What is your Favorite Lifer from this week?

It’s been about a week since I shared, with 19 lifers since last Sunday. The best is this apparent Zodion fulvifrons (synonym Z reclusum), which would be the first record on iNat, GBIF, and bugguide for New Mexico if confirmed. You never know what you’ll find out your front or back door.

Zodion fulvifrons on July 16, 2022 at 10:21 AM by Elliott Gordon · iNaturalist

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Those are Very cool! Did you find them during that recent king tidal period ?

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I’m still focused on plants and especially orchids - but there isn’t many new orchid species left to find at home for me within driving distance. Made it all the more exciting to see a new one today, Platanthera shriveri: https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/126732287
It was almost done blooming and I only found it because someone told me which road they found one on last year (unfortunately it was a long and narrow and unpaved road). Some botanists also consider it a sub-species and not species, but for now inaturalist recognizes it as a species :)

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I’ve never heard of a king tidal period before, they sound really interesting! I think they happen in California earlier in the year than this though. Maybe I’ll catch them another time and see what I can find. :)

King tides more often happen in winter, but they came in mid July it seems.

https://www.sfgate.com/weather/article/King-tides-bring-coastal-flooding-San-francisco-17296059.php

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my almost-four-year-old found this very cool weevil in the yard in Glenwood Springs, Colorado and to my eye it looks very much like Curculio conjugalis, which is apparently an Asian species. If correct, fifth obs on iNat and second in United States!

Also this beautiful lace-border moth, Scopula limboundata.

Also this very cool unidentified salticid.

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Welcome! Sometimes the memory is worth much more than the photo. Lucky you.

Oh, I did a little image triage with my tools to try and see if I could milk anything more out of that image you had. Results were… well, not sure. You be the judge.

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Eumaeus toxea, a black butterfly similar to the famous atala.

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These past few days have been pretty good for me in regards to lifers, but I was not expecting to cross something off my nature bucket list! Most of my observations are of insects, but I love finding fungi as well even though I don’t stumble upon them as often. Naturally, a fungus with an insect host would be an amazing find for me. So you can imagine my surprise when this little guy literally showed up at my doorstep!

Update: Honorable mention goes to my first two Emerald Moths!

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I have a beech tree with several Chilocorus Twice-stabbed Ladybeetles in stages from larvae through adult. I’ll try to see if I can find eggs.
I’ve seen the adults, but the larvae and pupae are new to me.
I read up on them, and now know why I can’t find the eggs! Clever beetle lay the eggs on/in Beech Scale because that’s their preferred diet. So,maybe I do have beetle eggs in my Beech Scale photos after all.

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Hickory Puff Tart Gall Midge. I love the name!

https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/126976474

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There’s a certain sense of reward when you find something new in a place you’re familiar with. I’ve been doing to the same thing as you, visiting local parks, ponds, fields, and even parking lots in search of lifers. It’s fascinating to see how the life in an area changes throughout the year.

I hope you continue to have fun with for discoveries.

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So it is Friday July 22nd. Yesterday I was at the Wards Island beach on Randalls Island, NYC, to watch and help with the monthly fish count where the staff use a seine net out in the Harlem River.

I was delighted to see a new-to-me species of comb jelly – a sea gooseberry. My photo unfortunately came out really badly, but this jelly is distinctive because it is almost perfectly globular and very firm-textured, not at all soft and glutinous.

Here is my bad image:
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And here is what a sea gooseberry looks like when it is in good shape and is photographed under perfect lighting conditions:
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Me again.Today is Saturday July 23rd in NYC. Yesterday afternoon, despite the heat, I went over to the part of Central Park that is near the Butterfly Gardens. I saw only three individual butterflies of three species, but I did also see this Green Stink Bug, Chinavia hilaris, which was a new lifer for me.

https://www.inaturalist.org/taxa/485010-Chinavia-hilaris

https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/127443434

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I also wrote this journal post listing the stink bug species I have found so far:

https://www.inaturalist.org/journal/susanhewitt/68470-stink-bug-species-i-have-observed

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Well, I had the species wrong. It’s still rare, but at least two other people have observed the same fly in central New Mexico.

Another 20+ lifers this week to choose from. My favorite is my first adult webspinner https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/127490395. I think I’ve seen webs, but never an individual “in the flesh” before.

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My lifer from last week was a western leaf footed beetle. I was just sitting outside at night with my backyard light on when i saw him flew into my door

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I was shown a bog in Pennsylvania by a botanist yesterday, and while I did see the orchids I went there for - the real lifer highlight for me might be moonworts which I had no idea even existed! And I got to see three species of it:


First one is Botrychium matricariifolium, then Botrychium angustisegmentum and finally Botrychium tenebrosum. All three are very tiny ferns.

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Okay, another week has gone by. Again my favorite lifer has a story. I saw these white checkered-skippers (Burnsius albescens), and they reminded me of one of my favorite Caribbean butterflies, the tropical checkered-skipper (Burnisius oileus). Not every source mentions this, but the tropical checkered-skipper is sexually dimorphic; the males are proportionally more white, the femles, proportionally more brown. Well, the wikipedia page on white checkered-skippers makes no mention of any dimorphism, but i think I see the same kind as in the tropical one:
This one is proportionally more white; I think it is male.
This on is proportionally more brown; I think it is female.

But what really makes them my favorite it that I just realized, after all the times I have used the iNaturalist checklist of Butterflies of California, that it was entirely missing Family Hesperiidae. I had to identify these from another source. So, after a bit more research to determine what Hesperiidae occur in California, I added species to the checklist. I will let other people deal with the subspecies.

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This week, I have 3 lifers I tried to choose. All were found in about the same area, near Hanging Lake, Colorado. The first one is an American Dipper, A bird I’ve seen many times but missed because I forgot my camera. Secondly, I found a Smooth Green Snake on the hike and missed but the next day, I went to Black Cayon of The Gunnison National Park and got a pic. Last, I found a few Pacific Marten hunting for fish near the creek that flows.

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Globally endangered Blanding’s Turtle yesterday: http://www.inaturalist.org/observations/128692745

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