libutron
libutron:

Globemallow Leaf Beetle - Calligrapha serpentina 
The Globemallow Leaf Beetle may look like a type of Lady Bug, bit it is not. As a member of the leaf beetles family (Chrysomelidae) the diet of Calligrapha serpentina is plant-based, unlike the carnivorous diet of Lady Bugs. In fact, many leaf beetles are considered pests due to the extensive damage they inflict on the plants they are eating. 
As its common name suggests, the preferred vegetation of Calligrapha serpentina are plants in the mallow family, specifically the bushy, bright, desert-growing Globemallow.
This species occurs in the southwestern of the United States and Mexico.
Reference: [1]
Photo credit: ©Dave Beaudette | Locality: Fort Huachuca, Cochise County, Arizona, US (2014)

libutron:

Globemallow Leaf Beetle - Calligrapha serpentina 

The Globemallow Leaf Beetle may look like a type of Lady Bug, bit it is not. As a member of the leaf beetles family (Chrysomelidae) the diet of Calligrapha serpentina is plant-based, unlike the carnivorous diet of Lady Bugs. In fact, many leaf beetles are considered pests due to the extensive damage they inflict on the plants they are eating. 

As its common name suggests, the preferred vegetation of Calligrapha serpentina are plants in the mallow family, specifically the bushy, bright, desert-growing Globemallow.

This species occurs in the southwestern of the United States and Mexico.

Reference: [1]

Photo credit: ©Dave Beaudette | Locality: Fort Huachuca, Cochise County, Arizona, US (2014)

Fungus photos from the park where I work, Houston, TX, USA.

As a naturalist, fungus/mushroom ID is a relatively new interest for me, so I’m still not 100 % certain of my IDs. You gotta go out there and try though. Let me know, if you know wild mushrooms well, and you think I’ve misidentified any of these…

Top 4 - Rusty-red Bolete (Boletus rubellus), associated with oaks, grows from the soil, edible.

Middle - Turkey-tail Shelf Fungus (Trametes versicolor), grows on dead wood (stumps and logs), not edible.

Bttm 4 - Tenacious Bolete (Boletus tenax), associated with oaks, grows from soil, edible.

* I would not base eating wild mushrooms on my observations, be very cautious about eating wild mushrooms (I never do).

Bug ID - Galveston, TX, USA:
hey i was just wondering if you could tell me what this little guy is, i have no idea. from galveston, tx. thanks in advance!
Paxon:
No problem. This looks to me like the Coreid “Leaf-legged Bug”, Acanthocephala declivis. Harmless to humans, though they can release a foul stench. They are herbivorous. I get them in my garden, up here in Houston, and in the park where I work, all the time.
http://bugguide.net/node/view/37374
http://www.austinbug.com/coreidae.html

Bug ID - Galveston, TX, USA:

hey i was just wondering if you could tell me what this little guy is, i have no idea. from galveston, tx. thanks in advance!

Paxon:

No problem. This looks to me like the Coreid “Leaf-legged Bug”, Acanthocephala declivis. Harmless to humans, though they can release a foul stench. They are herbivorous. I get them in my garden, up here in Houston, and in the park where I work, all the time.

http://bugguide.net/node/view/37374

http://www.austinbug.com/coreidae.html

libutron
libutron:

Radiated Tortoise - Astrochelys radiata
Now listed as Critically Endangered species on the IUCN Red Lit, Astrochelys radiata (Testudinidae), endemic to the spiny forest of southern Madagascar, had virtually never been studied in the wild until the late 1990s.
Recent research projects and surveys have contributed to defining the extent of the decline of the species, and it now appears that A. radiata faces serious extinction risks unless current trends are halted.
This species is heavily harvested for food and for the pet trade. In wild mature females of this species produce up to three clutches per season with only 1–5 eggs per clutch, leading to an estimated average production of two clutches of four eggs each per breeding female.
References: [1] - [2] - [3]
Photo credit: ©Bernard Dupont | Locality: Toliara, Madagascar (2013)

libutron:

Radiated Tortoise - Astrochelys radiata

Now listed as Critically Endangered species on the IUCN Red Lit, Astrochelys radiata (Testudinidae), endemic to the spiny forest of southern Madagascar, had virtually never been studied in the wild until the late 1990s.

Recent research projects and surveys have contributed to defining the extent of the decline of the species, and it now appears that A. radiata faces serious extinction risks unless current trends are halted.

This species is heavily harvested for food and for the pet trade. In wild mature females of this species produce up to three clutches per season with only 1–5 eggs per clutch, leading to an estimated average production of two clutches of four eggs each per breeding female.

References: [1] - [2] - [3]

Photo credit: ©Bernard Dupont | Locality: Toliara, Madagascar (2013)

dendroica
captainironears:

coolbugs:

A very colorful Ailanthus webworm moth (Atteva aurea) that came to a black light set-up at the Franklin Park Zoo Nocturnal Insect Night last weekend. Lots of tree of heaven (Ailanthus altissima) around so it makes sense we’d see these guys, but it’s always a treat for me since I’ve moved away from the city.

One of these landed on me at a gas station once. Such a pretty moth.

captainironears:

coolbugs:

A very colorful Ailanthus webworm moth (Atteva aurea) that came to a black light set-up at the Franklin Park Zoo Nocturnal Insect Night last weekend. Lots of tree of heaven (Ailanthus altissima) around so it makes sense we’d see these guys, but it’s always a treat for me since I’ve moved away from the city.

One of these landed on me at a gas station once. Such a pretty moth.

astronomy-to-zoology

astronomy-to-zoology:

Fire Salamander (Salamandra salamandra)

…a common species of salamandrid salamander which is distributed throughout most of southern and central Europe, where they are common in more elevated areas. Fire salamanders typically inhabit deciduous forests where they will spend their time in moist hidden areas like under stones, tree trunks, and in leaf litter. Like other salamanders fire salamanders are carnivorous and will feed on a variety of arthropods, earthworms, and molluscs. They are also known to occasionally eat small frogs or salamanders.

If threatened fire salamanders are capable of exuding the neurotoxic alkaloid “Samandarin" from their skin, which will cause muscle convulsions and hypertension in vertebrates. 

Classification

Animalia-Chordata-Amphibia-Caudata-Salamandridae-Slamandra-S. salamandra

Images: Didier Descouens and Marek Szczepanek

dendroica
astronomy-to-zoology:

Eudiagogus pulcher
…a species of Sesbania Clown Weevil (Eudiagogus spp.), a group of Broad-nosed Weevil (Entiminae). E. pulcher occurs from southern North America and Mexico south to Central America. Adult E. pulcher are typically seen in wetland margins and are known to feed on the foliage of rattlebox (Sesbania spp.). Their larvae will feed on rattlebox as well but instead of foliage will feed on the root nodules of rattlebox.
Classification
Animalia-Arthropoda-Insecta-Coleoptera-Polyphaga-Curculionoidea-Curculionidae-Entiminae-Eudiagogini-Eudiagogus-E. pulcher
Image: ©Tracy Palmer Villalobos

astronomy-to-zoology:

Eudiagogus pulcher

…a species of Sesbania Clown Weevil (Eudiagogus spp.), a group of Broad-nosed Weevil (Entiminae). E. pulcher occurs from southern North America and Mexico south to Central America. Adult E. pulcher are typically seen in wetland margins and are known to feed on the foliage of rattlebox (Sesbania spp.). Their larvae will feed on rattlebox as well but instead of foliage will feed on the root nodules of rattlebox.

Classification

Animalia-Arthropoda-Insecta-Coleoptera-Polyphaga-Curculionoidea-Curculionidae-Entiminae-Eudiagogini-Eudiagogus-E. pulcher

Image: ©Tracy Palmer Villalobos

astronomy-to-zoology
astronomy-to-zoology:

Silvery Grebe (Podiceps occipitalis)
…a species of grebe (Podicipedidae) which breeds in Argentina, the Falkland Islands, Chile and the western parts of Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador, and Colombia. It is also a known migrant in Paraguay and southern Brazil. Like all grebes, silvery grebes are water birds and typically inhabit freshwater lakes and ponds. In the Andes it is sometimes seen foraging on hypersaline lakes, and saline lakes in Patagonia. Silvery grebes will feed on a variety of aquatic invertebrates which are caught while diving under water. 
Class
Animalia-Chordata-Aves-Podicipediformes-Podicipedidae-Podiceps-P. occipitalis
Image: Patty McGann

astronomy-to-zoology:

Silvery Grebe (Podiceps occipitalis)

…a species of grebe (Podicipedidae) which breeds in Argentina, the Falkland Islands, Chile and the western parts of Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador, and Colombia. It is also a known migrant in Paraguay and southern Brazil. Like all grebes, silvery grebes are water birds and typically inhabit freshwater lakes and ponds. In the Andes it is sometimes seen foraging on hypersaline lakes, and saline lakes in Patagonia. Silvery grebes will feed on a variety of aquatic invertebrates which are caught while diving under water. 

Class

Animalia-Chordata-Aves-Podicipediformes-Podicipedidae-Podiceps-P. occipitalis

Image: Patty McGann

Redwood National and State Parks - CA, USA
This handsome forest inhabitant is the northern red-legged frog (Rana aurora), which is often spotted hopping along trails deep in the forest during the summer, far from the ponds where they breed. This is fortunate for young frogs leaving these ponds, since adults will eat almost anything that will fit in their mouths, including smaller individuals of their own kind!

This handsome forest inhabitant is the northern red-legged frog (Rana aurora), which is often spotted hopping along trails deep in the forest during the summer, far from the ponds where they breed. This is fortunate for young frogs leaving these ponds, since adults will eat almost anything that will fit in their mouths, including smaller individuals of their own kind!