I’m used to seeing cocoyams in all sorts of tropical locales, usually as a food crop. So, doing IDs for Araceae, I was rather alarmed to see how extensively it has invaded North America, especially in the Gulf states, but also along the Atlantic seaboard. I wouldn’t have thought it was that frost hardy!
This week, I found one of those invasive populations right here, along Green Mill Run. But that isn’t my favorite lifer. I’ve seen it too many times in too many places ever to think of it as a lifer anywhere. While I was creating the observation, though, I noticed that they were infected with a leaf spot pathogen:
Link to observation
There are several leaf spot pathogens that infect cocoyams. Fortunately, it is such an important food crop that its deseases have been well-studied and -characterized, with ample information on distinguishing one from another. For now, I’m inclined to say it is the one called “ghost spot,” but I also considered taro leaf blight. Whichever it turns out to be, it will be my favorite lifer this week regardless.
Added another ladybug species to the lifer list :)
I had never heard about it but a month ago someone posted a Lunularia picture from Texas in the inat discord and I read that it occurs worldwide in cities. Ever since I’ve been searching my city for one.
Yesterday I noticed a lot of liverworts growing in an open ditch next to the road. Despite the curious looks of tourists walking past I climbed down and started examining the ground through my macro lens. At first it seemed to just be common liverworts but then, I hardly could believe my eyes at first, just two out of 100ds of lobes had a small crescent moon! State first Lunularia lifer: https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/191852261
Two days ago I completed my personal challenge of 1000 RG-species for this year. And # 1000 was a lifer!
Have been uploading more moth photos from a tunnel on the outskirts of town and got a lifer with this one, a member of the genus Agathia:
I was inspecting a tree last night and found what appears to be Dromius quadrimaculatus, the second observation of it in Amsterdam and the 12th in the Netherlands (on iNaturalist). Its four spots appear almost golden to me, very pretty
A new lifer that wasn’t found in the tunnel on the edge of town this time – Hexacentrus japonicus.
Found this one inside an apartment complex and snapped a dozen photos with my phone hoping at least some of them would turn out okay. Also my first observation within the subfamily Hexacentrinae, which have the English common name ‘Fierce Predatory Katydids’.
A sea bean has been on my beachcombing want list for a very long time and when I finally found this one I didn’t even realise it was a bean. It feels and sounds like stone but it rattles and floats so I brought it home just to find out what it was. It’s a Nickernut and probably floated all the way to the UK from somewhere tropical. I figure it still makes a good observation even this far from home. If anyone knows how to narrow it down to species that would be very helpful.