Monday, September 26, 2005

ENV: Observations

It's a slow (a.m.) night -- cool, even after a couple of 100+ days.

As i mentioned in last night's post that disappeared into the bowels of Blogger, the night of the 24-25th was notable for the variety (8 species) and numbers of Mayflies in the emergence. There was also an emergence of midges and crickets. So there were lots of bugs around. Until 3 a.m. on the 25-26th there was no sign of any mayflies or midges -- zero -- and only a few crickets. Interesting. Then, at the 3 a.m. run there were suddenly hundred of tiny mayflies, along with a handful of the three larger species (as in 1-3 of each).

I had another (#4) White-lined Sphinx fly in the office tonight (early a.m.). Pretty good year for sphinxes (for me anyway).

Update p.m.: Tonight, at about 9:30 p.m., checked the lightsheets to find that there was another large emergence of mayflies, this time mostly of the two larger species, with the next two largest having a few individuals. Zero of the tiny guys from early this a.m. See the picture below of a mass of these guys. Also the numbers of Field Crickets is up again.

TX: Kerr Co., Rio Vista 26 September 2005
1 White-lined Sphinx, Hyles lineata
1 Melonworm Moth, Diaphania hyalinata ph
1 Ironweed Root Moth, Polygrammodes flavidalis ph
1 Southern Emerald Moth, Synchlora frondaria ph
1 Plume Moth, poss. Stenoptilodes taprobanes ph
2 Scarlet-winged Lichen Moth

1 Black Swallowtail ph
12 Phaon Crescent ph
1 Queen

32 Fall Field Cricket, Gryllus pensylvanicus
2 Ground Cricket sp., Allonemobius sp.
2 Green Mantis sp.
1 Bush Katydid sp.

+ 5 sp. Mayfly

10 Dusky Dancer
2 Black Saddlebags

1 Crevice Spider sp.

1 Gulf Coast Toad
1 Rio Grande Leopard Frog

1 Mediterranean Gecko

1 Red-shouldered Hawk
1 Killdeer
1 Upland Sandpiper
1 Eastern Screech-Owl
2 Great Horned Owl
1 Downy Woodpecker
1 Ladder-backed Woodpecker
4 Golden-fronted Woodpecker ph
2 Eastern Phoebe
8 Scissor-tailed Flycatcher
1 Western Scrub-Jay
1 Blue Jay
1 Carolina Wren
4 Black-crested Titmouse ph
1 Carolina Chickadee
1 Ruby-crowned Kinglet
1 Dickcissel
12 House Finch ph

2 Bat sp.
5 Striped Skunk
1 Elk
1 Axis Deer
10 White-tailed Deer

TX: Kerr Co., Ingram Dam Lake 26 September 2005
1 Spotted Sandpiper
1 American Avocet ph
1 Ringed Kingfisher

TX: Kerr Co., Ingram 26 September 2005
60 Common Grackle

Southern Emerald Moth, Synchlora frondaria



Ironweed Root Moth,
Polygrammodes flavidalis


Striped Skunk, Mephitis mephitis

I was up to five skunks tonight. I'm going to try to keep track of how many are actually around by learning to identify them. I can say five tonight because i had five together. One took off before i could take pictures, but the other four are pictured below. Note the differences in the coloration of the tail. One has a white band through the middle, almost like the side stripe extends through the tial. One has only a small white tuft at the end. One has several long strands of white at the end and near the middle of the tail. And one has a lot of white throughout. I've known this for some time (i once posted dozens of photos of my buds on my Kerr Fauna website, including an almost totally leucistic adult), but have never spent time trying to learn the individuals until now.

I noticed that if you go down to the posts below from the 24th and the 18th you can pick out all four of these individuals by their tail markings.


Mayfly swarm
Here's the mid evening swarm of larger mayflies.





Bush Katydid sp.,
Scudderia sp
.




This spider smartly took up residence behind the lightsheet.




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