This western fence lizard that has taken up residence on an outside sofa, has a broken tail. Photo by Ilene Tassano, 30 May 2015, Columbia California. Thanks to Gary Nafis for identification.
Here are some images of a local species of ironclad beetle. Click on an image to enlarge it.:
The Oak Groundling, Telphusa sedulitella, is the most common caterpillar we find on oak trees in spring in the lower foothills. They feed on the fresh newly emerged oak leaves, then drop down on silken lines to pupate. They will emerge as adults in late May through July. More photos at http://mothphotographersgroup.msstate.edu/species.php?hodges=1859
This spider is a species within the genus Titiotus, which is native to California. The genus is covered in “A Revision of the Endemic Californian Spider Genus Titiotus Simon (Araneae, Tengellidae), by Norman I. Platnick and Darrell Ubick. Based on their distribution map, our local species are Titiotus californicus and Titiotus gertschi.
Titiotus superfically looks like a brown recluse spider, or desert recluse spider, but isn’t. Titiotus has eight eyes, whereas brown recluse-type spiders have only six. Due to its prominent violin marking and large size, Titiotus is one of the most commonly reported species. Do not worry, as the venom of these spiders is not toxic to people. Rick Vetter told me, via a personal communication, of a medical student who was bitten, and the bite had “almost no effect.”
A quote from the Platnick and Ubick paper: “At lower elevations, including the Coast Ranges, Titiotus species occur mostly in forests, especially oak and mixed evergreen, but also in rocky grasslands. These spiders are also strongly cavernicolous; almost half of the known species are recorded from caves, where they may be quite abundant. For example, in Speleogen Cave (Calaveras County, Aug. 8, 1986, D. Ubick) several subadult and earlier instar Titiotus, presumably T. gertschi, new species, the only species known from that cave, were observed in a small room (.5 m diameter).”
This suggests a reason Titiotus is so common in homes, especially in cooler and darker areas, like basements… they love caves!
Acknowledgements: I would like to thank Rick Vetter for his review and comments about this page.
Click on an image to enlarge it. See also this page for more pictures.
male of the species:
Neoclytus conjunctus is a wood boring beetle that is found in oak firewood. They emerge in spring to mate and lay eggs. Specimen collected by Steve Deaver, Twain Harte California, 8 May 2015, in a woodpile. Lower down is an image by Paul Cooper, 18 May 2017.
Click on an image to enlarge it.
The rough stink bug, Brochymena quadripustulata
Thanks to Lynn Wunderlich for the identification! Specimen collected by Steven Deaver May 2015.
Click on image to enlarge it.