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Saturday, December 22, 2007

Winter Solstice Bug Count #3

It was a pretty nice day here in southern California for the winter solstice: clear, slightly breezy, about 65 degrees. These are the bugs I saw in my approximately one hour survey around the yard:

Pholcus phalangioides, Daddy longlegs spiders (2) including one very pristine specimen on the kitchen counter.
(1) predatory mite, of a species yet unidentified since last year's survey, crawled quickly across my notebook.
Scaphytopius frontalis, blackish leaf hoppers (4)
Homalocisca vitripennis, newer Latin name for glassywinged sharpshooter (1) nymph
(3) fun little green and orangish leaf hoppers of the genus Graphocephala.
Black aphids on salvia (numerous colonies) and also on abutilon (2 colonies)
Aphis nerii, oleander aphids, in declining multitudes
(1) adult assassin bug of the genus Zelus
(2) adult seed bugs Niesthrea louisianica and (2) egg masses of same
Harlequin bugs, Murgantia histrionica, about (35)
Eggs and (1) adult green lacewing, Chrysopa oculata
(1) lonesome picture wing fly, Trupanea nigricornis
A handful of little house flies, Fannia canicularis, flying around in the shade outside
A handful of flesh flies, Sarcophaga sp, basking in the sun on the fence
A handful of green bottle flies, Lucilia sericata, skulking around the dog's yard looking for their old Latin name
(1) measly drosophila fruit fly
(2) unidentified syrphid flies, one each of two species
A swarm of small flies or gnats circling the neighbor's phoenix palm, probably hundreds of 'em
Polistes exclamans, common paper wasp, (5)
Honey bees, Apis mellifera, (5 or so)
I saw many (100 +) aphids parasitized by braconid wasps, and actually saw (3) adults
Asian ladybird, Harmonia axyridis, were present in 3 forms: (4) larvae (1) pupa (1) adult
(1) katydid 3rd instar nymph, scudderia furcata
(1) male greybird grasshopper just before adulthood, Schistocerca nitens
Geometrid caterpillars, Eupitheca sp, probably Pugs, (3) found on three different plants
Helicoverpa sp caterpillar (2) on geraniums. Are they geranium budworm or not?
Mystery orange and black moths on lambs quarters (2) could be genus spragueia
(9) Danaus plexippus larvae getting restless
(1) adult monarch butterfly flew overhead as I was wrapping up my count.

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