some authentic bumblebee sex for all you beefuckers out there
theres some fun stuff going on in the iNatters of tumblr project!
for those who dont know, iNatters of tumblr is a project stated by @nanonaturalist to encourage people to use iNaturalist. you can see the original post about starting the project here. i have since become a co-admin of the project.
if youre not already a part of it but want to be involved, we welcome you to join! create an account on inaturalist.org and let us (me, @pterygota or kuchipatchis on iNat, or @nanonaturalist or nanofishology on iNat) know you want to be included so we can add you to the project, because hitting “join” on the project page allows you to watch the project, but not to be included. that has to be done by us manually.
theres much more information you can see by following the link, but if you havent looked, the scavenger hunt will fun for the next two months, and heres the list:
- An example of camouflage
- A plant growing out from the water
- A mushroom
- A fish
- A pupa
- Something fuzzy
- Something spiky
- Something having a meal
- A symbiotic relationship
- Something growing on or out of a man-made object
- An animal with more than 8 legs
- An animal with no legs
- Something that lives in a shell
- Something yellow and black
- Something brown and white
- Something purple and green
- Something really common in your area
- Something not native to your area
- A bee native to your area
- Something classified as a threatened species
- A feather
- An animal track
- Mating behavior
- A plant gall
- A leaf mine
you can post the scavenger hunt list with links to your corresponding observations for each item on your tumblr blog and/or iNaturalist journal. please note that posting your observations to tumblr may mean giving out personal location information to a larger audience, so use discretion if posting to there. we may make posts featuring observations from the scavenger hunt, but will check with you for permission before doing so.
feel free to shoot a message if you have any questions, and if you are reading this, we would LOVE for you to participate!
Fun Scavenger Hunt is underway!!!
Join us over on iNaturalist to participate, and let me or @pterygota know if you need to be added to the project (the join button just lets you watch it, one of us needs to manually add you!)
You can add the badges to your iNat profile page as you earn them 😀
August 30, 2019
I’m not really participating, but here’s an oak gall wasp, Andricus quercusfoliatus:
Hint: it’s the thing that’s not an acorn, but is where one should be (lower left of the two non-leaf things).
This is on the live oak in my front yard. These are super common, and the wasps are teeny-tiny!
September 2, 2019
Is it true that bees sometimes sleep on flowers? I just read it on a post but I don't know if they were trying to make a cutesy #aesthetic post or if it was based on actual facts
Honeybees no, but other species of wild bees do, especially when it comes to male bees as they typically don’t nest like females. With some species like cuckoo bees being an exception as females have been seen sleeping on flowering plants. Species like bumblebees, long-horned bees, blue-banded bees are also known to sleep in or on flowers.
But there’s about 20,000 species of bees and majority of them are solitary so I’d say roosting on flowers would be extremely common along most solitary bee species.
This is what it looks like when a bunch of male long-horned bees look like roosting:
When ants die, a few days later they emit oleic acid, which tells the living ants to dispose of their corpse.
A myrmecologist named Ed Wilson discovered this and dropped the chemical on a living ant. It was immediately carried off, despite the fact that it was still moving, and clearly not dead.
“I’M GETTING BETTER”
Bring out your dead. Eh, close enough.
IM NOT YET DEAD SIR
You left out the part where the ant, believing HERSELF to be dead, stayed in self imposed exile in the ant graveyard until the acid wore off and she realized she was not supposed to be in the ant graveyard.
@finite-experience, this seems like the sort of thing you’d like to see
Ant 1: To the ant graveyard with you
Ant 2: But I’m not dead
Ant 1: You smell dead
Ant 2: Fair enough
Ant 1: “I thought you were dead.”
Ant 2, after acid wears off: “I got better.”
Ant 2, returning to the colony: i lived bitch
I need to dig through a massive pile of old cell phone pictures, but back in 2015, some ants (which I never uploaded to iNat because I hadn’t started using it yet!) were using my apartment as their graveyard. They snuck in through a crack in my window, and dropped their fallen sisters off the edge of my windowsill… onto my desk. I had a pile of dead ants all over my computer. I caught them doing it, too! [link to crappy old video on twitter]
August 12, 2019
I have a question about wasps. There’s a nest right in front of my front door, and while I can respect that they’re just living their little waspy lives, my dad is highly highly allergic to all stinging insects, so we need them to pick somewhere besides my front door to live. They’re free to go about their waspy business, but they need to do so elsewhere. My dad is going to land himself in the hospital trying to get rid of them. Is there a way to relocate them / make them pick a new home?
Best way: from a very far distance, spray the nest down with a hose. You can spray the downed nest away from your front door since the wasps will probably swarm around it for a while. They will rebuild somewhere else, most likely under the eaves of your house again, but hopefully not by your door!
Hope this helps!
July 30, 2019
Oak galls in Travis Audubon’s Baker Sanctuary outside Austin, March 18, 2017. Galls are a new thing for me: they are growths composed of plant matter that grow around a larva, typically of a gall wasp. They do not harm the plant, and if you don’t know any better you would think they are dried berries or seeds.
This was my first time seeing fresh ones–before I had only seen the brown dried up ones the wasps had already emerged from (several are pictured above, look for the exit hole). The green galls seemed to be only on the saplings. I collected a couple to dissect at home (didn’t bring my knife!).
Turns out each gall has an individual wasp. The middle of the ball has a suspended encasement for the larva. You can see where the larva is in the photo of the dissected green gall–the larva is on the side I’m pointing to with a needle. I pulled out my trusty iPhone microscope, and amazingly was able to get (very shaky) video of the larva MOVING. Creeped me the hell out when I saw it.
Fun fact: when I first saw the wasp larva moving in the microscope, I actually screamed 👍
Amphibolips sp. – Wasp that produces galls on oak trees
Reposted July 14, 2019
So the thing with fire ants is, you build up a tolerance to the venom. When I was mowing the front lawn (and pulling up Saint Augustine, which I hate), I disturbed a mound. Eh, whatever. That’s why I double up on the gloves. Some managed to get on the sleeve of my shirt, and one had crawled inside. I wasn’t sure if she’d stung me or not.
A couple hours later, a spot on my arm started itching. I thought I had a mosquito bite. The bump was the right size.
When the bite started to hurt a little when I scratched it, oh boy, yup, fire ant got me. She was a bigger one, too. I guess that explains how massive her gift to me is.
Keep in mind: getting one fire ant sting is not usually how it goes. I had a coworker who gardened in shorts and showed up with hundreds of stings completely covering his shins after a weekend. Imagine if I hadn’t been wearing two pairs of gloves and long sleeves, and hundreds of ants covered my arms in these things!
So yeah, fire ants. If you don’t have them, be thankful, and if you do have them, be careful!
July 11, 2019
Yesterday, between doctor appointments, I went for a walk at my favorite park, Mayfield Park and Nature Preserve.
Reposting from Fall 2016
Speaking of wasps vs bees! funny to note, I had tagged the original post with a #bees tag and lol, that is clearly a yellowjacket on my sweater hahaha. PS I did NOT GET STUNG!
The purple berries are American Beautyberry, and the plant is a host for Rustic Sphinx Moths. Ask me how I know! 😀 The snail is a Globular Drop.
Also, peacocks act like giant fat pigeons and they come up and beg you for food. There was one once who thought I was a sexy lady peacock and he tried to woo me. Uh, sorry? This is a great park if you are in Austin! The peacocks are LOUD! If you visit and you can’t find them, look on the roof of the house or up in the trees, because yes, they can fly. The ones in this post have shorty tails because they molt them after mating season in May, which means if you visit the park during molting season, sometimes YOU CAN FIND THEM!
Reposted July 9, 2019