What is your Favorite Lifer from this week?

Anolis peynadoi
Northern Hispaniolan Green Anole

He looks so unimpressed by our photoshoot. I’ve noticed a big uptick in these anoles in my yard lately. I really love finding any species endemic to Hispaniola. With only 42 observations I know it’s something special.

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Amazing springtail shots. What lens are you using on your Canon?

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On June 5th I posted a couple photos of some larvae and the development. Today, June 10, I checked and the molt is there…

Ok…this happened overnight, keep looking. I found this leaf beetle on the host willow

This blurry photo, down the stem

This leaf beetle…

And I have NO clue if either beetle is one from 5/26!

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Awesome, I have a couple others that I can look at adding. Cheers.

Ah, I see the meta data doesnt have it. I guess because its a manual offbrand one.

For really small things I use the Laowa 25mm f/2.8 2.5-5X Ultra Macro. For larger small things I use the Laowa 85mm f/5.6 2x Ultra Macro.

Recently I got the cygnustech diffuser which may be helping.

I have been saving up to upgrade from the rp to the r5ii if that comes out this year.

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Nice. I have that 25mm also, just a clunky way to get enough light for it. I just picked up an AK diffuser in the past week, so I will have to try this new pairing.

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I feel most people would say its a pretty horrible lens to use. But when it works, it works nicely. But I would say it is not optimal in most conditions. The cygnustech comes with a light which wraps around the base of the flash to provide guidance lighting (But you could probably do something similar with yours if it doesnt have that by default the bit at 6:08 of this https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EjsscwMv2io), but I will still also generally have a second light (Like a headlight) proped to shine light back from another angle.

Went on an amazing hiking trip to Bosnia and Herzegovina and found more than 200 lifers (mostly plants), among my favorites were this Eresus moravicus

and this (I think) Lilium bosniacum.

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I am pondering the concept of the snake being “small for it’s size”. Robotpie, would you have Irish ancestry by any chance?

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I don’t remember the specific details, but i remember reading how the Asian lady beetle is an unaffected host to a bacterial fatal to other lady beetles.

It’s the kind of evolutionary ‘success’ story that is pretty common with invasive species.

Including, of course, our own.


http://www.inaturalist.org/observations/222220060

This ichneumonid wasp. It’s so long!

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This lovely little moth with a taupe and puce color scheme:


Observation:
https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/221673918

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Haha zero drops of irish blood flowing in my veins. I realize that was a stupid phrase, I meant to say “compared to the average size of a full grown Burmese python, this one is still small, even though it is already large.”

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Not a true “lifer” in the sense of the first time I’ve ever seen it, but a Lifer in the sense that it’s the first time I’ve seen it since joining iNat:
Pink Lady’s-slipper Cypripedium acaule.

In fact, it’s the first time I’ve seen one in decades. It was near and dear to my heart as a child growing up in New England, and at the time it seemed rather uncommon, so I am glad to see that it is a species of Least Concern. (In fact, over on another topic someone was questioning whether we should really be posting all those many C. acaule that are being observed!)

It also reminds me fondly of my long-ago high school biology teacher, who sparked my enduring interest in wildflowers, and gave me my first field guide, the Peterson guide (1960s edition) which has C. acaule and two other lady’s-slippers on the cover, and which is a treasured possession.

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I took a lot of photos over the last few weeks and only finished uploading them this week. These three are some of my favorite lifers:

Asian swamp eel chilling in some flooded grass:

This pygmy grasshopper decided to go for a swim!


*I’m kind of assuming it’s a new species for me because I only have one species level pygmy grasshopper observation

I also saw this cool Poecilanthrax lucifer bee fly:


Most of my favorite photos over the past month aren’t lifers though

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Two days ago I was a bit disappointed that I didn’t find any big moths, so I had to take photos of the little ones. I didn’t see much with my eyes but the camera did a good job. It turned out to be two lifers!


Epicallima mercedella


Enolmis acanthella

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Pretty sure this is an Elachista madarella https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/222232928

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This week I observed a heavy infestation of powdery mildew on wild vervain. My search for the identity led to records of two possibilities: Golovinomyces ambrosiae and Podosphaera xanthii (previously known as Sphaerotheca fuliginea), both of which, interestingly, are best known as diseases of Cucurbits. Since these are in different tribes, I can’t go any better than family. Hence, they are not my favorite. But when I put them under the scope, this is what I saw:



The black arrows point to mites crawling among the fungal hyphae. Ten pages of Google Scholar results and the only reference to mites possibly feeding on powdery mildew was Zemek and Prenerova (1997), which describes Typhlodromus pyri using powdery mildew as an alternate food source. If any acarologists know differently, I would love to learn about it, but until then, that’s the genus I’m going with.

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I don’t want to seem ignorant but, what is a lifer?

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A lifer means the first individual you’ve seen of a particular species. Or in the context of iNat, the first individual you’ve documented (photo or audio) of a particular species.

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