Journal archives for October 2016

06 October, 2016

September 2016 iNaturalist Vermont Photo-observation of the Month

Congratulations to Joshua Lincoln for winning the September 2016 iNaturalist Vermont photo-observation of the month contest. His image of a predatory Sand Wasp (genus Bembix) with a fly was the most popular photo-observation as measured by clicked 'favs'.
Sand Wasp (Genus Bembix) with a fly. © Joshua Lincoln
There are 21 species of these solitary wasps north of Mexico. Females use rakes made of hairs on their front legs to kick sand away while digging their nest. The female paralyzes flies with a sting and then brings them back to her nest. She lays an egg with the fly. Once the egg hatches, she will bring flies to feed it as needed. Once the larva is full-grown she seals the room shut and the larva spins a cocoon to pupate and overwinter. Meanwhile, males conduct dizzying and erratic flights just inches above the ground trying to detect virgin females as they leave their pupal chambers. Both are fueled by flower nectar.

Visit iNaturalist Vermont, a project of the Vermont Atlas of Life, and you can vote for the winner this month by clicking 'fav' on your favorite photo-observation. Make sure you get outdoors and record the biodiversity around you and submit your discoveries and you could be a winner this month!

Posted on 06 October, 2016 19:47 by kpmcfarland kpmcfarland | 0 comments | Leave a comment

23 October, 2016

An iNaturalist Finds New Damselfly for Vermont

It was a routine warm September day in the field for naturalist Joshua Lincoln. Wandering along the Waterbury Reservoir shoreline, his net was swiping at mostly Darners – recording Lance-tipped, Lake, and Shadow darners with his camera before releasing them. He stalked a pair of Orange Bluet damselflies to photograph. Thirty minutes later, he captured several closeup images of a blue damselfly perched on vegetation, a group that is notoriously hard to identify.

“I didn’t have my glasses on,” explained Lincoln. “Usually I can get a good enough photos to identify bluets that are perched, from their terminal appendages, when I get home. So I concentrate on getting good photos to identify when I download them. I was completely surprised when I saw my photos.”

He had found Vermont's first state record of Double-striped Bluet (Enallagma basidens) and added it to iNaturalist Vermont for the Vermont Damselfly and Dragonfly Atlas at the Vermont Atlas of Life (VAL), where others quickly confirmed his identification.

Read more at the VCE Blog.

Posted on 23 October, 2016 13:36 by kpmcfarland kpmcfarland | 2 comments | Leave a comment