Wednesday, April 1, 2015
The above photo I pulled from my archive. It was taken about 4 years ago near Oakland Camp. The pair of mating bugs are called the Western Bloodsucking Conenose. These are not particularly fast moving, so I've handled them without fear of getting bit. However, they can deliver a nasty bite and sometimes carry Chagas disease. Best leave them alone.
Last, I thought a amusing addition for April Fools Day would be three Amazonian beetles named for fools: Agathidium bushi, Agathidium cheneyi, and Agathidium rumsfeldi. I've never actually seen these beetles that were discovered and named by a couple of Cornell entomologists, but I did mention them in a humorous essay I wrote a few years ago called "An Inordinate Fondness for Beetles." At the time, I assumed the professors were mocking the politicians. After all, these beetles are in the Slime-mold Beetle family. However, I did a little online research on them today and was embarrassed to discover the names were meant to honor these men. Or well. Hope you had a nice day of foolishness.
Tuesday, March 31, 2015
I drove by one of my favorite little pit stops near Keddie on my way to Greenville. Fortunately, there was a logging truck riding my rear bumper so I used the turnout and decided to see if there were any signs of Indian Rhubarb in the adjacent creek. No. Either too early or too little water. Anyway, I roamed around a bit and came across a patch of blooming Stout-beaked Toothwort. This early spring member of the mustard family has the sort of name that always stimulates my etymology urge. Today is a very busy teaching day, so I think tomorrow, in celebration of April Fool's Day, I'll post a photo and some words about crazy biological names. You'll have to wonder if I'm fooling you - or, do your own etymological research.