Saturday, October 27, 2012

Ceruchus punctatus

Here's a picture of Ceruchus punctatus one of the few stag beetle we get in California. It is only about half an inch long (maybe a bit more) - fairly small as stag beetles go, but still impressive.

Michael found it under the bark of a fallen pine at around 7,000 feet in the Sierra Nevada east of Bass Lake this year. It was June and the high country was just starting to open up for the year.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Ortholeptura valida

This attractive longhorn beetle (Ortholeptura valida) was fairly abundant this year in the Sierra Nevada between 5,000 and 7,000 feet.  This individual (measuring about an inch long , exclusive of the antennae) came to our light near Shaver Lake (above Fresno, California) a couple of moths ago. We also found a population above Wishon Reservoir (still Fresno County) in July.

Linsey and Chemsak (in the Cerambycidae of North America, Part VI. no. 2) list the host plants as Abies, Tsuga, Pinus, and Pseudotsuga. This individual probably came out of ponderosa pine or white fir - both fairly common around Shaver Lake q.v.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Erynnis species

This is an interesting dusky-wing skipper I found this summer in Altamont, Utah. My best guess is that it is a subspecies of Juvenal's dusky-wing (Erynnis juvenalis) but I'm not certain. These darker skippers often get overlooked and this is too bad. Look closely at the scale patterns on the wings. They are really very intricate.

I found this individual on an overcast summer day among the high desert sagebrush of northern Utah. This is a place that is frequently overlooked by nature-lovers. It can appear bleak at times - but this is an impression of trying to enjoy the area from a car travelling 70 miles an hour. If you get out and look around, you might be impressed.