Interesting home finds

When covid started I really wanted to go birding but couldn’t, so I watched migrating birds from the balcony and found a big list of species I never saw before in the area. When we could finally go out I watched for insects and plants, especially Tipulomorpha, rarest on iNat being Tipula nubeculosa, Tipula hortorum, Nephrotoma lunulicornis and Nephrotoma aculeata, so I fully agree you don’t need to go far to see many-many insect species!

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Most of “My daily beast 2021” come from my hometown Antequera. And the rest is from the province of Málaga, except for one species each from the provinces of Granada, Cádiz and Sevilla.
In total I found 188 species new for me in the last year, which are also from the same (boring old) places.

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In October, I found a cool oak gall in my (small) backyard, complete with ants after the honeydew: https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/96955580

I think there’s only one other observation of this in my state.

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I don’t stray too far from home, but have observed a number of insects (oddly, a lot of beetles) that are new to me. And not amazingly common on iNat. During spring and fall migration periods I’ve seen some very interesting birds as well. Winter here is kind of monotonous, but in warmer weather there is a lot to see if I take the time to look. One of the things that always surprises me in the fall is the number of bird nests that I’ve walked right past all summer long!

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When Corona hit and we had the lockdown between 2pm and 6am, I spent a lot of time in my amazing backyard.

I went out every single night to observe the marsupial frog population there and tried to instal a kind of capture/recapture (just by photos) projekt to see, wether I would find some individuals more often. It was suuuper interesting, although I just realized, I never finished putting all my observations (165 in total) in the project I started on iNat specifically for that (https://www.inaturalist.org/projects/gastrotheca-cuencana-yard-project). I should use my next holidays to finish it :-)

This little male was surely one of the most frequent re-finds :-) https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/44189726

I was amazed by both - how loyal some individuals were to their specific spot in our backyard, but also by how often I would find new individuals and how large the population was.
With about one third of my observations evaluated I indentified over 40 individuals!
Ah, I miss this spot!

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Here’s 2 projects that got some use in lockdown:
https://www.inaturalist.org/projects/project-porchlight
https://www.inaturalist.org/projects/never-home-alone-the-wild-life-of-homes (and it looks like this one inspired quite a few others: https://www.inaturalist.org/search?q=never+home+alone&source[]=projects)

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I am interesting mostly in beetles, moths and fungi. The thing with insects is that you can always observe something amazing, even if you go buy groceries, or on your porch.
I am priviledged enough to live nearby a forest and some grassy area (at least until some more housing complex development hits). I have around 800 taxa from last year, most of them from places in my city I could access by foot. First time I have seen Sphinx pinastri for example, was when I went to a local bakery to buy myself a donut.
When the covid hit and we had no lockdown yet, I avoided people and went to local parks by night. I observed many amazing nocturnal insects then, and some tawny owls, which are never boring.
My most favourite observation from a nearby place is a small population of newts living in seasonal puddles, around 10 minutes of walking from where I live. They bring me joy every time I see them.
https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/74492166 there is around 30 newts in one puddle at times.

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https://forum.inaturalist.org/t/monitoring-gardens-and-spreading-the-message/26094 has most of my highlights. About 520 species within my property lines so far, including cultivated plants.

One of my favorites: https://www.inaturalist.org/taxa/571660-Macroteropsis. The red cluster in central NM is almost all from me.

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I enjoy observing the bees and butterflies/skippers in my garden and seeing what species prefer certain plants (the Pudget Gumplant (Grindelia integrifolia) is always a popular one with many species).

I found out during the beginning of the pandemic, that the mason bees use the gaps in the cedar shingles/siding on my house for nesting, in March and April there are hundreds of mason bees that go in and out of the cedar shingles all over the house to build their nests. It is really wonderful and I am glad they have found a way to utilize the shingles on my house, this also means that I live in a giant mason bee house! Here is a picture of the bees on the shingles that I took https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/72978027

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Neat (newt?)! Your story reminds me of the time I went to an enclosed bank machine. I saw a moth at the windows that I recognized. I dashed out to my car and got my camera, and went back in. I tracked it around the small area for a few minutes (getting some odd looks from folks), then it flew down, and I could not find it again, even after about 5 minutes searching! It wasn’t a rare moth, but new for me. I was so mad.
@Ajott That is very nice frog. How large is it? I don’t see many amphibians - too dry and cold. My dog does not help when it’s wet. They all go silent.

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I feel ya! Runaway insects are so frustrating!

nothing uas changed for me because before covid I was at home and during covid I am in home and I want to go to some place to visit after covid. Yeah I have found kany things.

  1. I saw metamorphosis of lime butterfly
  2. learner about migration of wandering glider and scarlet skimmer.
  3. Learned and differentiated birds around myself.
  4. Learned about solitary bees who make burrows.
  5. I learned about Inat.
  6. I wrote a song for sparrow conservation.
  7. I learned to make nest
  8. I learned about mud daublers paralysing jumping spider and giving them to their larvae.
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Saw some Sphaerocarpos in my yard: https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/70584645

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Ooo I love liverwort sp

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Oh, I forgot, during lockdown in 2020 when you we only allowed to go outside to go shopping I found two caterpillars of Pieris brassicae (the most boring and common butterfly there is) and decided to bring them into my patio to have something to observe. And it turned out to be really exciting, because they were parasitised by the braconid wasp Cotesia glomerata. Whole story here.

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This Red Saddlebags dragonfly was caught in the screen/window of my third floor apartment in the middle of a pretty residental city neighborhood. Not sure how it got there.

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I found a species I’ve wanted to see for years, (Dendrocollobia racemosa)15 feet from my front door:
https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/103498372

Every time I go outside and rummage around in my leaf pile I can find something I’ve never seen before. Some of them I have no idea what they actually are beyond the general kingdom, but they’re all interesting to see!

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I moved into this house in 2016, and started documenting everything in the garden and around it (Casa de Carlos). The garden is quite small, but we have managed to find some amazing bugs:
Velvet worm (probably came with pot substrate)
New tree cricket species; Neoxabea mexicana.
And all sorts of new records for the state.

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The end of March 2020 saw the start of the first hard lockdown in South Africa. Since then I have pretty much stayed home and explored my garden. Between 27.03.2020 and 27.01.2022 I have loaded 758 observations (290 species) on iNat. Being new to the world of insects everything is still interesting and I have learned a great deal. So thank you iNat and those providing IDs.

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