Thursday, August 19, 2010
What's in a name? Lots!
Spent four days in the office after a summer of daily nature hikes. Very hard to sit in a chair that long. So, on my way to work, I had to make several roadsides stops to check out the weeds. I can never get enough of the milkweeds, so here's another shot of Showy Milkweed, Asclepias speciosa, sporting a cluster of seed pods. They'll burst open soon. Still no Red Milkweed Beetles, Tetraopes sp. My favorite bug last summer, doesn't seem to be around this year.
Then I saw a nice patch of Star Thistle. Aggravating as it can be, it has a pretty flower and attracts lots of interesting insect guests.
The hit of the day, however, happened IN the office! I went to answer a phone call on the front counter. On the floor below me was a potted palm of some sort, and resting on one of its fronds was the prettiest Pacific Chorus Frog I've seen in a long while. This frog used to be named Hyla regilla, and was considered a true tree frog. Inspired by the many species of Hyla in Florida where I attended graduate school, then this one when I moved to California, I named my first daughter Hyla. I don't know if it was DNA testing or just closer inspection of its anatomy and habits, but biologists have decided it's a chorus frog (still in the Hylid family) and should be named Pseudacris regilla. I would never have named a child Pseudacris. :)