Sunday, July 24, 2011

My bug finds along the Cenral Coast

forest trail
Very close to where we stayed in Cambria is the Fiscalini Ranch Preserve. Its trails run from the forest to the ocean (which sounds far, but actually, part of the magic of this place is that the forest is so close to the ocean!)

poison oak abounds
Poison oak abounds. Made for a lot of walking with my hands very close to my body.

big dead beetle
One of the first bugs I found was this very large prionus beetle, laying right in the middle of the trail.

4 finger beetle
It turned out to be dead. Freshly dead, which was fine with me. I was able to pick it up and look at it without concern that it might suddenly fly away or try to bite me.

beetle face
I think this was a female, because when I looked up information on prionus beetles, it said the males have big jaws, and this one's jaws didn't look too big to me.

IMG_1234
I also saw a few of these guys: California firefly, maybe. But a lot bigger than the ones we have around Fullerton. This was about 3/4 of an inch long.

Yellow ladybug
Along one part of the trail, there were several of these yellow ladybugs, which I later was able to identify as Coccinella trifasciata.

IMG_1252
Part of the trails were along the bluffs, covered in tall grass that is now mostly dry. There were tons of grasshoppers, most of them small, all of them very hard to photograph in the windblown grass. So mostly, I didn't even try. I just got lucky with this one.

hopper
Same goes for this tiny homopteran (a hopper, but not to be confused with grasshopper!)
Looking at this not-quite-in-focus shot, it seems like there is an appendage, (an ovipositor, perhaps?) leading from the bug into the grass stem. I will investigate further.
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