Thursday, June 6, 2013

New place; familiar faces

And, just as it is when you see your elementary school teachers outside of the classroom, you simply can't figure out how they got to where you are. They live in their habitat - the school. Awkward.

Well, I do recognize these faces. I even remember a few of their names, or parts of their names, or their nicknames. Some of them. This morning I did try to jog the brain on their IDs. But mostly, I spent the early morning taking their photos, gawking, taking more photos, gawking, and taking more photos. Then I locked myself (and the dogs) out of the house, with no phone. At 6 am. Guess I didn't actually need to eat breakfast anyway.

My neighbors are saints. Truly. The old house was easy enough to break into; the new one is a veritable fortress. So by 7 am I was back inside, thanks to neighbors across town with a spare key.

First and second nights of 'hit the switch and go to bed' blacklighting were last night and the night before. First 'stay up and wait' blacklighting attempt with guests and whatnot was early last month. I got a Kissing Bug / Triatoma bite as a souvenir from that one. Remember, kids: DO. NOT. SCRATCH. Do not rub, do not pat, do not wipe... embrace the burn and rinse thoroughly with rubbing alcohol or hydrogen peroxide. The throbbing stops after about an hour. You'll survive. Unless you get a lump at the site of the bite about 24 hrs later... in that case you Google "early treatment" and "Chagas disease" and cross your fingers.

Anyway, back to those familiar faces:

 Walnut Sphinx (Amorpha juglandis) 5 June 2013

Walnut Sphinx was a newcomer late in our time at the DBR; I recall only two individuals that showed up on one occasion. Striking creatures, quite memorable in spite of diminutive size (compared to our 'regular' White-lined and Western Poplar Sphinxes!)

 Policocnemis ungulatus 5 June 2013

Fun fact: all five images of Policocnemis ungulatus on are from either the Double Bacon Ranch (our former yard) or our new yard.

Datana spp.
Datana 'spuh' - these are lovely dead leaves. Or maybe broken bits of branches. Whatever it is they look like, they're not ideal for the dyslexic: Datana, Nadata, and Natada are all anagrams for each other and they're all moth genera named by one particular Francis Walker. (bugguide, wiki)
...thankfully we've only had Datana to contend with thus far, and they're tricky enough!

And now for a smattering of Tripudia luxuriosa:

Tripudia luxuriosa... what's in a name? A luxurious tri-pointed moth?

Poorly cropped and badly lit or not, they are wonderful little tic-tac sized moths whose depth of coloration and intricacy of pattern are really quite marvelous when examined closely. Rarely does one ever show up appearing worn, tattered, or otherwise less than pristine.

Their patterning seems to vary a good bit, and Tripudias in general can get confusing, but as a group they are quite fun to pick through. There are not so many as to be entirely overwhelming but just enough to be engaging.

....and we still haven't even made it to the brightly colored bugs! Perhaps Pygarctia will need their own post, once again, due to such an amazing showing on the morning of the 6th. At least one P. neomexicana was among several P. flavidorsalis with at least one P. rosicapitis.

Oh, and a new face at the lights:

Southern Purple Mint Moth  (Pyrausta laticlavia) 5 June 2013

Small photo to attempt to mask the horrible focus - the first Southern Purple Mint Moth (One-eyed, one-antennad Flying Purple Mint-plant-eater?) that I've been consciously aware of...

Good morning, Marathon.

Pre-dawn in Marathon, 5 June 2013

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