Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Where did they go?

 I've let a couple weeks slip by without blogging.  I've been very busy with teaching at FRC, but I've also found the month of September not yielding as many attractive subjects, at least of the sort I am accustomed to posting.  Climate change?  Recent fires?  I don't know.  So, today, by way of reminiscing, here are some from my archive.  A couple of these are six years old.  I've photographed the Oak Treehoppers, Platycotis vittata, every year since I first discovered them at a friend's place out on LaPorte Road.  Since then, I've mostly found them on the California Black Oaks lining my driveway and one big oak at the edge of the paved pathway leading to the upper campus buildings at the college.  So far this year, I've only seen a couple of them - none today - and have not got any new photos to compare with these old ones. 
In the above photos, the individual hanging upside-down at the far left is an adult, one of two color patterns the adults around here exhibit.  The one to its immediate right is a juvenile, probably the fifth instar.  Note the stripes are perpendicular to the lengthwise body.  The slightly larger ones with lengthwise red and white stripes are the other adult pattern.
 The second photo is a closer view of a cluster of juveniles.  These are around 1/4" long, very hard to spot unless you know they might be there.

I'll keep looking at the oaks for a few more weeks.  I have photographed them in mid-October in prior years.  Meanwhile, this coming weekend I need to take a long overdue nature walk with my camera.

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