Saturday, May 10, 2008

Porch Bug Ramble

I don't own any insect field guides, nor do I have time to spend today (MAJOR MOTHER'S DAY PROJECT TO DO OUTSIDE) searching through Internet buggy ID sites, so I'll leave it to you to ID these critters ... or not.
You folks with a brain bank of insect IDs are pretty amazing. It's not exactly the easiest group of animals to have catalogued in your grey matter ... with a bazillion different (some only slightly) species.
Generally, I am in awe of you ... even if I don't have the taxonomic zeal (obsession?) some of you have.

I'm more likely to spend time looking up the common name of an unknown fish as they are my love, but even there, I don't usually pursue it past the common name. Hence, a sea robin is just that on this website, even though there are ... hmmm, I think, over a hundred species in that clan.

Perhaps, I am just taxonomically lazy.

I don't keep life lists of anything either, not even my beloved fishes. I know that sort of thing brings great joy to birders especially, who, thankfully, do not pin the objects of their affection to foam boards.

I suppose a life list is a collection of sorts, and with birders ... if they are honest ... a bit of a competition. Listen to them when they get together or talk about some hotshot travelling birder. The life list numbers are bandied about like football scores ... and what's wrong with that? Friendly competition is a powerful driving force that generally pushes us to excel.

This was just supposed to be a little picture post of porch bugs and I've wandered around from taxonomy to competitive birding.

Back on task ...

The warm temps and the porch lights have brought a host of insects to our door lately. Not shown in these pics are the tussock moth caterpillars which are just everywhere this spring. Also not shown are the fireflies which dance along the windows at night.

This dragonfly was hanging out near the porch light a few mornings ago. See what I mean? It's just a dragonfly to me, and I'm okay with that. I love watching dragonflies work the air like a bunch of Huey Helicopters ... Apocalypse Now for any mosquitoes in the area.

Okay, I may know this one ... or at least it's general group. It looks like a Dobsonfly to me. My love of the aquatic realm introduced me to this clan when I started finding helgrammites while dipping fish out of creeks nearby.

This moth reminds me of the feather footed banty hen who lives out near the garden.

Speaking of that hen ... yesterday, Sara N. Dippity met me out at the garden for what has to be one of the coolest critter encounters I've ever had here at PFHQ ... hmmm, maybe my life list is of events and not individuals ...

Anyway, as you may imagine, it's possible that I had my camera nearby and it's possible that I caught the entire cool event in a sequence of photos.

It's also possible that I plan to post this photo sequence on Monday as the weekend is generally a slow time.

Drop in if you get a chance ... it will be worth your while.


robin andrea said...

Love these critters, FC, and most especially that yellow feathery one. What a beauty. We're still not seeing any dragonflies here yet, but I suppose any day now spring will begin in earnest.

I don't keep life lists either, and hardly know the scientific name of anything. I do know that I'm pretty excited to see most wildlife even the most common. I'm just glad they're around.

Looking forward to your Monday post. Excellent teaser.

pablo said...

You can count on me to be here on Monday (and Tuesday, and Wednesday . . .)

Anonymous said...

For your erudite, competitive side I have scientific names for the critters you've shown here. I categorized them according to the sounds they make when pinned to my windshield in the late afternoon.
They are in order as follows:

There ya go.

Floridacracker said...

In for a lunch break (sausage pilau) from the Mom Day project ...

I am glad they're here too. Feels like summer has begun in earnest here today... heat, humidity, a promise of afternoon rain.

Ditto dat dude.

Is that Latin?
... or maybe, "Splatin" ?

Rurality said...

I'm just regularly lazy, not only taxonomically lazy. :)

Susan said...

Forget about the bugs! What about your new header photo of the cool gold and purple gator in the sparkling water? I love it!

The photo is exceptional. I'll bet you could sell some prints of this or get it published.

How big is the gator? From the looks of the water, I'm guessing it's in a flowing creek.

Floridacracker said...

I don't think lazy people start and run successful soap crafting businesses.

Thanks! This gator was about a 5 footer, just a youngster. He was in a deep pool overhung with trees and the water reflected them nicely.
Glad you liked it!

Laura said...

Welp! looks like I'll have to pencil in a visit for Monday morning.j/k!

Rurality's comment made me chuckle.. good one!

And I really like that gator photo, the background is amazing!

Doug Taron said...

Yep, it's that time of year again. FC is giving final exams. The second moth is a yellow flannel moth ( Megalopyge pyxidifera.) As for the others, the weekend finds me away from keys and guides, so I'll have to try partial ID's and return on Monday. The first moth is definitely a sphinx (well, duh- don't feel that I'm revealing much here). I think that you don't have a dobsonfly (jaws aren't right), but rather a close relative called a fishfly (same family, genus Chauliodes).
Your dragonfly is difficult because of the flash and the angle. I can't tell to what degree the eyes touch, and you can't see the shoulder bars from this angle. It might be a spiketail, but that's just a WAG on my part. I'll try again Monday with some reference material. And the last photo is a lovely hairstreak.

Thunder Dave said...

Cool yellow moth, I can't wait to see what you've got for Monday!

threecollie said...

FC, there is never a day that I am disappointed by visiting here, but I can't wait to see miss for the bugs...yeah, they are buggy. I can't show Beck this page as she is afraid of moths, tussock or otherwise. Happy Mother's Day to Mrs. FC

Dani said...

I just love your blog FC. Every one here makes me laugh and I look forward to reading everyones comments. I hope Mrs.FC has a nice day as well as all the other mommies out there.

Floridacracker said...

Glad you like the gator and I think you'll like Monday.

LOL! Hairstreak to come.
Thanks for the info on the ID's!

Ilve never heard of mothphobia!
No moths tomorrow.

Thanks. I think the funniest, smartest people comment here. It's why I come back every day ...

Julie Zickefoose said...

It's nice to know there are other blog ants out there, storing up the goodies for later. Your blog is ravishing and funny and I expect it to rocket to the top of the Nature Blog Network, as it should. Coolest header shot in Blogland.

Doug Taron said...

I have had a chance to take a look at your photos with reference material. I'm prettty sure that your sphinx moth is a Plebian Sphinx (Paratraea plebeja). Your dragonfly is probably a swamp darner (Epiaeschna heros). The banding on the abdomen is green on that species, I would have said it's yellow on yours. But the guide mentions that this species has blue eyes,yellow on the inner 3/5 of the sings, and sometimes enters buildings (presumably this includes landing on screens). Also it has a very large head, as yours does. So that's my best guess.

Anonymous said...

Well done, Fc and Doug.

Floridacracker said...

Thanks! I think that gator in reflection has struck a chord with a lot folks. I took it for granted, I think ... almost didn't post "another gator".
Again, thank you for your kind words.

You are the insect master dude.
Thanks for the specifics.

Doug did it.