Friday, October 7, 2016

Dryocopus pileatus the pileated woodpecker the Urban Ornithoscopist


video

A sighting of these striking birds, the largest woodpeckers likely to be seen in North America, should make the day for most casual birders. I've been fortunate to live in pileated habitat for over a half century, and I see these birds frequently (and hear them!). And it's still always a thrill. 
Wayne photographed this pair in the Waverly-Schuylkill Park only two blocks down the hill from our house. 




Thursday, October 6, 2016

Megacyllene robiniae the locust borer



Megacyllene robiniae the locust borer
Megacyllene robiniae the locust borer
Megacyllene robiniae the locust borer
Megacyllene robiniae the locust borer

Megacyllene robiniae the locust borer

Megacyllene robiniae the locust borer

Megacyllene robiniae the locust borer

Megacyllene robiniae the locust borer

video

When the Urban Ornithoscopist is not out spotting birds, he’s got his eyes open for anything else of interest. The Urban Ornithoscopist wears several caps well: here Wayne is in Urban Entomoscopist mode.
The beautiful beetles seen here are locust borers, a type of long horn beetle. It’s amazing, isn’t it, how well the color of the beetle matches the color of the goldenrod. Many of the photographs of this species on the internet show it, as it is shown here, on goldenrod. The goldenrod seen here is the garden cultivar Solidago rugosa 'Fireworks'.


In the nineteenth century the locust borer (now M. robiniae) and the hickory borer (M. caryae) were, not surprisingly, confused: they look alike.  But the adults of some populations emerged in the spring and laid eggs on hickories. Other populations emerged in the fall and laid eggs on black locust.   Rather than being one species with two seasonal broods, they are distinct species. At that time they were both placed in the genus Cyllene (or earlier Clytus).The name currently used, Megacyllene, is derived from the classical Greek words for “big Cyllene”. 

In one of the images above there are five different insects: can you spot them all?