Readers’ wildlife photographs

February 13, 2015 • 8:21 am

If you sent good photos and they haven’t yet appeared, don’t despair. I have a backlog. But do continue to send me good ones, as the tank will run dry if it’s not replenished.

Today we have some more photos by reader Ken Phelps. They are all missing species IDs, so readers are welcome to identify the beasts (and plants!).

I may have posted this first one before, but you can’t see it often enough:


Was taking pictures of bees just after a thundershower. This guy had just been grazed by a drop, leaving his hair matted.


For some reason this face reminds me of the guy in the autogyro in Mad Max:



Some serious eating going on:


One fat spider:


In Corcovado Nat’l Park, Costa Rica:


Romance on a fennel plant:


Gull landing:


This was on an early spring hike. A mosquito had hatched a bit early on an unseasonably warm day and then frozen on the snow. The sun was out and his darker color had caused him to warm up and melt a little vault in the surface of the snow.


28 thoughts on “Readers’ wildlife photographs

  1. All nice pictures, but the mosquito one is a stand out. Especially with the description.

    began playing in my mind as I was looking at that picture.

  2. Probably too many other variables going on to get any statistical support on this, but on looking at the monkey shot, would Merkins be more likely to accept evolution if there were any endemic primates? For that matter, have there ever been (from fossil record)? I don’t think so, and if that’s right, there’s another specious argument for the good Fr. (Sorry if that’s already been noted. I didn’t read all the comments on that post.)

  3. I don’t think it is a mosquito or a tipulid. I think it is some type of predatory fungus gnat – a keroplatidae. This is based on the wing venation. On Bugguide it reminds me of Macrocera, but I’m not a fly person. Pretty sure the spider is Neoscona.

  4. Nice pictures! I don’t know the species of the first gull, but whatever it is, it definitely looks like a juvenile gull. The second one could very well be a Glaucous-winged Gull – right body, head, and bill shape for a female – but no way to tell for sure without a better idea of the tint on the back and wings.

  5. Plants!
    1. Cirsium arvense, Canada thistle. Please help me out. This does look like a female flower and C. arvense is dioescious with male and female flowers on separate plants.
    2. This feels like a Senecio of some sort.
    3. Could be our PNW native Rubus ursinus, trailing blackberry (AKA devil’s shoelaces), a male flower (another dioecious plant). But likely the invasive Himalayan blackberry Rubus discolor.
    Thanks Ken and Jerry.

  6. Thanks for the great assortment of photos. The fungus gnat in snow looks like those insects caught in amber. Mosquitoes are usually what I’ve seen in pictures, so I would have thought this a mosquito too without paying close attention.
    I’m a sucker for good B&W shots and that landing gull is a beaut!
    It’s amazing how fat Neoscona “orb weaver” spiders get. And even when they’re huge, they are still deadly and nimble on their beautiful webs.

    1. I was just thinking that a decent photo of an organism is as good as a fossil (and easier to date). Could be used as a type specimen if it was the best available data.

      1. You are on to something there; modern phones are exceptional cameras that capture further than fossils…and can do that too.

  7. Geez, do I feel dumb. I really should figure out what all those things I point the camera at really are! I use a kind of creationist taxonomy – bug type things, bird looking things, run you down and eat you things, etc.

    1. But what gorgeous shots! Wish I could take photos as good as yours. Plus there’s a team of readers here to help out, eh. 🙂

      The purple flower looks like a Canada thistle (Cirsium arvense).

    2. Hey, just so long as you don’t post a picture of a bat, and call it “bird looking thing,” we’re good.

      Great pictures! Especially the monkey!

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