Readers’ wildlife photos

Please keep sending your wildlife photos in, as there’s always a need for them!

We have two contributors today, and the first is Ivar Husa from Washington State. Ivar’s notes and IDs are indented:

When birds and butterflies are hard to find with a camera, pollinators and tiny predators are usually present. All these were photographed in Washington State except for the grasshopper, in AZ.  All were photographed using a Canon 5D SR with 100-400 Mark II lens.

Wetsalts Tiger Beetle, Cincindela hemorrhagica.  A predator.

Lady Beetle, Cincindela hemorrhagicam, Washington State (my home) has over 300 species of Lady Beetle (“Ladybug” is passé).

Blister beetle, Lytta vulnerate, in Richland, WA.

Admirable grasshopperSyrbula admirabilis. Mount Lemmon Arizona

Robber fly, Asilidae. Sonoran Desert, Arizona:

Barbara Wilson sent some photos of an aquatic rodent and its diet:

You like capybara, so perhaps you will also like this feeding nutria [Myocastor coypus].  Swimming slowly or perched on a floating branch, it spreads out its little arms and skims floating water plants toward its mouth.  Living must be easy for nutria in late summer.
Here is a photo of what the nutria are eating from the water’s surface.  All are in the plant family Araceae, with skunk cabbages, taro, and house plants like dieffenbachia and golden pothos.  The biggest disks are great duckweed, Spirodela polyrhiza. The smallest are watermeal, Wolffia brasiliensis.  In between are two to three species of Lemna and perhaps Landoltia.  (I’m just learning these little plants.)

11 Comments

  1. Posted September 28, 2020 at 8:39 am | Permalink

    These photos are so good – this is why those of us with, er, inadequate equipment, are embarrassed to send in photos! Especially me since I left one camera in the pub 2 years ago, & threw one in the recycling WITH MY SPECS about 3 weeks ago 😬🥺

  2. Posted September 28, 2020 at 11:42 am | Permalink

    Very nice pictures! What a lovely grasshopper.

  3. boudiccadylis
    Posted September 28, 2020 at 12:29 pm | Permalink

    I am very interested in the plants. Was this nutria browsing in the states? Aren’t some of these houseplants poisonous to mammals? When wild watercress is found alongside creekbeds and some of these plants are also there is it necessary do pick them out?

    • Posted September 29, 2020 at 3:45 pm | Permalink

      Many Araceae are toxic, including some houseplants. However, the nutria seem to be gobbling the water plants down in large quantities without trouble. Perhaps they’ve streamlined their defenses because their main way to protect themselves is to reproduce in great quantities, very fast. Making a new “thallus” (and thus doubling in size) takes only a day or so.

      These photos are from south of Corvallis, Oregon.

  4. rickflick
    Posted September 28, 2020 at 1:54 pm | Permalink

    I remember as a kid seeing ads in the back of comic books (or someplace), hawking nutria raising. Supposedly for their fur, I guess. Too cute for that though. Originally from S. America.
    “Although it is still hunted and trapped for its fur in some regions, its destructive burrowing and feeding habits often bring it into conflict with humans, and it is considered an invasive species.”

    • Mark R.
      Posted September 28, 2020 at 4:24 pm | Permalink

      I don’t remember ads for nutria, but I remember ads to raise sea monkeys aka brine shrimp.

    • Posted September 29, 2020 at 3:47 pm | Permalink

      Nutria were introduced to Oregon for fur. Now nobody wants the fur. Because of the damage they to do canals, dams, and vegetation, various organizations are attempting to promote the idea of eating them. Not much success at that so far.

      • rickflick
        Posted September 29, 2020 at 3:53 pm | Permalink

        Have they tried two ground patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles, onions, on a sesame seed bun? With fries?

  5. Mark R.
    Posted September 28, 2020 at 4:23 pm | Permalink

    Nice bugs…very sharp photos.
    Thanks for that close-up of the wee plants and their names.

  6. Posted September 28, 2020 at 5:06 pm | Permalink

    Thanks for the great shots, Ivar and Barbara!
    Duckweed is good, as I’ve been saying all along.

  7. Posted September 28, 2020 at 7:15 pm | Permalink

    Very admirable grasshopper, and company. And thanks for the info on nutria – I had no idea.


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