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Thursday, June 23, 2011

Bugs at the Black Light - Finally!

After unseasonably cool weather, the warmth is finally here, and the bugs are coming out in good numbers. The black light on my patio this week brought in a good variety of little critters. Plenty of drama, too, with some creatures being eaten by others! Some of the insects and arachnids that came to the light are shown below. The Polyphylla and Prionus were photographed previously.

Olios (Huntsman spider) enjoying a crane fly meal, and being watched by a hopper. Some of these spiders get quite huge, around an inch long.

Olios spider with prey.

Zarhipis integripennis

Serica fimbriata, a large velvety member of its genus.

Brown Leatherwings (Pacificanthia consors), by far the most numerous visitors.

Polyphylla decemlineata, the Ten-lined June Beetle.

Prionus californicus, the California Prionus.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Saturday, June 11, 2011

The False Click Beetle, Perothops witticki

Every year in late May and early June, Perothops witticki appear on my property and often land on the stucco of the house during the daytime. I've seen them at my neighbor's house down the road, as well, but never anywhere else (ever!). This seems to be a little Perothops-heaven here -- kind of interesting as false click beetles are not exactly "every-day" beetles! Below are some photos of a specimen that showed up on the house this morning.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

A Speckled Rattlesnake - with a big appetite!

My neighbor here in Cuyamaca Woods, Norm Huefner, spotted a very special rattlesnake the other day -- a Speckled Rattlesnake, Crotalus mitchelli. Having seen many specimens of the other two San Diego County rattlers that are to be found west of the deserts (the Southern Pacific Rattlesnake and the Red Diamond Rattlesnake) over the years, I have STILL never encountered a Speckled Rattler, so this is an exciting event, and gives me hope of seeing one myself.

This was a very ambitious young one, trying to swallow what appears to be a Western Fence Lizard.

Speckled Rattlesnakes are seen much less often than the other members of their genus here, but also have a reputation for being more "touchy" and prone to agitation. They have a very weak pattern on their backs, sometimes resembling granite, which is a typical component of their preferred habitats.

Used with permission of Norman Huefner