16 de enero de 2022

Fringed-cup gall adult

An adult emerged from one of the galls in this original observation. Good to see after rescuing the galls from a fungus that was spreading mycelia around the galls in their original container (I'm not good at this sort of thing). I'm resigned to euthanizing the thing if there is some place I can send the insect for further identification. Also curious how best to preserve it. Any advice would be appreciated.
@megachile @nancyasquith @calconey @jeffdc @ceiseman

Anotado en 16 de enero de 2022 a las 01:08 AM por stevejones stevejones | 1 comentario | Deja un comentario

20 de diciembre de 2021

Who knew?

In all the years I've been staring into creosote bushes, I never noticed that the leaves have hairs until I noticed them in these photos. The angle of the lighting made them stand out, especially at the lower left. The hairs are appressed and covered with the waxy leaf coating for which the shrub is famous, but scratching lightly at the surface, or soaking leaves in alcohol, will reveal the hairs.

Anotado en 20 de diciembre de 2021 a las 05:06 PM por stevejones stevejones | 1 comentario | Deja un comentario

10 de diciembre de 2021

Germinating rain

Much of Arizona had good rains yesterday, the first rainfall since October 5th at my location. We had 0.60" overnight, which ought to be enough to kick-start germination for spring wildflowers and grasses. Another season begins.

Anotado en 10 de diciembre de 2021 a las 04:58 PM por stevejones stevejones | 5 comentarios | Deja un comentario

07 de noviembre de 2021

Baileya multiradiata and Trigonorhinus fungus weevils

When collecting seeds of desert marigold (Baileya multiradiata for you latin fans) I more often than not run across fused clumps of seeds in the seedheads that have been partially eaten and abandoned leaving a chamber and frass behind. This week as I was gathering some I found larvae and later adult fungus weevils (Trigonorhinus) in those chambers. The best match looks to be Trigonorhinus griseus, but being out of my field I'm reluctant to call a species.

As noted the chambers are quite common. This morning I collected and dissected ten likely seedheads (well-dried and shedding old flowers), and found the following:

Larva 2
Pupa 0
Adult 5
Empty chamber 2
No chamber 1

Nine of the ten had chambers. Larvae and adults were alive and were returned to their hosts.

If you have access to plants with mature seedheads (see attached photos), I'd be interested in a count of ten looking for evidence of a chamber (some of the seeds firmly clumped). If you want to go further and open them looking for occupants all the better.

Anotado en 07 de noviembre de 2021 a las 04:07 AM por stevejones stevejones | 3 observaciones | 2 comentarios | Deja un comentario

21 de octubre de 2021

New creosote bush project

In the process of searching for creosote bush galls I stumble upon many other creatures that utilize creosote bushes. It occurred to me to set up a companion project to the creosote bush galls project focusing on those miscellaneous creatures. Organisms Associated with Creosote Bushes is a place to put those observations. Spiders, grasshoppers, tree hoppers, caterpillars, beetles, ants, galls (except for the known species of Asphondylia gall) and other creatures can be included there. For obvious reasons this is a traditional project to which the observations are added manually (rather than automatically as with the creosote bush gall project). There is one required field, Type of Association with Plant; select the most appropriate response from the menu.

Anotado en 21 de octubre de 2021 a las 02:19 PM por stevejones stevejones | 2 comentarios | Deja un comentario

01 de octubre de 2021

Gall Week

With Gall Week beginning tomorrow, I scouted some of the local creosote bushes for galls. There were very few, but other things made up for it. Four caterpillars and a couple of spiders caught my eye. Kinda surprised me to see that many caterpillars living on creosote bush.

Anotado en 01 de octubre de 2021 a las 03:22 AM por stevejones stevejones | 6 observaciones | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario

27 de septiembre de 2021

Local grasses

Site reconnoiter for potential as tour site of native and non-native grasses; focus is on perennials but there are a couple of native annuals tossed in.

Anotado en 27 de septiembre de 2021 a las 06:03 PM por stevejones stevejones | 9 observaciones | 1 comentario | Deja un comentario

05 de septiembre de 2021

Insect explosion

The numbers and types of insects have exploded locally, one result of the abundant and well-spaced rainfall this summer. Quite a contrast to last summer.

Anotado en 05 de septiembre de 2021 a las 06:47 PM por stevejones stevejones | 12 observaciones | 3 comentarios | Deja un comentario

03 de mayo de 2021


I had hoped to be a more active participant in the Greater Phoenix CNC, but had an incident Friday night - intraocular bleeding that left my left eye foggy. It's kept me off the road, though I've done some observations in the neighborhood. Hopefully the fog lifts enough for me to be more active in making or confirming IDs.

Anotado en 03 de mayo de 2021 a las 06:00 PM por stevejones stevejones | 9 comentarios | Deja un comentario

04 de marzo de 2021

Confusing comb-burs

It's that time of year when the comb-burs (Pectocarya spp.) are popping. Four of the local species are darn near identical vegetatively; three of them are fairly common locally (northeastern Maricopa County) and one is rare. This observation shows the differences in the fruit of the three more common ones, and this one is of the local rarity, P. setosa.
Some description based on a guide I wrote some time ago:
P. heterocarpa: Tips of nutlets bent slightly forwards. Marginal teeth are not spreading; teeth are fewer to missing on one nutlet.
P. recurvata: Nutlets curved backwards. Marginal teeth on fruit regularly spaced, hooked. This is the most common species of the three locally.
P. platycarpa: Swollen margin. Teeth irregularly spaced, hooked, with fattened base; teeth smaller and more numerous at the tips of the nutlets.
And for a bonus here is its slightly larger cousin, Harpagonella arizonica. Fruit differ from the four-nutlet, x-shaped plan of the pectocaryas.

Anotado en 04 de marzo de 2021 a las 12:15 AM por stevejones stevejones | 2 observaciones | 6 comentarios | Deja un comentario