Tuesday, September 27, 2005
After I collected my traps the sky was clear at 6 p.m.
Dragonflies, crane flies, crayfish, dragonflies, clams, crustacea, and beetle larvae can tolerate a much broader range of water quality. However, if the water body has aquatic worms, midge larvae, black fly larvae, pouch snails, leeches and mosquitoes dominating, then the water quality is poor.
This mayfly (and others) were flying above the San Gabriel River at 6 p.m. September 26 the temperature was 81 degrees F. It liked the hood of my car.
Saturday, September 17, 2005
Pompiliidae, Pepsis sp. is one of the largest wasps in the world and has one of the most powerful stings. I kept one in an aquaria for a few months. She was about 4.5 cm long and was as beautiful as these - though, this photo does not do these animals justice.
As adults, they are nectar feeders but as larvae, they consume a still live but paralyzed spider that was provided for them by their mother. They are very expressive animals in that you can tell their temperament by their body language. When excited, they walk jerkily and tap their wings. When calm but excited, they stretch out their antenna. When angry, they point their antenna towards the offending animal and curl and uncurl them. When totally calm the antenna is curled and slightly drooped.
The wasp that I took care of, at first attempted to attack me by flying at my face. In the morning, I would walk into the kitchen and she would pace back and forth with angry movements. I offered her 'cat food juice' and sugar water. I would open the lid very carefully so I could insert a syringe to squirt some sugar water into a small dish. Eventually, she did not display 'anger' when I entered the kitchen, but excitement as in the photograph. Later, she would take the syringe in her front legs and drink from the tip with her antenna curled and drooping.
These animals can never become 'tame' as we might think of some snakes or turtles, but I found my Pepis to be very smart and aware. She knew when I was coming to feed her.
Thursday, September 08, 2005
Monday, September 05, 2005
I have observed very violent mating rituals in this species. The males will perch on a tall stick waiting - not for what I thought, prey...
Then from above, females spotting the males, dive, grab and essentially rape them. The males are then thrown aside in a daze. While the males buzz erratically about the pond for a moment, the females bounce above the water's surface shooting their now fertilized eggs into the pond water.