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Silas_Sancona
26 minutes ago, NOT A TA said:

This ^^^ I found out the hard way years ago. I had spent the time to remove the Exocarp and mesocarp from oh, probably 5000 Sabal palmetto seeds. Since they have a hard endocarp I stored them dry in plastic sealed containers in an AC area only to find adults in the containers weeks later. Of course I immediately resealed the containers and threw out all the cleaned seed. Meanwhile I had other palmetto seed that had not been cleaned and found no insects, seemed very weird to me because I'd thought the insect probably laid the egg in immature seeds before the endocarp turned into a hard shell.

My schooling  and Ag work was up North where there was no mention of palms in any arboriculture classes at that time because "they're not trees" we were told.    And , of course no mention of palm seed weevils in entomology or plant pathology ahaha. So I had no background in a lot of palmy things before buying a home in FL 15+ years ago. I keep learning!

I'd examined cleaned Sabal palmetto seed and didn't see any evidence of an egg or hole where an egg was inserted however once the adults start emerging the seeds that had been used by the insect had hole which I had thought was only used an exit but apparently was also an entrance by the larva. The insect egg must be incredibly small as a palmetto seed is only about the size of a BB and Ive not been able to see an egg with a magnifying glass, might need to bust out the microscope!

I started using an insecticide on some smaller quantities of cleaned palmetto seed and then storing them this past year as an experiment and no insects. I'd like to find a way to ensure there's no insects in seed I sell (without using insecticide) because I currently send a note with the palmetto seed as well as Thrinax radiata and I'd prefer not to have to do that, PLUS I don't want to be potentially spreading the weevils about the country to places they might survive. Perhaps a mild bleach solution or something would work, need to investigate & experiment.

The beetles ( related to these ) that attack the seeds of Mesquite and other legumes are similar, except they will bore through the outer layers of pods to get to the seed.  Even when you think you have gotten rid of any seed they hatched out of and you see no evidence of eggs being laid, whala!  lol they magically appear in the bags i store seed in before cleaning, sometimes after..

Have heard, at least w/ these types of beetles ( Palm Seed Beetles may be different. Seeds of various palms preferred by those buggers might be sensitive to it too ) you can put the seeds in the freezer for a brief time to kill any larvae ..maybe eggs? Never tried it though. What i have done is take a small square of Paper Towel ( i store a good portion of my seed in pill bottles ) and spritz it with ..of all things, Ortho Home defense. Seems to have worked on the seed i tried it on.

As far as the eggs, can't speak for those, but the Brucid Beetles here ( Already tiny ) produce eggs that are very hard to see, and look more like blemishes on seeds than " eggs "  Seem to be hard to rub off too. Screwbean Mesquite produce seed that is about as big as Sesame seeds ( maybe a bit smaller actually ).. and eggs are almost impossible to spot on those when raided.

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NOT A TA
3 minutes ago, Silas_Sancona said:

Have heard, at least w/ these types of beetles ( Palm Seed Beetles may be different. Seeds of various palms preferred by those buggers might be sensitive to it too ) you can put the seeds in the freezer for a brief time to kill any larvae ..maybe eggs? Never tried it though. What i have done is take a small square of Paper Towel ( i store a good portion of my seed in pill bottles ) and spritz it with ..of all things, Ortho Home defense. Seems to have worked on the seed i tried it on.

I tried the refrigerator but not the freezer. Fridge didn't kill them.  Might try the freezer experiment for palmetto since we know the seeds can take it, not sure about Thrinax.  Home defense did seem to kill them (dunked cleaned seeds in a small cup of insecticide)  but I'd prefer not to use it on seeds I'm shipping (I include a note explaining insecticide use) plus it'd be a hassle for thousands of seeds. Containers I store seed in range from 24 oz. coffee cans to 15 gallon pots. I deal mostly in large quantities of inexpensive seed. Need a hundred, thousand, or more of a common S FL palm seed? I'm your guy!

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Silas_Sancona

Some flitter- bits from Tohono Chul Park..

Great Purple Hairstreak, Atlides halesus,  Perhaps the northern-most representative of this mostly Neo-tropical Genus.. And one of the most colorful smaller butterflies in North America ( esp. when in sun:P .. or w/ their wings opened ). Caterpillars feed almost exclusively on Mistletoe.  Very closely related to " Cycad " Butterflies ( " Cycadians " as they're often called .. Geuns Eumaeus. ) including the Florida native Atala, Eumaesus atala.

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Hard to photograph Western Giant Swallowtail, Papilio rumiko.  This, and it's eastern counterpart were considered one species until DNA examination uncovered differences between the two ( roughly 2014 ). It was also commonly referred to as ( and still is by some sources ) as the " Citrus Swallowtail " because the caterpillars are commonly encountered on cultivated Citrus sp. 

Another species, Papilio demoleus, ( Chequered / Lime Swallowtail ) has recently appeared in California, and established itself across portions of the Caribbean :
https://www.inaturalist.org/taxa/51583-Papilio-demoleus
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All hail the Queen! ..the attractive one.. Danaus gilippus..  While i've had then passing through the yard all summer, a lack of their " magnet " nectar source  -in the yard at least-  keeps them from gathering in these kinds of numbers ( last picture ).  Gregg's ..or Palm leaved Mistflower, ( Conoclinium dissectum ** Formally C. greggii ** ) is probably the #1 late summer/ fall flowering plant Queens will come to.  They also swarm over other rather obscure Sunflower family members such as Bonset, Genus EupatoriumBebbia juncea,  Coyote Bush relatives, Genus Baccharis,  and the sometimes aggressively pioneering ( depending on growing conditions / where planted ) Siam Weed / Fragrant Mistflower, Chromolaenea odorata.  Most Eupatorium, and Gregg's Mistflower prefer somewhat shady and moist locations in the garden, especially here in the hot desert.

Even better for keeping them around?,  plant their favorite nectar plants close to their host plant, preferred Milkweeds / related plants in the Genus Funastrum, others  within the Queen's range.

Oddly enough, part of the reason Queens really like Mist flower is due to something they gain from it, Males in particular..
https://npsot.org/wp/story/2017/9972/

Here in AZ, a related, non- Monarch " Milkweed " Butterfly,  the Soldier, ( Danaus eresimus ), occasionally strays north from Sonora Mexico, or west from where it is more commonly encountered in TX.  From a distance, both it and the Queen look similar. Examining the pattern of spots on the fore wings ( esp. when open ) is the easiest way to tell them apart.  Caterpillars have more " horns " along the body length, and a slightly different color tone than Monarchs as well.
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Silas_Sancona

While moving stuff around and getting other spots in the yard cleaned up i rescued a late season alien becoming a victim from the rake.

 I see You.. Human!

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After moving the rescued alien to a safer location, discover another alien hanging out in the same tree later this afternoon.  We'll see how these two get along. Pretty sure these two, and all the Mantis seen here this year are our local sp. ( Arizona Praying Mantis ), which actually ranges far beyond AZ. ..from California to Florida, and well down into Mexico and Central America. Is one of 5 or so Mantis sp. here in AZ...  1 of 8 sp. in California.
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Other Praying Mantis around the yard have already completed their lifecycle, but not without leaving behind the alien invasion to come, next year..

Edited by Silas_Sancona
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Butch
12 hours ago, Silas_Sancona said:

While moving stuff around and getting other spots in the yard cleaned up i rescued a late season alien becoming a victim from the rake.

 I see You.. Human!

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After moving the rescued alien to a safer location, discover another alien hanging out in the same tree later this afternoon.  We'll see how these two get along. Pretty sure these two, and all the Mantis seen here this year are our local sp. ( Arizona Praying Mantis ), which actually ranges far beyond AZ. ..from California to Florida, and well down into Mexico and Central America. Is one of 5 or so Mantis sp. here in AZ...  1 of 8 sp. in California.
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Other Praying Mantis around the yard have already completed their lifecycle, but not without leaving behind the alien invasion to come, next year..

These guys are so cool.. Really interesting to watch... Nice pics...

Butch

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Silas_Sancona

Some recent visitors enjoying Autumn in the Low Desert:

Sleepy Orange, Abaeis nicippe Caterpillars, perhaps the last brood of the year ..if our native, Black " Fire Ants " don't kill them all.

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Painted Lady ( Vanessa ) sp.
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Still plenty of American Snout, Libytheana carinenta  about..
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Is it a Carpenter Bee?.. a Horse Fly?  had to capture and freeze this critter after buzzing around the Patio lights ( and my face ) one night.  As menacing as it may look, the Mexican Cactus Fly, Copestylus mexicanus ( which is also part of the Purple Bromeliad Fly, C. violaceum Complex ) is the largest species of Syrphid .. or " Flower Fly " in the U.S. 
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While just as unappealing as other Flies, larvae play an important role in recycling the corpses of deceased cacti, esp. Saguaro and other large, columnar cacti in the Sonoran Desert  Unlike Horse flies ..or various Bot and/or Blow Flies, some of which share similar coloration / size,  Cactus Fly adults are completely harmless to humans ..and other critters, spending their entire adult lives sipping nectar and providing an important service in pollination of various plants.


One of our local Carpenter Bee sp. ( Genus Xylocopea ) for comparison:  2 ( Western / Californian, and Valley Carpenter ) are pretty common, 2 ..or 3..  others may also wander north out of Mexico every so often, esp. during wet years, but go unnoticed because all look very similar from a distance.

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Male Wilson's Warbler, Cardellina pusilla.   Tough to get great pictures of this hard to photograph bird as it nervously flits through various things in the yard and up on the patio looking for bugs.  While supposedly migratory in fall / winter, seems some hang around the low desert ( rather than continuing on to S. Mexico / Central America ) until about mid May ..when i stop seeing them.  Is the only black capped, bright yellow Warbler seen here, at least in the lower elevations of the state.
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Peter

This guy was filmed about a mile away on someone's Ring camera.  I haven't seen one personally, but one was spotted 2 doors down from my house about a month ago-pretty cool.  I'm adjacent to Santa Monica Mountains and have seen bobcats but never a mountain lion-still hoping.

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Silas_Sancona
39 minutes ago, Peter said:

This guy was filmed about a mile away on someone's Ring camera.  I haven't seen one personally, but one was spotted 2 doors down from my house about a month ago-pretty cool.  I'm adjacent to Santa Monica Mountains and have seen bobcats but never a mountain lion-still hoping.

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Mountain Lions are a fortunate enough encounter ( as long as thy aren't stalking you / watching you eat breakfast through a window, lol ) , Imaging being in the right spot to see this guy ..or any friends who might follow in the future..
https://www.opb.org/article/2021/10/04/oregon-wolf-southern-california-wolves/

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Reyes Vargas

Made a little cockroach friend today.  Does anyone know what kind of cockroach this is.

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Butch
On 10/14/2021 at 8:33 AM, Silas_Sancona said:

Mountain Lions are a fortunate enough encounter ( as long as thy aren't stalking you / watching you eat breakfast through a window, lol ) , Imaging being in the right spot to see this guy ..or any friends who might follow in the future..
https://www.opb.org/article/2021/10/04/oregon-wolf-southern-california-wolves/

Saw this on another forum..

Butch

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Silas_Sancona
1 hour ago, Reyes Vargas said:

Made a little cockroach friend today.  Does anyone know what kind of cockroach this is.

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Tough to say at that size / life stage.. Adults are easier to ID. Oriental is a possibility.. though i thought they rarely venture far from dark wet places (  sewers, etc ) Nymphs of several other common Cockroaches can look similar ( American, Australian..  Brown,  and Smoky Brown  )

Imagine there could be some other, local species present in that part of Texas as well.

 

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Looking Glass
7 hours ago, Reyes Vargas said:

Made a little cockroach friend today.  Does anyone know what kind of cockroach this is.

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Looks a lot like a Surinam Cockroach…

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greysrigging

Haha. trust me, the garden visitors you don't want !
A swarm of European Honey Bees turned up unannounced under my house yesterday.....
So anyways I put up some pics on a local FB page, and a young bloke came over home and removed the swarm.
And might I mention the bravery of the photographer ( that would be me lol ) If this was a military operation, I would get a purple heart, few stings suffered....haha

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Silas_Sancona

It may be October, but still can encounter Toads out and about ..if you know where to look.

Red Spotted Toad, Anaxyrus punctatus  Juvenile, Boyce Thompson Arboretum.

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Still plenty of butterflies, though numbers are starting to fall as the weather cools

Good image of a Great Purple Hairstreak.. Atlides halesus     looking a bit worn out.

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NOID sp. of Blue, Tribe Polyommatini   enjoying the flowers of S. African native Camphor Bush,  Tarchonanthus sp.
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amh

Thought I was about to step in a cat turd this evening, but it moved and I took a closer look.

I believe it is a prepupa imperial moth (Eacles imperialis) larva, but I'm not an entomologist.

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Silas_Sancona

Poking around Oak Flat again today,  this ..fella?  decided to slowly wander over to a shady spot below a rock where i was sitting. Saw another much larger " wanderer " crossing the road in front of me while making a quick stop at another spot. Almost stopped  to take pictures, but the road is narrow and the particular part of the road where my visitor was crossing doesn't provide the best visibility to any oncoming trucks / semis ( going to and from where the head of the Mine is atm )

Been years since i've seen Tarantulas while out and about.  Would see more much closer to home if located closer to open Desert.  Came across a few Black Widow " lairs " where you could fit a half dollar in the opening to " Spider Hell "   ..I'll take Tarantulas any day over the other, lol. 

Not 100% positive of the species, but might be a Desert Blonde.

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Butch
10 hours ago, Silas_Sancona said:

   ..I'll take Tarantulas any day over the other, lol. 

Not 100% positive of the species, but might be a Desert Blonde.

Me too... Even though, I'd prefer another kinda blond over this one, lol...

Butch



 

 

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Silas_Sancona
4 hours ago, Butch said:

 Me too... Even though, I'd prefer another kinda blond over this one, lol...

:greenthumb: :lol: Blondes are good,   though, not gonna lie,  ...Brunettes,  w/ blue -or- brown eyes?  Done, period.. Moth to a Flame, haha :wub:

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RyManUtah

Elusive buggers. I tried.

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Looking Glass
4 hours ago, bubba said:

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Man that guy is big and pretty, but I’ve personally grown to hate them, due to all the unchecked destruction they do on my plants.  A 15Lb’er like that can mow down a lot of your stuff. 

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Silas_Sancona

Inca Doves, Columbina inca  one of 3 " little Dove " sp. here in the Southwest, enjoying continued 80F fall weather. Despite the name, the species does not occur in the same region of South America where the Inca Empire was located. That said, it's range has been steadily expanding both north and south in North and South America over the last few decades.
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Here in AZ, Inca Doves have quickly gone from a species seen primarily during Monsoon Season and Fall, to one that can be viewed pretty much year round, esp. in the lower deserts. Continued range expansion will soon make it a commonly seen species in more of California, Northern New Mexico, S. Nevada, and S. Utah. It is also well established in South Central/ Southern Texas, parts of the Gulf Coast, and Florida ..though the FL. population to believed to be escaped birds which may or may not sustain themselves there.
 

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RyManUtah

I believe to be a female 

Aphonopelma chalcodes on the prowl: 

 

 

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RyManUtah

I love these docile arachnids. Honored to have them seeking their winter burrows in my garden. 

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RyManUtah

This is Boo Boo. She comes to visit when I’m in the front yard.  She’s chill. 
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greysrigging

Imagine this popping in to your shed for a visit....
From ABC Rural....
Only in Australia ! Has anything this dangerous wandered into your shed before ? 
This very curious Cassowary is happily exploring Tony's shed, on the boundary of the Daintree National Park in far north Queensland.
Apparently it has visited several times and, as you can see, Tony isn't too keen to make eye contact with it and is keeping his distance from the world's most dangerous bird.
Congratulations on Tony for being the world's most patient host. 
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sipalms
On 11/17/2021 at 5:42 PM, RyManUtah said:

I love these docile arachnids. Honored to have them seeking their winter burrows in my garden. 

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Heck! What species is that?

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RyManUtah
35 minutes ago, sipalms said:

Heck! What species is that?

Aphonopelma chalcodes i believe, though it could also be Aphonopelma iodius. One of the bug guys will be able to tell you for sure. They’re both equally friendly. 

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Silas_Sancona
4 minutes ago, RyManUtah said:

Aphonopelma chalcodes i believe, though it could also be Aphonopelma iodius. One of the bug guys will be able to tell you for sure. They’re both equally friendly. 

Iodis would be the most likely, based on the amount of iNat observations there,  but wouldn't be surprised if chalcodes occurs there too.. let alone possible hybrids.  See Grand Canyon Black, A. marxi has a couple supposed observations not too far to the east and south of St. George as well.  Pretty sweet they're hanging out in the garden regardless.

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Silas_Sancona

Speaking of Spiders,  this kid crawled out from some old junk i'd removed from behind a shed while cleaning up the yard of a house i'll be moving into soon.

First thought was " Did i just unearth the nearly impossible to find Desert Recluse ( Loxosceles deserta ?....  )" < which is related to that "other" Recluse back east, and possesses similar, but not quite as dangerous toxins in it's venom >  Fiddle " on the flat, disc-shaped upper body looks right, ..legs are long, very hairy  ..but, somethings off.. Color, eye arrangement, rounder lower body..

Still not 100% sure but leaning toward one of the bigger Cellar Spider sp. vs. our extremely reclusive Recluse.. Regardless, large Pedipalps near it's head indicate it is male, lookin' for love ( ...In all the wrong places... :D).
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Could be Giant Daddy Long legs, Artema atlanta,  or a Marbled Cellar Spider, Holocnemis pluchei,  the more common option.  Had a similar looking spider wander into my room early one morning before i scared it back under the door, out into the hallway. ( i was still half asleep. Threw a shirt at it, lol ) After thinking it probably found it's way back outside.. or maybe had disappeared under a cabinet in the bathroom or something, what might have been the same spider appeared on a wall near the living room last night.. is back outside now.

As far as " Cellar Spiders " go, the two listed are generally bigger ( and move a bit faster ) than the typical " Cobweb " spiders that hang out almost anywhere they can find a spot. The common name also applies to several different Genera.  Regardless, have noticed, where ever they are, Black Widows, of any size, are absent / don't try to set up homes.. Same thing doesn't seem to apply for the species listed above. Found a Black Widow and a couple of the bigger Cellar Spiders living quite close together in a shaded section of a window.  Are gone now.

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Silas_Sancona

Humans, Animals  ..and Fire..  Are we the only creatures who found advantages in using it as a resource?  Maybe not.. 

Interesting article i thought i would share here:
https://aeon.co/essays/how-animal-uses-of-fire-help-to-illuminate-human-pyrocognition?utm_source=pocket-newtab
 

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Butch
On 11/28/2021 at 10:10 PM, Silas_Sancona said:

Humans, Animals  ..and Fire..  Are we the only creatures who found advantages in using it as a resource?  Maybe not.. 

Interesting article i thought i would share here:
https://aeon.co/essays/how-animal-uses-of-fire-help-to-illuminate-human-pyrocognition?utm_source=pocket-newtab
 

Very interesting read... Thank you for posting... I'll read the other post shortly...

Butch

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Silas_Sancona

 After- some- rain visit by one of the neighborhood Anna's Hummingbirds, Calypte anna  doing something ..intriguing.., aside from already figuring out where i have the < currently empty > hummingbird feeders set up. Planing on adding 2 more later. Anyway,..

While observing this one, and some others buzz the Yellow Necklacepod, Sophora tomentosa, wasn't interesting enough,  Caught this male sipping nectar from flowers of both of the Saffron Plums, Sideroxylon celastrinum today..

Anna's Hummingbird has typically been considered a "Southwestern and California states " species, but apparently has been expanding its range through central and south Texas, where both above mentioned plants occur.. Neither occur here, in CA. or adjacent Baja / mainland coastal northwestern Mexico.. Interesting that, at least going with what i'm observing, this hummingbird recognizes both plants as nectar sources. 

Makes you think a bit.. Watching this closely to see if there is any influence w/ fruit set on both plant species. Already have pods forming on the Necklacepod.

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tjwalters

Periodical cicada - Magicicada species.  There were three different species of which the massive Brood X 17-year emergence was comprised.  Two unidentified emerging individuals and a female Magicicada septendecim oviposting on a small branch of Albizia julibrissin.

M.septendecim.20210510-01.jpg

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tjwalters

A Carolina Chickadee, Poecile carolinensis (Paridae), snacking on a Brood X periodical cicada.

P.carolinensis.20210527-01.jpg

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tjwalters

Eastern Turkey Vulture, Cathartes aura septentrionalis (Cathartidae), visiting the garden on garbage-collection day.  It was investigating the bag of garbage left by the curb for pick-up, but flew up into the tree when I showed up with my camera.

C.aura.septentrionalis.20210122-01.jpg

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tjwalters

Red-lined Panopoda, Panopoda rufimargo (Erebidae), on the side of a flower pot.

P.rufimargo.20210501-01.jpg

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Silas_Sancona
2 minutes ago, tjwalters said:

Red-lined Panopoda, Panopoda rufimargo (Erebidae), on the side of a flower pot.

P.rufimargo.20210501-01.jpg

:greenthumb::greenthumb:  Was just thinking about when the last time was you posted such great moth pics.

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