What is your Favorite Lifer from this week?

I’m here with a beetle for a change! I recently discovered I have a favorite firefly, or rather a favorite genus of fireflies as they’re all quite similar. I’m certain that many others here know just as much or even more about insects then I do, so to avoid preaching to the choir I’ll just say that they exhibit some absolutely fascinating behavior, at least in my humble opinion. I’ve been inspecting nearly every firefly thats shown up to my light recently and I finally found one that looked a bit unusual. I think I found a Photuris sp.!


I was lucky enough to find three black button spiders during one short walk, and saw my first female black button. Such pretty and shy spiders!



Nothing exotic, but firsts for me: the Bicolored Striped Sweat Bee, which I was very excited to see as it is Toronto’s unofficial official bee, and a Melissodes sp. (I think).


After over a week of rain and seasonally cool temperatures, there are mushrooms fruiting in my yard. It’s an under-explored kingdom in my largely xeriscape garden, and I really like the shape of this one. https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/123777435


Favorite lifer from this week was finding this broad-banded hornet fly! It is a new fly in my garden. Last year I saw its cousin the Eastern hornet fly and that was just as thrilling.


This apparent escapee specimen of Alcea sp., because I’m a sucker for Malveae:


Not a lifer in the sense of a new species to me, but I’ve never seen seagull chicks before, and I was thrilled. There were about a dozen with assorted parents in a fenced off section of the wharf.


So far it’s this planthopper I saw hanging out on my klip dagga. Very intricate patterning on the face, and the coloration is something I’ve never seen on planthoppers before - blue with red eyes. Is this an instar or something?


If you mean nymph, yes it is, instar is a name for stages of development/moults of larvae and nymphs.

I’m very excited to have a lifer - of a family I also rarely see: Chamaesphecia aerifrons, Family Sesiidae! Much smaller than I expected, so no wonder I haven’t seen it before.
And thanks to @daniel-gilbert for the ID. :-)


Thursday June 30th, 2022. Ah, lucky me, I found another new moth species today, the Nutmeg Moth, Anarta trifolii. As I have mentioned before on here, I am always thrilled to find a new moth species:



The moth was dead at the bottom of the big window in the shower room at my local public pool. The moth may have been predated by a spider as there was a big ball of spider silk loosely attached to it. I read that the bright “W” just above the margin of the forewing is characteristic of this species.


Sometimes I wonder about taxonomists. There is a butterfly genus Anartia.

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July is off to a hot start

The growth on the petiole/stem is caused by larva of a clearwing moth https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/124280476


This one is kind of cool: https://www.inaturalist.ca/observations/123311775

This guy came into our room under the door: https://www.inaturalist.ca/observations/122899329


Has to be this Sugar Hackberry (Celtis laevigata). This is only one of three known locations for this plant in Ohio, and was the only one @calconey and I were able to find. Apparently it was first discovered here by a passing botanist who noticed it wasn’t quite like Ohio’s usual hackberries.


Will stick too <100 observations ones, starting with moths: Bramble Bright 16th observation, Golden-speckled Clothes Moth 17th, Small Festooned Roller, Pine Marble, Lyonetia prunifoliella. Cool caddisfly Limnephilus elegans, and a sawfly Arge ustulata.
But by beauty I’d choose White Prominent, Knapweed Conch and Four-dotted Footman.


Ah! today is Monday July 11th. I already had found 98 different species of moth from New York County, and I was of course hoping to find two more, in order to get up to 100 species from my home county.

This morning at 11am I got into John Jay Pool to exercise, as I do every day that the pool is open. I take with me a plastic petri dish or two, in case I am lucky enough to find some interesting insects that are either drowned or are drowning in the pool. Today I found something just barely alive that at first glance looked to be a wasp, but almost immediately I realized it was a wasp mimic, a clearwing moth.


After a bit of research I realized it must be Riley’s Clearwing Moth, Synanthedon rileyana (https://www.inaturalist.org/taxa/367078) a new record for Manhattan and only the third record of this species from NYC.


It will look better when it finishes drying out, but the poor creature has damage to its antennae.

Fingers crossed that I am able to find another lifer moth soon!


Second week of July, my favorite is definitely this colorful Ich that showed up in the garden yesterday https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/125657143

with honorable mention of another lifer parasitic wasp https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/125501887


Hello, I’m back again, I wasn’t gone forever. I just disappeared for a while because I was traveling. I visited Western Mexico this time (Jalisco and Zacatecas)!!! And I got a lifer shower!!! I saw a TON of lifers (I didn’t even count them, only the birds)!!! Lifer birds, lifer rodents, lifer lizards, lifer frogs, lifer beetles, lifer moths, lifer flies, lifer grasshoppers, lifer butterflies, etc…

I recommend going over there, there are some underrated natural wonders in Western Mexico. Southeastern Zacatecas is very cool. I will stop the text here to avoid making it very long, but I can go to the details in another post, I really saw some amazing wildlife.

Definitely your advise worked.


Woww! Those are nice lifers, that beetle is amazing!

WHAT?? Why I didn’t know about it’s existence before??! It’s stunning!!!

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