera since this species of Flycatcher likes to keep it's distance between itself and people.. at least the ones at the park.  As mentioned awhile back, these continue to show up in places far removed from the Sonoran Desert and seem to be established residents in parts of CA. where they traditionally were once rare visitors. They also continue to be seen in increasing numbers around the Gulf Coast, and in Florida.

While seemingly weary around people, they will visit ( and hang out in ) gardens that mimic the ideal amount of brushy tree cover/ canopy and grassy open space to hunt for insects.

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Sonoran Spotted Whiptail, Aspidoscelis sonorae ..  Perhaps an increase in bugs brought out by recent rains have convinced  these to be a touch less nervous around people.. Regardless, nice to cross another Whiptail sp. off the " to photograph " list of Reptiles.  
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As mentioned, a cross between this species and the Gila Whiptail ( Aspidoscelis flagellicauda ) is settling in around parts of S. Cal. where it was likely accidentally introduced. Unlike the more common Western Whiptail, both of these species are primarily Female and reproduce asexually w/ out the need for males to fertilize eggs. Interestingly, the DNA changes from generation to generation, unlike many organisms that reproduce in a similar fashion.

While each individual species occupies mainly woodland / grassland habitats in different parts of AZ, the cross apparently is apparently perfectly at home in urban/ suburban landscapes.

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amh
12 minutes ago, Silas_Sancona said:

Vermilion Flycatcher, Pyrocephalus rubinus... About as good a picture as i could get w/ this camera since this species of Flycatcher likes to keep it's distance between itself and people.. at least the ones at the park.  As mentioned awhile back, these continue to show up in places far removed from the Sonoran Desert and seem to be established residents in parts of CA. where they traditionally were once rare visitors. They also continue to be seen in increasing numbers around the Gulf Coast, and in Florida.

While seemingly weary around people, they will visit ( and hang out in ) gardens that mimic the ideal amount of brushy tree cover/ canopy and grassy open space to hunt for insects.

I have yet to have a Vermilion Flycatcher visit my yard, but I have seen many in Sonora Texas. The color is far more vibrant than pictures can show.

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Silas_Sancona
12 minutes ago, amh said:

I have yet to have a Vermilion Flycatcher visit my yard, but I have seen many in Sonora Texas. The color is far more vibrant than pictures can show.

Very true, esp. w/ the camera i currently have.  Seen some perfect .. er,  about as perfect as a camera might capture shots of these Flycatchers though. 

.

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amh
11 minutes ago, Silas_Sancona said:

Very true, esp. w/ the camera i currently have.  Seen some perfect .. er,  about as perfect as a camera might capture shots of these Flycatchers though. 

.

Birds don't always like to cooperate, but some colors just need to be experienced in person, no matter how good of a camera. Cerulean warblers and female painted buntings are other species that cameras do not do justice.

Edited by amh
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Silas_Sancona
1 minute ago, amh said:

Birds don't always like to cooperate, but some colors just need to be experienced in person, no matter how good of a camera. Cerulean warblers and female painted buntings are other species that cameras do not justify.

Oh i agree..  even the better pictures i have seen of these, and some others ( inc. Painted Buntings ) aren't as great compared to viewing them in person..  Some flowers are the same way.. no camera can capture the colors seen  correctly.

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Silas_Sancona

Monsoon showers = Bounty     ..and a good time for lovin'  lol..

Curve Billed Thrasher, Toxostoma curvirostre, another " Desert Bird " that rents Apartments in Cylindropuntia sp. 

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One of our local Long Horned Bee sp. taking full advantage of bloom cycle # 3 on the Mam. Grahams.
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Citrus / Apache Cicada, Diceroprocta apache... One of a couple Bachelors that have been hanging out in the smaller Mesquite calling for a mate lately.. Pretty much on full tilt this week, even singing late at night / through the night.
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As with many critters, loudest " Singer " gets the Girl, lol..
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A feast for larger beast.. Whats left of some Palo Verde Borers, Derobrachus germinatus..  One of the biggest beetles in the Sonoran Desert, if not the U.S.  While those large mandibles can give quite a pinch, these intimidating looking insects are harmless  ..Unless you're a sick Palo Verde..
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Related article: https://absoluteexterminating.com/blog/beetles/palo-verde-beetle-dangerous/

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Silas_Sancona

Another good sign this year's Monsoon season is no dud, both locally, and south of the border in Sonora Mexico..  Due to proximity,  several " tropical " Butterfly species can stray north into central and / or southern AZ  from the southern, more tropical part of Sonora, especially when conditions are ideal. 

While there are species that range across the more temperate parts of the U.S.,  the " flashier " ( and often larger ) species of Yellow and Sulphur Butterflies ( mainly members of both Genus Phoebis, & Anteos )  typically occupy the warmer parts of the country down through Mexico and Central America, expanding north - especially in the eastern U.S. - during the Summer..  In Europe / other parts of the Globe, similar looking " Yellow or Orange " Butterflies are often called  Brimstones, or Emigrants.

In some parts of the country, such as Florida, S. TX., and parts of Southern CA., some species of  Sulphurs can remain year round, rather than migrate south during the cooler months, especially where favored new world species of Cassia and Senna are cultivated.

About two weeks ago, started seeing numerous specimens of a more common yellow species passing up the street / through the front yard. Caught sight of one of the tropical Sulphurs today while looking over the yard

Unlike other Butterflies, Sulphurs, ..and some Yellows  are tough to approach and may quickly dash off when approached.  This Cloudless Sulphur, Phoebis sennae  would take flight whenever i was within about 10 ft of it, unless well hidden by the giant Senna covesii it liked to settle on.  

As much rain has fallen across both the state and nearby Mexico this week / so far this summer, will be interesting to see if there is a big population boom in both the more tropical Butterfly species, and some of our regionally native species that would be considered more temperate. Regardless, while not the best pictures, always like seeing these in the yard.  Hoping this specimen, if female,  -and / or any others passing through-  make use of the Senna out front for the next generation.


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Palmensammler

Hope this picture is allowed. If not then Admins please delete it. Found a few couples on the flower stems of my yucca. And later on it's dinner time :lol:

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Regards 

Eckhard 

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Silas_Sancona

When you're experiencing one of the best Monsoon seasons in  ~ at least ~  3 years, everyone come out to enjoy it..

Figeater Beetle, Cotinis mutabilis.. Often confused with another Cotinis sp. which is common across the eastern U.S., but very rarely seen anywhere in the Southwest or Pacific coastal region  just starting their season.  While usually not much of a " pest " issue in gardens,  these guys can be a bit of a pain for those growing Grapes, Figs, and some other crops. Usually, they're more attracted to ..and by..  fruit that is already beginning to ferment/ over-ripen before turning their attention to fruit that is ripe.. but not spoiling.  Like all other Scarab - type Beetles, Grubs are devoted recyclers and provide a valuable service in composting decaying organic material in the landscape.   

Attracting these beetles to my yard is the only reason i'd plant a Fig, lol.

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Praying Mantis sp.  getting fatter as the Monsoon season bug bounty kicks into gear.
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Silas_Sancona

More Monsoon season 'Flutter-bys:

Orange Sulphur, Colias eurytheme.. Often nick- named the " Alfalfa " Butterfly.. One of the more common non- Phoebis  Sulphurs across the U.S. Often hybridizing with another temperate climate Colias sp. making 100% identification a little tough where both occupy the same habitat / range.  Here, the other Colias sp, the Clouded Sulphur, is extremely uncommon making the chances of encountering  hybrids ..sometimes referred to as " intermediates " less common.  Strongly resembles the Southern Dogface, Zerene cesonia, yet another yellow colored butterfly here as well. Difference between the two is the front wing ( Wing closest to the head ) on Dogface butterflies will have an angled tip where as the same wing on Orange Sulphurs is smoothly rounded. 

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Sleepy Orange, Abaeis nicippe.. another difficult to photograph summer visitor.
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With ..at least.. 3 different species, in 3 different Genus of Yellow/ Sulphur butterflies visiting the Cassia out front, will be interesting to see if i end up w/ caterpillars of each on the plants over the next several weeks.

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Reyes Vargas

A little dragonfly.

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GeneAZ

I don't know if this is a Pygmy or Screech owl.  It was only about 8 inches from beak to tail so I'm going with Pygmy.  Sitting in Dioon mejiae 55-gallon pot.

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Silas_Sancona

More fluttering things.. In the yard,   ..and out yonder.

One of a gazillion " Damselfly " species here.. Interesting how after a few inches of rain, these have decided to hang out in the yard.

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More Sulphurs, mostly Orange / " Alfalfa ".. Bigger Phoebis sp. are starting to show up in more #'s as well.
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Empress Leilia, Asterocampa leilia.. One of a few " Hackberry " Butterflies which depend on, well, Hackberries ( Genus Celtis )  These, the Hackberry Emperor, and American Snout Butterflies can become extremely numerous in wet years, showing up en masse in various locations across the southwest / Texas.
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Silas_Sancona
21 hours ago, GeneAZ said:

I don't know if this is a Pygmy or Screech owl.  It was only about 8 inches from beak to tail so I'm going with Pygmy.  Sitting in Dioon mejiae 55-gallon pot.

Image preview

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@GeneAZ 

You might try to post the pictures again, Think they didn't post in your first attempt ( post only shows up as " Image Preview " instead of picture )

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Reyes Vargas
On 7/31/2021 at 1:33 PM, Silas_Sancona said:

Attracting these beetles to my yard is the only reason i'd plant a Fig, lol.
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The color of that beetle is amazing.  I especially love the underside color.

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Butch
12 hours ago, Reyes Vargas said:

The color of that beetle is amazing.  I especially love the underside color.

Yea, these guys are pretty colorful... They must have bad eyesight, as they fly into just about anything... Including your head... They are pretty tough too, as it doesn't seem to phase them... Oh, and the absolutely love over ripe bananas...  I used to grow bananas,  and if I left any ripe fruit on the trees it would get infested with the beetles...

Butch

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Silas_Sancona
1 hour ago, Butch said:

Yea, these guys are pretty colorful... They must have bad eyesight, as they fly into just about anything... Including your head... They are pretty tough too, as it doesn't seem to phase them... Oh, and the absolutely love over ripe bananas...  I used to grow bananas,  and if I left any ripe fruit on the trees it would get infested with the beetles...

Butch

Yep, lol.. almost as clumsy as Cicadas..  and yes, over ripened fruit is preferred over fruit that is ready to harvest ( with maybe the exception of Grapes / Figs ).  The eastern sp, referred to as the  " Common " Green June Beetle,  which looks almost exactly like these, can be more destructive to the fruit we'd harvest.  Larvae ( grubs ) of that species are less restrictive in their diet and can also do more damage to roots of certain plants, esp. lawns.  Range of both species apparently overlap in parts of  south / west central TX.

Think the only native Beetles that are as / more colorful than these are the Jewel Scarabs ( same family as Figeaters,  Live mostly up in the mountains here/ N.M & W. TX, into Mexico.. ) and Tiger Beetle sp. that are mostly native to the Eastern / Southern states.

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