I saw these two western fence lizards in front of one of the offices (I see them all the time there), and one was sitting on its haunches, a position I’d not seen one take before. It gives the lizard a higher point of view to look for bugs to eat. I was lucky to get these pictures.
28 September 2020, near main office in Sonora, California.
Andrew Springer collected this moth in an office building in Wallace, Calaveras County, California.
I sent some images to Dr. Lynn Kimsey of the UC Bohart Museum of Entomology. She passed the images along to a couple of her lepidoptera experts, including Jeff Smith, the Curator of Lepidoptera.
Both experts agree that it is likely Agriphila attenuatus with the palpi broken off. These moths are flying now. “The coastal examples of this moth have whitish fore wings generously peppered with dark brown scales except for a longitudinal band slightly anteriad of the center of the fore wings that is nearly devoid of the dark brown scales. Specimens from around here are pale yellowish tan like the one in the photos and peppered with a very few to a moderate amount of light brown scales. The flight period is short: from about the last week of Sept. to third week of Oct. with most specimens (in Davis) collected during the first two weeks of Oct.”
Brown Lacewing specimens collected by Joel Williams, Twain Harte, California, 28 September 2020.
Thanks to Dr. Lynn Kimsey for the ID.
9 September 2020
Angela Cordes found this tiny insect on her sleeve while sitting on a bench under a tree near our office. I asked Dr. Catherine Ann Tauber what the species might be (especially since we are looking for that possible lacewing species).
She said it is the “larva of Chrysoperla comanche – an unappreciated biological control agent in western USA, northern Mexico. It feeds on a variety of insect pests – e.g., aphids, scales, lepidopteran eggs, etc., and it is better in warm and dry habitats than other lacewings. It does not carry trash on its back, and it has never been reported to be associated with ants. It is not related to the earlier larvae with large trash packets. BTW: Chrysoperla formerly was in Chrysopa, but it now is recognized as different.”
Erik Brians found a fungal-type growth under some garden plants in Sonora. He brought a sample back.
I removed one of the tubes, and cut it open, as you can see in a series of images below. It was tough and fibrous.
I passed the photos along to Dr. David William Fischer, Mycologist, at American Mushrooms®. He believes it is a type of bird’s nest mushroom, but long dead. You can see photos of living specimens here. Thanks Dr. Fischer!
We received a call from a customer about thousands of tiny bugs all over the white house trim. When I arrived to get samples, most were gone, but the homeowner did collect a few. See images below.
Thrips are minute, flower-feeding insects. When their flowers start to die off, the trips are forced to fly and find more white flowers (if that is the flower color that species prefers). In this case, there were no more flowers, and the thrips were attracted to the whit trim.
30 May 2019, Groveland California.
These tiny nymphs were collected by Ryles Richards from an account in Groveland, California. The little bugs were quite numerous. I asked Dr. Lynn Kimsey, of the Bohart Museum of Entomology, what they might be.
She said, based on these photos, that they looked like newly hatched, first instars of one of the lygaeoid families – Lygaeidae, Rhopalidae, Miridae or Largidae, but she would not be able to tell until they molt a few more times.
25 March 2020