I had a very surprising one this week – what I thought was a pretty common groundcherry turned out to be the MUCH rarer Carpenter’s Groundcherry (13 total obs on iNat, first in my parish/county), listed as vulnerable in the U.S.
Not super rare but in my backyard in NJ a few days ago I suddenly noticed this sizable, beautiful fly (Taeniaptera trivittata) just chilling on a leaf. They let me take as many pictures as I liked as close as I liked, just moving their arms in the funny way Micropezids do.
As a relative noobie still (2+ months) just about everything I have put up so far is a ‘lifer’. But I still have a lot of ‘waiting for ID’ submissions out of those.
Including, one from July 4, that I’m going to play the noobie card and share with this thread today anyways because it just got ID’d this week.
And what makes it special is that my guess was confirmed by a real experienced ID’er because–she was super-excited to learn that just a couple days ago she had become the SECOND observer for this species iNat debut in the Canadian list! (Her discovery led her to ID mine when she was checking.)
Which makes me the first!
I have to say, I remember the nervousness I felt suggesting my species guess when posting it originally after I learned that it had never been listed in iNat Canada before. I mean, I must have made a rookie mistake, right?
Beginner’s luck all the way. And it’s funny, when I exchanged some comments with her I learned that like me, her first reaction on noticing this beetle was that it was a wasp. I think it’s possibly a mild mimic, of sorts.
Another strange coincidence? This is one of the first shots I took with my newly acquired Olympus Tg-5. I had literally got it the day before this shot.
Canadian ladies and Canadian gentlemen, please welcome, from Grimsby, Ontario…
Thanks, I meant “mild” in respect to it’s level of mimicry under observer scrutiny. Certainly not as convincing as many of the hover flies, for example. But I was still very impressed with what this beetle pulled off with the imitation ‘tools’ that were available.
A fly’s eye is anatomically and physically much closer to a wasp’s, but this beetle achieved some great coloring matching with the faux eye spots and even those yellow ‘specular highlights’.
I traveled up to the State of Washington for a family wedding this past weekend. Before the wedding, I did some iNatting and found these three-spined sticklebacks – already at Research Grade. I won’t reiterate my extensive notes here; they are easy enough to see on the observation itself.