Thursday, May 29, 2014

You Can See a Lot if You Look

 I'm catching up on things seen around Oakland Camp during a recent hike.  The black and red beetle (above and below) is the Dimorphic Flower Longhorn Beetle, Anastrangalia laetifica.  These are females, but I wouldn't have known that from a casual glance, if it weren't for the fact that....
 ...a couple of summers ago, I caught a couple in the act (below).  The male, on top, is totally black. I had often seen the sexes separately, always thinking they were two different species.  After seeing a couple on a daisy, I did a little library research (Remember library research?) and confirmed that there's a good reason its name includes "dimorphic."
 Of the many composites that produce puffy balls of seeds, perhaps the best known locally is the
 Common Dandelion, Taraxacum officinale, which is non-native.  Whether or not it's considered an invasive weed is partly a matter of aesthetics and is certainly influenced by culture.  The above photo, though, is of the Mountain Dandelion, Agoseris retrorsa, which is native to the Sierra.  They can grow quite tall, and the "teeth" along the leaf margins are much more prominently recurved than they are on the Common Dandelion.
To be continued....

No comments:

Post a Comment