Once again I am The Person to contact re: native Texan stick insects. Last year everybody wanted to get their hands on Megaphasma eggs (and I had 300 to spare!). This year, a Well Known entomologist needs photos of Diapheromera tamaulipensis (the guy on my face!) and D. persimilis for a book he is writing on Texas insects. He found me through iNat (although he’s friends with a friend of mine, small world!), and asked for hints on where to find them since he and his wife will be in town in August.
I was like, dude, I have hundreds of these in my yard just come over PS I already have two adult females. He was super excited, and asked if I should ship them to him along with adult males if I could find them. And I was like, no problem.
I found three adult males today. And I wasn’t even looking for them. Really, I’m not joking when I say hundreds. These things are practically crawling out of my ears.
Once upon a time, a million 2.5 years ago, I was in my ancestral homeland (Maui), and was graced with the presence of this beautiful underwing moth, in the Eudocima genus. I tried and tried to ID it for a while, and finally realized I couldn’t figure it out because (1) Hawaii isn’t included as part of North America in bugguide, which is fair enough, but also (2) this genus contains an invasive species (Fruit-piercing Moth, Eudocima phalonia) that the feds are claiming hasn’t been present in Hawaii since 2001 [link].
Lots of other moths in this genus look similar, and I don’t have the keys to figure out which one I met, but these underwing moths are still pretty neat!
Seen on Maui, HI, January 20, 2016 / Posted June 14, 2018
I have severe grass pollen allergies, and crawling through bushes sure stirs it up. Luckily I anticipated this so I’ve been wearing a dust mask (and nobody has said anything???)
Hit two state parks and a national wildlife preserve (plus a city park in Marble Falls). Uploads will happen later, for now check out photos of my camera’s LCD. Painted Bunting, Pipevine Swallowtail caterpillar about to pupate, and some Lesser Goldfinches.
Finally getting my millions of photos uploaded and IDed on iNat. The moth on my head is a Modest Sphinx.
^ action shot en route to head perch where she stayed for two hours
In case you’re wondering why I have a net on my head: imagine it’s the middle of the night, you’re by a lake, and you have a flashlight on your head. How often do you really want to drop everything to wash gnats out of your eyes? (I still carry an emergency eyewash kit, the tiny ones can still fit through the netting. WHY DO THEY WANT TO DIE ON MY EYEBALLS????)
I do have a net hat, but forgot it on this trip. It’s hard to see over the brim anyway!