The tiny but mighty earwig packs quite a pinch. Don’t let one crawl up the leg of your pants.
When I pulled into the Park yesterday, I saw a new-to-me flycatcher snaring insects on the wing. The flight pattern drew my attention; if the kingbird hadn’t been actively hunting I might not have noticed it. So pretty, with its lemon yellow underbelly and white chin!
I never really knew what a katydid was (as opposed to a grasshopper) until the other night. An easy-to-spot difference is the length of the antennae. Also, katydids are primarily nocturnal and grasshoppers are diurnal.
Insects in the family Tettigoniidae are commonly called katydids (especially in North America). More than 8,000 species are known. Many species exhibit mimicry and camouflage, commonly with shapes and colours similar to leaves.
The specimen we sketched is in the Neoconocephalus genus. Gotta love that cone head!
This variety of blueberry is meant to grow in our climate, but ours just … don’t, really.
I don’t often see a California thrasher around here, so I’m always happy when I do. One has been hanging about the bird bath and bushes close to the house the past few days. Sweet!
I asked Trisha if we could examine a centipede some time, and even though they are not insects, she kindly collected one in her yard and put it under the microscope for us to sketch.
There are about 1000 species and subspecies in the family Lithobiidae, mainly distributed in the northern hemisphere. (The house centipede I posted last week is in a different family.)
Fun fact: centipedes have one pair of legs per body segment. Millipedes have two.
I am not sure how I got to be middle-aged before learning that butterfly caterpillars don’t spin cocoons. Moths do that. A butterfly’s chrysalis forms INSIDE its caterpillar-y skin. It sheds that skin and voila, it’s now a pupa. 🤯 Learn something new!!
If you see stoneflies by a creek, you can be happy that the water’s clean and well-oxygenated.