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06-19-2020, 04:16 AM - 1 Like   #766
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Ant. Difficult to see the spiny projections on its thorax.

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06-19-2020, 09:45 PM - 3 Likes   #767
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QuoteOriginally posted by WPRESTO Quote
Ant. Difficult to see the spiny projections on its thorax.
A great photo for a pano.

There are many of these ebony jewelwing damsel flys by the local creek. They are big, twice the size of the ones I am use to. 8-9 cm body. They also live up in the shrubs between 1-3 meters instead of in the grass and low vegetation. This one is male, the females have a white spot on the top rear of the wing.


They live all over north america but they are new to me. they really glow in the shade.
06-20-2020, 03:55 PM   #768
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A tiny little hump-backed fly and one of the numerous species of little white moth.
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06-22-2020, 04:20 PM - 1 Like   #769
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Another damsel fly, a U.K. cousin of Chris's above?



06-22-2020, 06:19 PM   #770
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went back to try to get another ebony jewel wing but they were shy. Most were at 3 meters up. However I found this new to me species. A mantidfly. I was looking for ambush spiders and saw what I thought was a wasp sucked dry. It turns out these things eat spiders.

Actually, this tiny insect is neither fly nor mantis nor wasp. It belongs to the family Mantispidae, order Neuroptera:

Kingdom Animalia (Animals)
Phylum Arthropoda (Arthropods)
Subphylum Hexapoda (Hexapods)
Class Insecta (Insects)
Order Neuroptera (Antlions, Owlflies, Lacewings, Mantidflies and Allies)
Suborder Hemerobiiformia (Lacewings, Mantidflies and Allies)
Family Mantispidae (Mantidflies)
Subfamily Mantispinae
Genus Climaciella
Species brunnea (Wasp Mantidfly)
Ever Seen a Mantidfly? - Bug Squad - ANR Blogs.
06-22-2020, 06:26 PM   #771
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QuoteOriginally posted by timb64 Quote
Another damsel fly, a U.K. cousin of Chris's above?
think you have a Calopteryx splendens, Banded Demoiselle and mine is a Calopteryx maculata I don't know how close they are.

found this.
The Beautiful Demoiselle is the only other British damselfly with coloured wings but the males have fully coloured wings and the females have brown-tinged wings.

Beware! Internet searches tends to find related American species such as the Ebony Jewelwing (Calopteryx maculata), also known as the Black-winged Damselfly, but such species do not occur in Europe and have never been known to cross the Atlantic.
https://british-dragonflies.org.uk/species/banded-demoiselle/
06-22-2020, 06:39 PM - 1 Like   #772
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Grasshopper nymph. I took many images of this individual as it stayed in place for some time. This one had much of the length of both antennae in or near the plane of focus (it was waving them this way and that).

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06-22-2020, 06:44 PM   #773
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QuoteOriginally posted by WPRESTO Quote
Grasshopper nymph. I took many images of this individual as it stayed in place for some time. This one had much of the length of both antennae in or near the plane of focus (it was waving them this way and that).
looks like a Scudder's Bush Katydid nymph - Scudderia
Scudder's Bush Katydid nymph - Scudderia - BugGuide.Net
06-23-2020, 04:47 AM - 1 Like   #774
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QuoteOriginally posted by swanlefitte Quote
looks like a Scudder's Bush Katydid nymph - Scudderia
Scudder's Bush Katydid nymph - Scudderia - BugGuide.Net

That appears to be a spot-on identification. I should probably look at the distribution of that particular species to be sure there isn't a near identical but technically different species here. THANKS!

Did a quick check and as anticipated or feared there are at least five species of Scudderia reported in the northeastern USA, with no information on how to distinguish the nymphs, if that is possible. For many insect species details of the adult's genitalia are the only sure way to get the correct species id.

Last edited by WPRESTO; 06-23-2020 at 04:59 AM.
06-23-2020, 01:08 PM   #775
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QuoteOriginally posted by WPRESTO Quote
That appears to be a spot-on identification. I should probably look at the distribution of that particular species to be sure there isn't a near identical but technically different species here. THANKS!

Did a quick check and as anticipated or feared there are at least five species of Scudderia reported in the northeastern USA, with no information on how to distinguish the nymphs, if that is possible. For many insect species details of the adult's genitalia are the only sure way to get the correct species id.
I did my biology/anthropology just as genetics was becoming a viable source for information. Jack Horner gave the controversial opinion that every individual is its own species and it was only suspected that we are part neanderthal. What are the right questions led me into philosophy of science instead. Well your post above has pointed out the correct question for me was to ask what advances in this have happened in the last 30 years. I was not disappointed.

Here is a great undertaking from 2016 in an attempt, and partly successful endeavor, to answer what it is your post is actually talking about.

Two in one: cryptic species discovered in biological control agent populations using molecular data and crossbreeding experiments




Things of particular interest to me:

1. Cryptic species was coined in 1940.
2. It is mostly defined my educated guesses. One of the few other confirmed cryptic species is the sweet potato whitefly for which as many as 24 cryptic species were identified using genetic techniques (Dinsdale et al. 2010),
3. Bacteria can drive species apart. Wolbachia, a bacterial endoparasite that is common in arthropods, can result in cytoplasmic incompatibility between intraspecific lineages and could therefore be a confounding factor in interbreeding experiments to confirm reproductive isolation (Bordenstein et al. 2001).
4. Male/female female/male breeding is significant
5. preference appears to be a significant factor in species isolation. How does environmental vs preference come about?
6. There are many questions and hurdles to these questions left to be answered.

going on to this next.
Cryptic species as a window into the paradigm shift of the species concept]Error - Cookies Turned Off

Over the last two decades, increased evidence emerged for speciation governed by entirely different mechanisms, leading to the so‐called sibling or cryptic species.

Among them, species has proven the most challenging to conceptualize. Decade‐lasting disputes over the species concept yielded no less than 24 species definitions (Mayden, 1997).

(Jack Horner) is now controversial for saying multiple species are the same species.)

Last edited by swanlefitte; 06-23-2020 at 02:13 PM. Reason: added information.
06-24-2020, 04:10 AM   #776
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06-24-2020, 06:53 AM - 1 Like   #777
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Don't get me onto dinosaurs and systematics, as technically I was a vertebrate paleontologist specializing in dinosaurs, and I knew Jack Horner casually. One of the things I used to tell colleagues - give me two specimens for two weeks, and I'll give you two taxa, both new. VP's, at least some, had a tendency IMHO to name anything and everything. If it came from a different hole in the ground, it was a new species at the very least. Sometimes if it were in a different museum it deserved a different name, for example, a dinosaur specimen sent to a European museum in exchange or as a gift could not be the same species or even genus as similar dinosaurs collected from the same quarry but kept in the USA. Don't get me on to systematics AT ALL.
06-24-2020, 10:02 AM   #778
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QuoteOriginally posted by WPRESTO Quote
Don't get me onto dinosaurs and systematics, as technically I was a vertebrate paleontologist specializing in dinosaurs, and at least some, had a tendency IMHO to name anything and everything. Don't get me on to systematics AT ALL.
It sounds interesting but I am afraid it would be to political anyway for these forums.😀

Maybe just this question. Did you get to cut the bones?
06-24-2020, 10:30 AM - 1 Like   #779
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QuoteOriginally posted by swanlefitte Quote
It sounds interesting but I am afraid it would be to political anyway for these forums.😀

Maybe just this question. Did you get to cut the bones?
Just once when still a graduate student. I used a band saw (recommended by one of the professional preparators at the AMNH) to slice through the snout of an armored dinosaur skull. There were two questions to be answered or information sought:

1) that particular type of armored dinosaur has complex sinuses in the snout - what exactly is their geometry? This question only partially resolved because a) the skull I was allowed to cut was badly crushed = a lot of reconstruction and/or imagination to determine the uncrushed pattern of the sinuses; and b) it would really require serial sections going down the entire length of the skull to get the whole picture.

2) the armored dinosaurs have a pattern on their skull that appears to be armored plates fused to the underlying actual skull bones. The sutures between normal skull bones are not visible on adult specimens, and at that time, no juvenile skulls were known (for a variety of reasons such juveniles are rare). A small thin section (=mounted on a microscope slide and ground down thin enough to transmit light) from the top of the skull provided information but not a precise answer. Under a microscope, the prepared thin section had a lower layer of predominantly laminar bone = bone deposited in sheets like laying pieces of wet tissue one atop the other. But there is an abrupt boundary and bone that forms the top of the skull was 100% Haversian canal structure, a bone structure primarily associated with mammals and some dinosaurs, especially "raptors" (theropods) which forms as a consequence of remodeling of existing bones. OK, so compare to a thin section from a body armor plate taken from the same individual specimen, and of course, it was different still = laminar bone with scattered, isolated Haversian systems. So what about armor plates fused to the skull ? Maybe, but also possibly secondary bone applied directly to underlying skull bones under the influence of overlying epidermal "scutes" = the keratin scales ubiquitous over the skulls of essentially all reptiles. In the latter case, a separate bony plate would never have been present above the skull bones.


As our daughter once remarked, when an adult, asking either M or I a question was an invitation to attend a formal lecture.
06-24-2020, 11:47 AM - 1 Like   #780
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QuoteOriginally posted by WPRESTO Quote


As our daughter once remarked, when an adult, asking either M or I a question was an invitation to attend a formal lecture.
It is clear you remember it with a passion. Thanks for sharing. I could have benefited from a lecture complete with slides,and all the material surrounding the points. My favorite lecture was at Gustavus Adolfus College where they host a Nobel Conference once a year. I was able to secure a ticket for this one back in 1982.
Stephen Jay Gould – Evolutionary Hopes and Realities
Richard E. Leakey – African Origins: A Review of the Record
Sir Peter Medawar (Medicine '60) – The Evidences of Evolution
Jaroslav Pelikan – Darwin’s Legacy: Emanation, Evolution, and Development
Edward O. Wilson – Sociobiology: From Darwin to the Present
Additional Presenters
Irving Stone – The Human Mind after Darwin

Now Insects in landscape portraits.


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