Over the past weeks (and months) there have been some nice warm days, and mild nights which brought out some insects and spiders around the house, and also elsewhere in the county. The El Nino winter only brought 28 inches to Cuyamaca Woods, and we had hoped for more to ease the drought. But we probably shouldn't complain TOO much! It seems to be a green and verdant spring.
Here are some Cuyamaca Woods observations from the past few weeks, followed by another post of insects seen at Culp Valley in the Anza Borrego Desert, Crest in eastern San Diego County, and Palomar Mountain this spring.
|Camponotus sp. (carpenter ants), winged reproductive forms emerging from a nest near the water tank slope.|
|Some of the winged ants lined up in this manner after emerging from the nest. This was in April, when we had some rain recently.|
|Ceanothus Silkmoth (Hyalophora euryalis), an occasional visitor in spring. This one appeared at the patio black light on June 2.|
|A small species of bostrichid (a horned powder-post beetle). It is starting to unfurl its second pair of wings for flight. This little one was less than 10 mm long.|
|Mating crane flies (to be determined) on the patio - a common sight in spring if there is a light nearby!|
|A giant crab spider, Curicaberis sp., the first I have ever seen. Smaller than the Olios giganteus (another member of this family) that are so common here.|
|Ashy Gray Lady Beetle (Olla v-nigrum) - the black and red morph.|
|A click beetle (Lacon sp.) which appeared in the near garden on a warm day.|
|Styloxus fulleri, a fairly predictable visitor at the light in spring.|
|A better image of Trox fascifer than my last attempts. This is quite a small beetle, perhaps 6-7 mm long! A member of the Trogidae (hide beetle, with an appetite for skin, feathers, etc.), not Scarabaeidae.|
|One of the acorn beetles, Curculio sp. Females bore through the outer layer of an acorn with their long snouts, to deposit eggs, and the larvae feed on the juicy acorn meat.|
|This little beetle was confusing me, and looked a bit like a blister beetle at first (I thought). It is actually a member of a different family, the Anthicidae, or antlike flower beetles, in the genus Duboisius. It is quite small - about 10 mm long.|
|Colonus (Thiodina) hesperus, male. Thanks to Tim Manolis and G.B. Edwards for helping identify it. This is a diminutive jumping spider, but he has some really sharp colors and markings when seen close-up!|
|Peucetia longipalpis (the Green Lynx), lurking on a potato plant in the garden|