November 17, 2023

Narnia: inornata versus femorata

I keep getting asked how I distinguish the two species, so I'm gonna post it here and then link this where needed.

Here's how to tell who's who:

The first thing that sticks out with inornata is an iridescence of the corium. I've described this of having the faint magenta sheen of an oil slick. On femorata, this doesn't occur, as the corium always appears dusty due to the plentiful white setae they have. All Narnia are hairy, but femorata is the hairiest, which makes them look pale next to inornata, which appears smoother and darker.

The second thing to then look for is a band across the corium. If there's a clear band, not just a change in color, it's not inornata. Both inornata and femorata can vary a bit with how this mid area is colored, but there is no banding across inornata. Inornata sometimes has faint "upside-down triangles" below where a band would occur, but that's it. Femorata will either have the wonky band, or the triangles, but they're obviously lighter and more defined against than the surrounding area.

Lastly, inornata is slimmer. Look at the connexivum of inornata and take note of how it's always pretty uniform in how wide it gets. In femorata, this varies a lot, but most I'd say are wider.

Here's a key that uses different traits than I do, such as tibia dialation (which I'm eh about), but it's still something:
https://onedrive.live.com/?authkey=%21APQwOfOP6BPuhdA&cid=572E835A53FA275E&id=572E835A53FA275E%2170987&parId=572E835A53FA275E%2170950&o=OneUp

This site and Bugguide both have a ton of wrongly ID-ed femorata and inornata, so it's really confusing to look through them right now. I'm pretty sure they hybridize with whoever is nearby, so half of all indiviuals are frustratingly ambiguous. I'll fix what I can, but until I can say they're mostly correct, here's solid examples of inornata and femorata to reference:

inornata:
https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/140187264
https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/178292801
https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/1641296
https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/170926797
https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/151556210
https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/190932859

femorata:
https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/108335914
https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/98519624
https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/44064005
https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/31210947
https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/93724652
https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/110613036
https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/36028271

It's getting a bit tiring to go through everything. I don't like to be the kind of person who just says "Yep, this is Narnia" without going further, so I normally just ID to species or leave things untouched if I can't fully decide. I'm reviewing all my IDs so far for femorata, because I now know that some are too iffy to go one way or another, and I'm revoking what I'm not certain of.

In the end, I'm glad to have determined the true range of inornata (seems it's the predominant species along the border), but further than that, I don't think theres much more to do. I still have some stuff with wilsoni that I care about, but as for the three other species, I have no more questions. Season is over anyways. Where to next? Probably Mozena, specifically in Arizona. I'll keep with my coreids until further notice...

Shoutout to @ameeds, @ncb1221, and anyone whose pics I linked. And omega shoutout to @natcase for listening to me talk about Narnia week after week and day after day, and for giving me the two wilsoni~ You're too cool~

Posted on November 17, 2023 06:44 PM by abstinence_enthusiast abstinence_enthusiast | 0 comments | Leave a comment

September 09, 2023

Chelinidea Update

Mornin everyone.

I say morning because I just woke up after really catching up on my sleep, since I don't have any classes (yuck) or occupations on Fridays. Anywho, my brain is running a little bit too much at the moment so let me slow it down and get to what I was saying.

I have kinda stagnated on my definitive Chelinidea report, and that's because I hit a sucky wall. The sucky wall in question is tabulata and canyona. I don't know what to make of the two. I don't even know why they're not the same species. I don't get it. They vary too much to have a fixed set of features atributed to them. I'm honestly suspecting that this may just be a morph thing, like the "aequoris" nonsense. Either way, it's caused me to put a pin in my stuff and clear everything else off the table before tackling those two "species" and making a final call. At the very least, I think they should be tied together in some little subsection. Out of the 5, they are very closely connected, and it would be practical to sort them as such.

If you know anything, let me know, give me your two cents. I already read the paper where it talks about them not being seperate species, as well as notable reports on the genus, but hey, there's got to be more takes. It's a small genus too. I'm surprised near nobody touches upon it.

Maybe I'll put out my thing on nymph IDs, which are really clear cut. C. vittiger, hunteri, and tabulata/canyona are each unmistakeable from each other once you recognize the patterns of recurring traits...

Scratching my head for the time being.
-Sophia

Posted on September 09, 2023 12:17 AM by abstinence_enthusiast abstinence_enthusiast | 0 comments | Leave a comment

August 30, 2023

Chelinidea IDs

Hey, I need to edit an essay I wrote about identification of all chelinidea nymphs everywhere, but in case you were wondering about my reasoning for going through all IDs, just know that I plan on posting all my research and findings here. I know you may have questions, and I probably can guess them, but just know that I 200% will have answers for you soon, hopefully by tomorrow night, but probably today.

Full disclosure, this is really something that's absolutely consumed me in a psychotic way. I haven't been getting sleep because of my chronic compulsion to get everything sorted and answer every question I can about this one genus. It's like when I had to stop playing tetris so much a few years back, because when I tried to sleep, all I would see was blocks and pieces falling. Same with a nintendo game when I was 9~10 that I got hooked on. They became something that existed in my mind even when I didn't want them to. Now most recently, I can't stop seeing chelinidea nymphs in my head. I was able to stop playing fortnite because I felt like garbage wasting so much time on something that doesn't provide any benefit. This is different, because I tell myself it's important science. My medicine won't even help me right now. I know I have to regulate, but I can't bring myself to, because if I don't answer the questions, who else will? Perhaps I should take a break, because this is causing me physical and mental harm... I want to be more balanced. I only have a single friend, and she's across the country, so I don't have anyone to encourage me to get out more. I probably need to talk to my doctor. This is both exhilarating and inhibiting...

Till next time

  • Sophia
Posted on August 30, 2023 06:30 PM by abstinence_enthusiast abstinence_enthusiast | 0 comments | Leave a comment

August 15, 2023

Mozena Nymphs in Arizona

In Arizona, we have 4 confirmed recorded species of Mozena: arizonensis, brunnicornis, buenoi, pallisteri. The green nymphs with red limbs observed throughout the state of Arizona are the species Mozena arizonensis. Here's why:

I'll start at pallisteri. The absolute extreme of their range is a singular area between two mountains to the east of Tucson, the sky islands specifically. With their known range south of that, down in Mexico and Central America, it can be concluded that they only inhabit more thickly wooded areas, and would not be inclined to drift into sparsely vegetated urban areas and lay their eggs. That reasonably knocks them off.

Brunnicornis has only been seen once in the United States, in Cochise county, on a mountain pass bordering Mexico. Even then, it's not definite, as the observation of it doesn’t have a record of size, the main differentiator. There's no proof it has ever existed elsewhere in America, and all other recorded sightings have been at less than 19 degrees latitude, in Nicaragua and Mexico. Logically, going by its known range and environmental conditions, it wouldn’t reproduce, let alone pop up in urban Tucson.

Lastly, as for buenoi, it has never been verifiably recorded outside of Cochise county, akin to brunnicornis. All other records of it in the US are in TX. Even in Mexico, it has never been seen further west than in Cochise county, and the observations in Cochise themselves are really far out compared to all others (90 records), which paint a somewhat of a coherent range for the species. To be seen further west than Cochise would be quite abnormal. One can never say impossible, but this would be greatly implausible if it was to appear in urban Tucson as a nymph.

Then, just so that I leave no stone unturned, we can look at lunata, the most commonly observed Mozena species. Lunata has never been witnessed in AZ. The nymphs of it are well recorded in all stages, and have consistent features that appear on all individuals. For example, by the time their wings bud, they have red shoulders with thick black bordering, whereas the arizonensis have a thinner black border, no red, and generally have a more narrow pronotum. First instar lunata nymphs have black limbs, and their antennae have a pure white section on the third segment. The nymphs of lunata that have been “seen in AZ” on Bug Guide are starkly different than the verified lunata nymphs, and you’ll see that they are actually the same nymphs that are commonly seen in arizona, being arizonensis (I’m currently unable to log in due to some account email issues, so I can’t point that out on said posts yet).
https://bugguide.net/node/view/50767/bgimage
https://bugguide.net/node/view/2000153/bgimage

In AZ, the first instar nymphs commonly seen all have red limbs and antennae that are darkest at the tips (like the adults). The older ones have pale green limbs, and a black line of consistent width across the bottom of their pronotum. They all have these features, and look to be of the same species. The only species to exist here in all elevations and areas, urban, wooded, scrub, riparian, is M. arizonensis. They are the only extant species in these cities and regions where the nymphs with the above description are seen. They're also the only species seen west of the mountain east of Tucson, as well as north of there (the one mountain with the pallisteri sightings). That leaves arizonensis as the only possible species, and if that’s not enough, I’ve been keeping tabs on the nymphs that have hatched in 2 different areas of my property, and watching them grow. Hopefully I can get more pictures soon of them reaching their adult stages, though they are getting harder to find as they spread out.
https://www.inaturalist.org/observations?verifiable=any&taxon_id=482531&locale=en-US&user_id=abstinence_enthusiast

In the end, without getting hypothetical, it can be concluded that these nymphs indeed are of the species arizonensis due to process of elimination and patterns of observation. Of course, it can be argued that there may be undescribed species in these areas, and these could be part of that, but that enters the realm of whataboutism, and can be said for near any insect. If there was another species definitively found to be inhabiting the city of Tucson and the Phoenix Metro, I’d accept that all nymphs would then have to be left at Mozena until proven otherwise, but unless that happens, they can be safely and confidently ruled to be M. arizonensis.

If you have any qualms with this conclusion and reasoning, or think I overlooked something, let me know by commenting here! I just thought this was way too long to put in a comment on someone's observation, so thats why I just made it a link. I've been looking into Mozena nymphs for a long while, as well as Chelinidea, so I've come to conclusions about the identifying factors, and didn't just pull this out of nowhere. I do wish there were pictures of nymphs of the other species mentioned besides lunata, but it seems that even the adults just aren't too commonly observed. Hopefully soon they'll be seen, and put a face to their names~ Anywho, let me know what you think. You're definately more seasoned than me regarding leaf footed bugs in general, so I'd always be willing to hear what you have to say. Thanks for taking the time to read this, and sorry it took so long for me to respond.

  • Sophia
Posted on August 15, 2023 05:37 PM by abstinence_enthusiast abstinence_enthusiast | 4 comments | Leave a comment

July 11, 2023

Pond Plan

I think I'll dig a pond in my yard. Not nescesarily a big one. I have lots of space, TONS of it, and the nearby area severely lacks aquatic/riparian habitat. First things first I'll probably call the pipe guys who tell you where it is and isn't safe to dig, and then I'll get to it. I'll also set up a screwbean mesquite next to it, so that it can grow alongside the water and eventually serve as shading. I don't plan on leaving anytime soon, so starting projects is no sweat for me. My goal is to cater to the alvarius, and maybe get some diving beetle action going later down the road. Other than that, I'll just let things happen. Anywho, I do know that if you build it they will come, so I plan on doing just that. The end. I'll update when I've progressed.

  • Beans
Posted on July 11, 2023 06:47 PM by abstinence_enthusiast abstinence_enthusiast | 1 comment | Leave a comment

June 27, 2023

Remembering Technique

Maybe you came here after seeing me favorite your posts en masse. I do that a lot. The reason is that I have legitimate, requiring-medication ADHD, and if I don't save something physically and see it later on, I will not remember it at all. I can't keep more than a few things in my brain at once, so by saving observations of others, I know I can go back and be reminded to look into each species~!

~Abstinence Enthusiast~
o( ̄▽ ̄)ブ

Posted on June 27, 2023 06:23 PM by abstinence_enthusiast abstinence_enthusiast | 0 comments | Leave a comment

June 14, 2023

Cool Groundbreaking Discoveries of Your's Truly

Sup babes. I've recently made some finds that I'm super proud of. All bugs of course. I will attach five.

I hold the mantle of first person in Maricopa County, Central AZ, to see a Wheel Bug, a cool treehopper I didn't know existed, a cool ground beetle thats only been seen 4 times, and an uncommon, sexy (not in the sexual way) bee fly that has only been seen in the state 4 times. ALSO, I'm first person ever to record nymph stage Chelinidea hunteri. Ballin.

The key to discovery? Just wing it. Be a good person and you will be rewarded. Also be weird and excentric. Bugs like that.

  • Your's Truly
Posted on June 14, 2023 11:26 PM by abstinence_enthusiast abstinence_enthusiast | 5 observations | 0 comments | Leave a comment

May 30, 2023

Hello Comrades

Comrades,

I have changed my username. I find that this one humours me, so it's mine 'till further notice. Anywho, I've become obsessed with plants and bugs, so thats that. My journey now is to purge everything non native, non 'COPA native, from my yarden (yard+garden). Plants can't run away, unlike herps, so I figure I'll put my eggs in that basket. The bug stuff is serious fun, and the closest connection to the plants. Besides this, I don't have much else going on in terms of hobby. As an American teenager, it's either this or drugs, sex, and tiktok, and those don't happen to strike my fancy. I'm too noble and dignified to become debauched, and even if I weren't virtuous and lacked a fear of God, I still don't see myself becoming a torpid cur lapping up brackish water from potholes alongside its lot. Those kinds don't know the first thing about bugs, and that's the most abysmal thing of all. So while they tussle over chicken skin, I shoulder the burden of thousands, and do this on my own. Behold my sacrifice and labour, my shining altruism, my endevour. Watch as I alone repair the sins of man! Weep and let this effort move you, and never again forget the consequences of selfishness!

(this is rife with sarcasm and hyperbole, but nowadays I can't trust anyone to understand such, so this is your heads up)

-Me

Posted on May 30, 2023 07:27 PM by abstinence_enthusiast abstinence_enthusiast | 0 comments | Leave a comment

February 10, 2023

Western Banded Gecko Quest

Hello my adoring fans!

I am here to announce that as spring arrives, I will be continuing my quest to become the #1 Coleonyx variegatus fan in the world, by further educating myself on various subspecies (primarily Arizona Sonoran ones), and of course by logging every individual I come across. I am also looking to get one or two captive bred from out of state (only legal way, I do NOT condone wild caught/poached). I hope this season will be fruitful, and the Coleonyx wave sweeps the world. Godbless.

  • Princess Mononoke
Posted on February 10, 2023 11:37 PM by abstinence_enthusiast abstinence_enthusiast | 0 comments | Leave a comment