January 01, 2024

Ringed paper wasp

@pedro3111 I believe these are ringed paper wasps because this is the dominant species on this creek, but I use mainly the abdomen for ID's. What other characteristics do you suggest I also consider to differentiate it from other species which have similar conformations. In the mornings and while the temps are cooler, they tend to huddle, their wings covering their bodies I've had to jiggle the branches a bit to get them to activate sufficiently to be able to see their abdomen. This was too high up for me to do that.

pedro3111 commented
2mo
Zooming in on the photo you can see that they have yellow antennae with a black band in the middle, typical of the subgenus aphanilopterus, and they also appear to have a brown body with a black abdomen, and although you can't see the typical yellow ring on the abdomen, P.annularis is the only one in the subgenus aphanilopterus to have this color in the USA (I could risk P.metricus as a possibility, as the color is very similar, but the antennae of P.metricus are completely black, so this possibility is ruled out)

Posted on January 01, 2024 02:10 PM by mfeaver mfeaver | 0 comments | Leave a comment

December 31, 2023

Willow - Canada

margaret_eaglecap added an identification
Undergreen Willow - Photo (c) Mike LaBarbera, some rights reserved (CC BY-NC-ND)

Undergreen Willow
(Salix commutata)
Hi, Bebb's would have a glaucous leaf back. S. commutata has a green leaf back, wide elliptic leaves, and leaf surfaces similarly white hairy.

https://linnet.geog.ubc.ca/Atlas/Atlas.aspx?sciname=Salix%20commutata&redblue=Both&lifeform=4

Posted on December 31, 2023 02:12 PM by mfeaver mfeaver | 0 comments | Leave a comment

December 07, 2023

Aphids

Subtribe Calaphidina
a member of Aphids Family Aphididae

https://influentialpoints.com/Gallery/Calaphis_aphids.htm

Posted on December 07, 2023 12:48 PM by mfeaver mfeaver | 0 comments | Leave a comment

October 19, 2023

Collecting and mailing leaf miners

There is probably more than one generation per year, and if the leaves haven't fallen yet you could probably find the overwintering generation now (the larvae pupate and overwinter in their mines, so the collection window is longer than for leafminers that exit to pupate).

Some notes on collecting/rearing here: https://bugtracks.wordpress.com/rearing/
Basically, collect the whole mined leaves directly into an airtight container and keep it out of direct sunlight. This can be a ziplock bag if you can ensure that the larvae won't be crushed. If you want me to do the rearing, but the bag/container in a box with light packing material and send to:

Charley Eiseman
276 Old Wendell Rd
Northfield, MA 01360

Posted on October 19, 2023 11:47 AM by mfeaver mfeaver | 0 comments | Leave a comment

September 03, 2023

July 30, 2023

Western Solomon's plume

Moss, Flora of Alberta (2nd edition), mentions variation of ssp amplexicaule "in our area" (p. 182), but doesn't say anything more about how this variation distinguishes itself. These are all fruiting now, but are there easy to recognize differences?

lallen commented
7h
it depends which reference you look at. Some references split this out as a subspecies, some as a species. VASCAN accepts Maianthemum amplexicaule (Nuttall) W.A. Weber at the species level (not just as a subspecies) (https://data.canadensys.net/vascan/name/Maianthemum%20amplexicaule), but the Flora of North America (FNA) separates it out at the subspecies level. I chose to recognize it because later the records can be more easily split, if it is pulled out as a separate species.

From FNA, M. racemosum racemosum is an eastern taxon, M. racemosum amplexicaule western, with some overlap in central US. Here is the key from the Flora of North America (FNA) (http://www.efloras.org/florataxon.aspx?flora_id=1&taxon_id=242101759).

Stems erect; leaves sessile, clasping, blade base rounded; apex of third leaf below inflorescence acute, shorter than 2 mm; w North America. subsp. amplexicaule
Stems arching; leaves petiolate, blade base tapered; apex of third leaf below inflorescence caudate, 12–25 mm; e North America. subsp. racemosum

Posted on July 30, 2023 10:31 PM by mfeaver mfeaver | 0 comments | Leave a comment

July 12, 2023

Mosses - basic understanding

iacomaner added a comment
Yeah, there are tons of good resources out there for whatever stage of familiarity you have. I recommend starting with both the Ohio Moss and Lichen Association webpages as well as the British Bryological Society. Of the former, their Bryology 101 will give you a fairly advanced understanding of terms, morphology, and taxonomy rather quickly. The Common Ohio mosses page is an excellent primer on the most common mosses of the US (not just Ohio). It’s worth checking out their liverwort pages too.

The Learning section of the BBS website is also highly recommendable as a starting place, though not as brief as the former website, it is more polished and comprehensive. Also, their taxon database (they call it “species finder”) is immensely helpful, even if we don’t share 15-30% of their taxa here in North America.

There are some good resources here on iNat, too. Especially for the Pacific NW (though also helpful elsewhere!), @rambryum has a number of very helpful posts on bryologizing tips/tricks as well as taxa guides that are absolutely worth checking out.

Posted on July 12, 2023 12:47 PM by mfeaver mfeaver | 0 comments | Leave a comment

February 10, 2023

January 30, 2023

Watercress - N. officinale or floridanum

If you want the best way to tell them apart, find some with emersed grown stems and take a picture of the joint on those (as it can be hard to see on submersed growth). If the auricle (the little flap at the crease of the joint) is there, then it’s regular N. officinale. But if it’s totally smooth, it’s N. floridanum!

Posted on January 30, 2023 12:57 PM by mfeaver mfeaver | 3 comments | Leave a comment

January 10, 2023