May 19, 2019

New iNat Guide to the lanternfly genus Pyrops

Using iNat's Guides interface, I created what will hopefully be considered to be a useful guide to the genus Pyrops, and what I plan to be the first of many hopper-based guides. Click through to check it out:

Asian Lanternflies of the genus Pyrops

Features:

  • Covers all 68 species in the genus
  • Maps for all species
  • Easily sort species by distribution patterns
  • Sort species by Species Group, including a brief synopsis of each group (see diagram below)
  • Easily check which species are illustrated in which publications
  • Easily check which publications are most useful for which regions
  • An annotated bibliography of references, including links to PDFs when available
  • Coming soon:

  • Sort species by forewing pattern, hindwing color, and cephalic process shape/color
  • Pictures for more species not yet on iNat
  • Goals

  • Facilitate easy identification of species by sorting a large genus into more manageable groups
  • Identify gaps in iNaturalist's coverage of species (for example, the genus is very diverse in the Philippines but there are currently no observations there)

  • Fig. 1: Pyrops species groups head detail
    © Arnold Wijker, Gonam, Carmelo López Abad, and Sterling Sheehy, some rights reserved (CC BY-NC)

    Posted on May 19, 2019 15:12 by psyllidhipster psyllidhipster | 1 comments | Leave a comment

    April 30, 2019

    Psyllid species on BugGuide but not yet on iNat

    iNat's representation of psyllid diversity continues to grow, currently represented by 211 species globally and 118 species in North America (about a third of the US fauna). But there are still holes, especially in central/eastern USA as well as Alaska, and 31 nearctic species are still absent on iNat despite being present on BugGuide. Let's fill the gaps!

    Aphalaridae
    Aphalara monticola - western Canada
    Aphalara persicaria - eastern USA
    Craspedolepta angustipennis - widespread on Achillea millefolium
    Craspedolepta schwarzi - Canada and Alaska on Chamaenerion angustifolium
    Craspedolepta suaedae - southwestern USA on Suaeda
    Craspedolepta subpunctata - Canada and Alaska on Chamaenerion angustifolium
    Gyropsylla ilecis - conspicuous gall inducers on Ilex vomitoria from FL to TX. It's possible the galls may already be on iNat but unidentified
    Pachypsylla celtidisinteneris - central US from OH-KS-TX on Celtis
    Pachypsylla cohabitans - widespread eastern US on Celtis - look for very lumpy nipple galls!

    Calophyidae
    Calophya flavida - eastern USA on Rhus glabra

    Liviidae
    Livia bifasciata - northeastern USA and Canada on Juncus canadensis
    Livia maculipennis - northeastern USA and Canada on Juncus acuminatus
    Livia saltatrix - northeastern USA and Canada on Carex
    Livia vernaliforma - western USA on Carex
    Livia vernalis added 5/7/19 by mokennon

    Phacopteronidae
    Pseudophacopteron - AZ, FL. Host unknown
    Notes: iNat currently has no photos of this entire family from any region

    Psyllidae
    Amorphicola pallida - Central USA (IA, MN, KS, NE) on Amorpha canescens
    Cacopsylla fatsiae - CA, BC on Fatsia japonica (introduced)
    Cacopsylla negundinis - NM east to OH north to AB & MB, on Acer negundo
    Cacopsylla ribesiae - Western USA on Ribes
    Cacopsylla sinuata - Canada and Alaska on Salix
    Cacopsylla striata - northern USA and Canada on Betula
    Psylla betulaenanae - Alaska on Betula nana

    Triozidae
    Bactericera athenae - FL, KS, IN. Host unknown
    Calinda longicaudata - AZ-TX on Baccharis pteronioides
    Ceropsylla sideroxyli - gall inducer in South Florida on Sideroxylon foetidissimum
    Hemitrioza sonchi - eastern US supposedly on Sonchus arvensis (?)
    Heterotrioza chenopodii - adventive on Chenopodium
    Neotriozella pyrifolii - eastern US, host unknown.
    Trioza aylmeriae - northern US and Canada on Amelanchier
    Trioza quadripunctata - widespread on Urtica

    Posted on April 30, 2019 20:29 by psyllidhipster psyllidhipster | 0 comments | Leave a comment

    January 24, 2019

    Identification of Neotropical Nogodinidae

    Nogodinids are a small, odd family of mostly tropical planthoppers, consisting of lacy-winged Ricaniid-like forms as well as opaque-winged Issid-like forms. In the new world, the family is found throughout Central and South America, with a single species adventive in the US (Florida). This post seeks to clarify identification of the "Ricaniid-like" species of the subtribe Nogodinina.


    Above: some examples of neotropical Nogodinidae. Photos © Rich Hoyer ( @birdernaturalist ) some rights reserved (CC-BY-NC-SA)

    While there are not many genera concerned in this group and identification is not complicated, most of the relevant documentation was written in German. Due to this, I produce here in English an illustrated key to the genera of Nogodinina, modified from Schmidt 1919. In Central America, all species will key to either one of the first two genera here; the remaining genera are exclusively South American.

    1a. Four main veins arise from the basal cell (fig 1): Nogodina
    1b. Three main veins arise from the basal cell (fig 2) . . . . . . . . . . 2


    Fig 1: Nogodina venation at basal cell


    Fig 2: Biolleyana venation at basal cell

    2a. Transverse veins in the clavus (fig 3, in red): Biolleyana
    2b. Clavus lacking transverse veins . . . . . . . . . 3

    3a. Tegmina (forewings) 1.5 times as long as wide at the widest point; apical edge truncated; costal edge strongly bent; costal membrane with more than ten transverse nerves (fig 3, in blue). . . . . . . . . .4
    3b. Tegmina twice as long as wide at the widest point, apex not truncated; costal edge not sharply bent; less than 10 transverse nerves in the costal membrane: Orthothyreus

    4a. Medial cell with transverse vein: Neovarcia
    4b. Medial cell lacking transverse vein (fig 3, in yellow): Varciopsis


    Fig 3: Biolleyana pictifrons, © @jsatler, some rights reserved (CC-BY-NC), photo modified to highlight veins in the clavus (red), in the costal membrane (blue), and the median cell (yellow)

    As stated above, Central American species will key to either Nogodina (one species) or Biolleyana (three species). All five genera may be found in South America. As the majority of observations on iNat are of the genus Biolleyana though, I present here a simplified key to the species in that genus.

    1a. Transverse veins in costal membrane few (under 15), widely spaced (fig 4): Biolleyana costalis. Costa Rica to Ecuador
    1b. Transverse veins in costal membrane numerous (more than 15), dense (fig 5). . . . . . . . . . 2

    2a. Wings weakly maculated, yellowish; most conspicuous mark a bold spot near the stigma (fig 5): Biolleyana fenestra. Costa Rica to Panama
    2b. Wings heavily maculated with black (fig 3): Biolleyana pictifrons. Mexico to Costa Rica


    Fig 4 (left): Biolleyana costalis; Fig 5 (right): Biolleyana fenestra. Photos © Rich Hoyer ( @birdernaturalist ) some rights reserved (CC-BY-NC-SA)

    I hope this post is useful in differentiating these neotropical hoppers. I intend to create future posts aiming to aid in identification, so if there is anything I can do to clarify things better please let me know! And if you want to see more Nogodinids on iNat, here you go.

    Posted on January 24, 2019 17:24 by psyllidhipster psyllidhipster | 5 comments | Leave a comment

    January 05, 2019

    Notes on the Fulgorid genus Amantia

    Amantia is a genus of South American Fulgorid characterized by spotted wings and a broad irregular apical band. This note is to attempt to clarify the recognition of species in the genus and illuminate some issues regarding identification.


    © Luis G Restrepo, some rights reserved (CC-BY-NC)

    4 species have been described in the genus:

    Amantia combusta (Westwood, 1845)
    Amantia imperatoria (Gerstaecker, 1860)
    Amantia magnifica Schmidt, 1910
    Amantia peruana Schmidt, 1910

    A. combusta was described and illustrated by Westwood, available here. A. imperatoria was described and illustrated by Gerstaecker here (fig 7) and again in color by Distant here. The other two species have not been illustrated to my knowledge. Both of those species were described by Schmidt, in German, who then provided a key to the genus. I reproduce here a translated version of that key.

    1a) Costal space of the forewing without spots or with an indistinct one in front of the broad apical band, in the corium and clavus together less than 10 spots, veins in the basal parts strong and looser . . . . . . . 2
    1b) Costal space of the forewings with four round, larger spots, in the corium and clavus together more than ten spots, veins in the basal parts less strong and narrower. . . . . . . 4
    2a) Before the apical margin of the forewings, a broad, angularly broken transverse band, in the corium about six reddish spots distinct . . . . . . . 3
    2b) Forewing black with red veins, the black-lined apical band accompanied by a narrow, brownish yellow band, an angular broken band in front of the apical band is not present, the spots in the Corium are very indistinct. Length 36mm, Bolivia. . . . . . . .A. peruana var. infasciata
    3a) pronotum monochrome, light brownish yellow. The costal space of the forewings without spot, in the corium six and in the clavus four reddish spots clearly. Opaque wing black with red veins, the narrow band in front of the black Apicalsaume(?) is light brownish-yellow and the angularly broken apical band reddish. Basal field of the wings blood red, against the black apical space paler, root black. Length 40mm. Peru . . . . . . .A. peruana
    3b) Pronotum dark green, the rear edge is narrow red-yellow lined. In the costal room of the upper wings, in front of the angularly broken apical fascia, a reddish spot, six reddish spots in the corium; the narrow band in front of the black apical half and the angularly broken apical band pale brownish-yellow and greenish; Basal part black with reddish nerves. Length 32mm. Columbia . . . . . . .A. combusta
    4a) Four spots In the costal space of the forewing, and in the corium and clavus more than twenty (24) ocher-yellow spots; the angular apical band is narrow, a little wider than the band in front of the apical margin, both bands are yellow ocher. The veins are very dense, green and ocher-yellow, on black ground. Apical part of the wings black, basal part golden yellow with a slight reddish tone near the root. Length 35mm. Columbia. . . . . . . . A. magnifica
    4b) Four spots in the costal space of the forewing, and in the corium and clavus together less than twenty (15) ocher spots; the angular apical fascia is interrupted in the middle, and darker ocher-yellow than the bandage in front of the black apex. Basal part of the wings red, apical part black, wing root black. Costa Rica. Panama . . . . . . .A. imperatoria

    Based on the key, it seems the most useful character for diagnosing the species may be the amount of spots on the wing. A summary of that character in particular is given as follows:
    Amantia combusta : 1 red spot on costa, 6 red spots on corium
    Amantia imperatoria : 4 yellow spots in costa, less than 20 (15) yellow spots on rest of wing
    Amantia magnifica : 4 yellow spots in costa, more than 20 (24) yellow spots on rest of wing
    Amantia peruana : No spots in costa, ten red spots on rest of wing

    As of this writing, all Amantia on iNat are identified as being A. combusta. However, based on interpretation of this key, all of the Amantia currently on iNat have 4 spots in the costal area and about 15ish spots in the clavus and corium combined, which takes them to A. imperatoria in Schmidt's key. However, they are not A. imperatoria, which as the original illustrations demonstrate, has the apical band broken, relatively thin, and not nearly as irregular as the other members of this genus. I feel as if there are only two logical conclusions here. Either (1) Schmidt's key is inadequate, and the number of wing spots is not sufficient to diagnose A. combusta, or (2) the iNat observations of Amantia, all from Colombia, represent an undescribed species. I am tempted to lean towards the former interpretation for the time being, but the issue remains unresolved.

    As a final note, I must clarify that I have not yet seen Porion's Catalog of the North American Fulgoridae (1994), and am curious if Amantia is illustrated there. I recommend review of this publication before taking any action on this genus.

    Posted on January 05, 2019 05:45 by psyllidhipster psyllidhipster | 4 comments | Leave a comment

    July 26, 2018

    Sharpshooter leafhoppers (Cicadellinae) of the Santa Catalina Mountains

    Sharpshooters tend to be some of the larger, bolder, and most visible leafhoppers, and there's no shortage of them on Mount Lemmon. This collection is by no means comprehensive and the associated data is far from complete, but should serve as a good starting place for these hoppers in this region and surrounding areas.

    1. Hordnia atropunctata (blue-green sharpshooter)
    June-Sept. 7000-8800 feet. Polyphagous. Common.
    2. Hordnia aurora
    June. 5800-7600 feet. Common on undetermined host

    3. Sibovia compta
    June. 5800 feet. Common on undetermined host
    4. Cuerna arida
    June. 8000 feet. Common. I suspect there may be multiple Cuerna spp. in this range.

    5-9. Neokolla spp. and similar brownish mottled sharpshooters
    June. 5800-9000 feet. Common. I do not understand this group and I'm not positive that all of these individuals are congeneric, but I am including here all of the mottled brownish sharpshooters that may either belong to Neokolla or related genera. I don't know how many species are present in this range, but there appears to be either great variability or great diversity within this group.

    10-13. A few more unknowns
    A collection of distinct-looking hoppers which, despite my best efforts, have bested me in the search for an ID. Images 11 and 12 may be individual variations of the same species.

    Posted on July 26, 2018 17:45 by psyllidhipster psyllidhipster | 0 comments | Leave a comment

    July 12, 2018

    Why not visit Arizona?


    Arizona: we've got good bugs here™*


    (and we've got other stuff too , if you're like, not into bugs for some reason)

    Seriously though, come visit. Monsoon season's just begun which will result in a flurry of interesting wildlife very soon (and there's already a ton of good stuff out here).


    Yep, that's the entire post.

    *not actually a trademark of anything

    Posted on July 12, 2018 01:13 by psyllidhipster psyllidhipster | 5 comments | Leave a comment

    July 08, 2018

    need help: how can I convert large .mov files to .wav for audio observations?

    I make audio observations by recording video with my camera and then converting those .mov files to .wav using cloudconvert.com. However, that only allows conversion of files not exceeding 100mb, and I have quite a few files that are larger than this and I don't know what to do with them. Does anybody know of a trusted program/website I can use to convert these files? I tried using VLC which can convert .mov to .mp3 , but that results in a tremendous loss of quality on the recording and the resulting files are simply not good enough to upload. And I know there are probably better ways to record audio in the field that would bypass this problem, but that doesn't do anything for the many recordings I already have.

    Any help at all would be very appreciated!

    Posted on July 08, 2018 00:52 by psyllidhipster psyllidhipster | 4 comments | Leave a comment

    July 03, 2018

    Net-winged Beetles (Lycidae) of the Santa Catalina Mountains

    Up until 3 months ago, I had never seen a net-winged beetle. I always figured they would be one of those semi-obscure beetle families that I would probably run into eventually but shouldn't make a habit out of expecting. Then at the Del Rio Texas iNat gathering, I found my first one, just as wonderful as I expected it to be. Shortly after returning home to Arizona, I found another species in the Catalina foothills. A couple of months went by, and then, in the last two weeks, I've found an additional seven(!) species.

    Perhaps it's a short-lived seasonal occurrence, but thousands of net-winged beetles are flying in the Santa Catalina Mountains right now. At any given elevation along the Mount Lemmon highway, you can reasonably expect that if you get out of your car and look around for 5 minutes you will be able to find some, with many different species occurring together. Here are my findings relating to the net-winged beetles I've found so far, starting with the low elevation species and working our way up from there.

    Lycus sanguineus


    Recorded elevation: 3200 ft.
    This was the first Lycid I found in Arizona, and the lowest elevation species. I've only found it in the Catalina foothills, and bugguide records from Sabino Canyon and Saguaro National Park seem to further confirm that this is more of a lowland species than the others I've encountered. This is the only Lycid I've seen in the foothills, however my dataset is biased since I havn't been spending much time in the foothills as summer temperatures have been forcing me higher up the mountain.

    Lycus arizonensis


    Recorded elevation: 4300-6000 ft.
    This is the most common Lycid at low-mid elevations, and I've seen them from Molino Basin up until the General Hitchcock Campground at about 6000 feet. At Middle Bear Picnic area they are particularly common, and the largest of several orange lycids that can be seen flying there. At higher elevations they seem to be replaced by Lycus fulvellus.

    Lygistopterus ignitus


    Recorded elevation: 5800 ft.
    This is a small Lycid, and it appears to be somewhat rare. I've only seen 4 individuals, all at the Middle Bear Picnic area, and there is just a single bugguide record. That observation, from Margarethe Brummermann, was made at about 8000 feet.

    Lycus loripes/simulans


    Recorded elevation: 5800 ft.
    I've found this Lycid once, at Middle Bear. It belongs to a complex of two species that can be told apart by the shape of the rostrum, and it's possible that one or both species occur in this range. Regardless, it appears to be either quite rare, very localized, or perhaps it's not quite their season yet.

    Plateros sp. 1


    Recorded elevation: 5800-8000 ft.
    The first of two distinct yet currently unidentifiable Plateros sp., this small solid black Lycid appears quite uncommon throughout the higher elevations. I've seen them from Middle Bear up to Marshall Gulch, but never more than one at a time.

    Lygistopterus rubripennis


    Recorded elevation: 5800-7500 ft.
    I've seen these Lycids as low as Middle Bear, but if you really want to see this species then take the highway to its completion at Marshall Gulch. There, this species is prolific, especially along the creek. Further down the mountain, I rarely encounter this species.

    Lycus fulvellus


    Recorded elevation: 7300-8000 ft.
    This is the most prolific Lycid at high elevation right now. I've seen them as low as the Bug Spring Trailhead (around 7300 feet) and they are exceptionally abundant right now near the Palisades (which is where I took this photo). Interestingly though, they are only the third most common netwing beetle at Marshall Gulch. There, Lygistopterus rubripennis and Lycus sanguinipennis take over, though this species still remains quite common.

    Lycus sanguinipennis


    Recorded elevation: 7400-8000 ft.
    Rare everywhere else I've looked, but the most common species at Marshall Gulch. It's impossible not to find them hovering through open meadows or resting on the vegetation up there.

    Plateros sp. 2


    Recorded elevation: 7500 ft.
    I've only seen this species once, at Marshall Gulch. Unfortunately, there are many species that look like this, so it may remain unidentified indefinitely.


    And that's it! All nine Lycids I've recorded from the Catalinas so far. But there are certainly even more, and I don't think it's unreasonable to expect to encounter some new ones soon. If you're looking for Lycids, why not visit Arizona? And if you're already here, keep an eye out for these beetles next time you're taking a walk through the mountains.

    Posted on July 03, 2018 17:46 by psyllidhipster psyllidhipster | 2 comments | Leave a comment

    May 26, 2018

    Psyllid Digest 2018

    2017 was a record-breaking year for North American psyllid photography, with many species documented for the first time and with unprecedented levels of enthusiasm and participation especially in the iNat community. And somehow, not even halfway in to the new year, 2018 looks to be even better, with nearly 500 observations of nearly 70 species from over 100 iNat contributors so far. At least 15 species have been photographed this year for the first time ever, with @alex_bairstow leading the charge so far. This post is to put in one place all of the year's most interesting finds, and I am sure there will be more to come!

    Acizzia hakeae


    © Alex Bairstow, some rights reserved (CC-BY-NC)
    Acizzia is an Australasian genus with just a handful of species introduced into North America. Alex found this psyllid in San Luis Obispo County, CA, on ornamental Hakea, making this the fifth (and final?) known Acizzia to be photographed in the country, and the first of an ongoing streak of exciting new finds he'd go on to make this year.

    Craspedolepta minutissima


    © Alex Bairstow, some rights reserved (CC-BY-NC)
    Craspedolepta is a challenging genus of Asteraceae-feeders, with many species having preferences for Solidago or Artemisia. The second-largest genus in the country and with high levels of diversity from coast to coast, even the most distinctive species often don't make it past genus. But this is one of the exceptions, found on Artemisia californica in San Luis Obispo County, CA and photographed here for the first time.

    Craspedolepta sp. #1


    © K Schneider, some rights reserved (CC-BY-NC)
    "How is it that the previous, rather indistinct-looking Craspedolepta can be identified to species but this one isn't?", you may be thinking. I don't have that answer, but I am hopeful that I'll be able to put a name to this one eventually. Until then, I'm just going to sit back and appreciate this rather attractive psyllid photographed for the first time ever by @kschnei in Colusa County, CA.

    Craspedolepta gutierreziae


    © Alex Bairstow, some rights reserved (CC-BY-NC)
    Another new Craspedolepta, this one being the only known species associated with snakeweed, Gutierrezia sarothrae. Perhaps not as flashy as some other members of the genus, but sometimes being flashy just doesn't pay.

    Craspedolepta sp. #2


    © Alex Bairstow, some rights reserved (CC-BY-NC)
    Yet another new Craspedolepta! What is it? I don't know, but it's unlike any that has been photographed before.

    Neophyllura pruinosa


    © Alice Abela, all rights reserved
    @alice_abela , the MVP of cool psyllid finds in 2016, found these unique Manzanita psyllids earlier this month in San Luis Obispo County, CA. The genus Neophyllura is endemic to the nearctic region, represented by 5 manzanita psyllids and 2 madrone psyllids. With the addition of this species, 4 of the 7 species have now been photographed.

    Freysuila dugesii


    Jesse Rorabaugh, no rights reserved (CC0)
    Freysuila is a tiny genus represented by three species (2 in North America), and they have remained fairly elusive until recently. @glmory found these guys on ornamental Caesalpinia mexicana in Scottsdale, AZ, earlier this month, representing the first time these have been photographed live and publicly posted anywhere (I received photos of these 3 years ago in private correspondence, but those photos never became public online). I ended up photographing this species no more than 2 weeks after Jesse did, on ornamental Caesalpinia pumila near Tucson... had I been checking this plant just a little sooner perhaps I'd be the one with the credit for this finding, but alas :) His photos are way better than mine anyway, so it's all for the best.

    Freysuila phorodendri


    © Alex Bairstow, some rights reserved (CC-BY-NC)
    The other North American Freysuila is associated with mistletoe in the southwestern US, and its presence has been documented before, although never alive: last year @bbunny found nymph exuviae on mistletoe that belonged to this species. This nymph represents the first live images of this species, though the hunt for an adult still continues.

    Calophya oweni


    © Alex Bairstow, some rights reserved (CC-BY-NC)
    Speaking of mistletoe psyllids, I had previously believed that we had two species in North America that were associated with this host. But several decades ago, Tuthill described a third species, Calophya oweni, from Juniper Mistletoe. The unusual part was that all other Calophya spp. fed on plants in the Anacardiaceae, with our native North American species almost entirely on Rhus and the South American species mostly on Schinus. Subsequent publications acknowledged the mistletoe association but suggested instead that it was coincidental, and that mistletoe couldn't possible be the true host.
    Well, with Alex's finding of several of these on Juniper Mistletoe, we can finally put those theories to rest and confidently welcome this third species (in just as many families) to the mistletoe-psyllid club. Globally, many different species in unrelated families and genera have developed associations with mistletoe many times over, for whatever reason. Freysuila phorodendri, for example, originates from a lineage of Fabaceae-feeding psyllids, so such an evolution is certainly not unheard-of.

    Aphalaroida californica


    © Alex Bairstow, some rights reserved (CC-BY-NC)
    Aphalaroida is a small southwestern genus of Mimosoid legume feeders, with many of the species associated with mesquite and related plants. 8 of the 9 described species are known from the US, and with Alex's contribution of this species found in San Bernardino county, CA, six of those species have now been photographed. One remaining species can be found in California and Arizona on mesquite, while the other is known only from southern Texas on Vachellia rigidula.

    Heteropsylla sp.


    © Chris Mallory, some rights reserved (CC-BY-NC)
    Speaking of psyllids on Vachellia rigidula in Southern Texas, there are these. By far the most common psyllid I encountered in my time in Texas last month, adults and nymphs were prolific on that host and adults seemed to be present on many other related Fabaceae, though it's difficult to say just how many species are involved in the area. Unlike the distinctive and easily identified Heteropsylla texana, the other members of this genus - and there are many - represent a confusing complex of nearly identical species. I'll work them out eventually..

    Bactericera dorsalis


    © Chris Mallory, some rights reserved (CC-BY-NC) (left: male; right: female)
    I swept a single one of these near the Devil's River in southern Texas last month, and at first glance I thought it to be the ubiquitous Bactericera cockerelli. Closer inspection revealed that it was, in fact, something else entirely: Bactericera cockerelli's closest relative. After coming back home to Arizona, I found even more of these, all on Lycium, often with both Bactericera spp. present on the same plants.

    Livia caricis


    © Alex Bairstow, some rights reserved (CC-BY-NC)
    Livia are gall-forming psyllids on sedges and rushes in riparian habitats, and most observations tend to come from the eastern US where they are certainly most diverse. But a few species are found on the west coast as well, and this observation - just the second of this genus from California and the first in seven years - represents the first living photo of this species.

    Cacopsylla nr. maculata


    © Cedric Lee, some rights reserved (CC-BY-NC)
    This psyllid found by @cedric_lee on Cercocarpus ledifolius in California appears to resemble Cacopsylla maculata, originally described from Cercocarpus in Colorado. In 1920 the species was reported from California, but a few decades later this record was dismissed as being probably misidentified since the California material lacked the maculated wings of the Colorado specimens. But that doesn't seem to be the case here... could this be the first authentic record of C. maculata in California? I know of no other species with the wings marked in this way, but more photos will probably be necessary before drawing any conclusions.

    Psyllidae gen. sp.


    © Alice Abela, all rights reserved
    On the subject of Cercocarpus psyllids is this interesting find from Alice Abela from Sequoia National Forest. Strangely, though, it doesn't appear to resemble any known Cercocarpus psyllids and instead looks like it may be closer allied to Purshia-feeding species, despite Purshia not being reported from nearby. For now, the identity of this species remains a mystery.

    Nyctiphalerus vermiculosus


    © Cedric Lee, some rights reserved (CC-BY-NC)
    Should Nyctiphalerus beameri ever be raised from synonomy from N. vermiculosus, these will represent the first photos of that species. But assuming that doesn't happen, Cedric's images represent just the second time this Ceanothus-feeding species has been photographed, and the first in nearly 12 years!

    Triozidae gen. sp.


    © Chris Mallory, some rights reserved (CC-BY-NC)
    I didn't expect to find psyllids on Arizona Rosewood (Vauquelinia californica) - no species is known to be associated with that host - but with adults and nymphs both very prolific on the plant, the association is definite. It somewhat resembles a Neotriozella sp., a genus for which not a single one of its members has a definite host association, and if that's what it is then it may shed some light on the potential host plants for the other members of the genus. But for the time being, all adults I've found have been very teneral and it's still too early to make any calls regarding the species' identity.

    To date @alex_bairstow has a strong lead in species count with 32 species so far this year, followed by myself with 22 and @silversea_starsong with 17 (these totals don't include unidentified species); the record for most species photographed in a single year belongs to myself with 38 species in 2017, a record which may not stand much longer. Last year saw 659 total observations of 74 species from 149 contributors; this year we already have 478 total observations of 65 species from 126 contributors. What's next for this year? I'm excited to find out.

    Posted on May 26, 2018 17:07 by psyllidhipster psyllidhipster | 8 comments | Leave a comment

    May 05, 2018

    Moth families

    Just a quick collection of moth families I've photographed to date and the families I've yet to find. Families denoted with an asterisk* are ones which I couldn't find Arizona records for. 42/79 North American moth families photographed (42/60 for AZ)

    Family Adelidae - Fairy Moths
    Family Heliozelidae - Shield Bearer Moths
    *Family Incurvariidae - Leafcutter Moths
    Family Prodoxidae - Yucca Moths

    *Family Tridentaformidae
    Family Alucitidae - Many-plume Moths

    Family Bombycidae - Silkworm Moths

    Family Sphingidae - Sphinx Moths

    Family Saturniidae - Giant Silkworm and Royal Moths

    Family Choreutidae - Metalmark Moths
    Family Carposinidae - Fruitworm Moths
    Family Copromorphidae - Tropical Fruitworm Moths
    Family Cossidae - Carpenter and Leopard Moths

    Family Doidae
    Family Drepanidae - Hooktip and False Owlet Moths
    *Family Epermeniidae - Fringe-tufted Moths
    *Family Eriocraniidae - Eriocraniid Moths
    *Family Galacticidae
    Family Autostichidae

    Family Batrachedridae

    Family Blastobasidae - Scavenger Moths

    Family Coleophoridae - Casebearer Moths

    Family Cosmopterigidae - Cosmet Moths

    Family Depressariidae

    Family Elachistidae - Grass Miner Moths
    Family Gelechiidae - Twirler Moths

    *Family Lecithoceridae
    Family Momphidae - Momphid Moths

    Family Oecophoridae - Concealer Moths

    *Family Pterolonchidae
    Family Scythrididae - Flower Moths

    *Family Stathmopodidae
    *Family Douglasiidae - Douglas Moths
    Family Geometridae - Geometrid Moths

    Family Uraniidae - Swallowtail Moths
    Family Bucculatricidae - Ribbed Cocoon-maker Moths

    Family Gracillariidae - Leaf Blotch Miner Moths

    Family Hepialidae - Ghost Moths
    *Family Hyblaeidae - Teak Moths
    Family Lasiocampidae - Tent Caterpillar and Lappet Moths

    *Family Micropterigidae - Mandibulate Archaic Moths
    Family Mimallonidae - Sack-bearer Moths
    *Family Acanthopteroctetidae
    *Family Opostegidae
    Family Nepticulidae

    Family Erebidae

    Family Euteliidae

    Family Noctuidae - Owlet Moths

    Family Nolidae - Nolid Moths

    Family Notodontidae - Prominent Moths

    Family Pterophoridae - Plume Moths

    Family Crambidae - Crambid Snout Moths

    Family Pyralidae - Pyralid Moths

    *Family Schreckensteiniidae - Bristle-legged Moths
    Family Sesiidae - Clearwing Moths
    Family Thyrididae - Window-winged Moths
    Family Dryadaulidae - Dancing Moths

    *Family Meessiidae
    Family Psychidae - Bagworm Moths
    Family Tineidae - Clothes Moths

    Family Tischeriidae - Trumpet Leafminer Moths

    Family Tortricidae - Tortricid Moths

    *Family Urodidae - False Burnet Moths
    Family Argyresthiidae - Shiny Head-Standing Moths
    Family Attevidae - Tropical Ermine Moths

    Family Bedelliidae

    Family Glyphipterigidae - Sedge and False Diamondback Moths

    Family Heliodinidae - Sun Moths

    *Family Lyonetiidae - Lyonet Moths
    Family Plutellidae - Diamondback Moths

    Family Praydidae - False Ermine Moths
    Family Yponomeutidae - Ermine Moths
    Family Ypsolophidae

    Family Dalceridae

    *Family Epipyropidae - Planthopper Parasites
    *Family Lacturidae - Tropical Burnet Moths
    Family Limacodidae - Slug Caterpillar Moths

    Family Megalopygidae - Flannel Moths

    Family Zygaenidae - Leaf Skeletonizer Moths

    Posted on May 05, 2018 01:47 by psyllidhipster psyllidhipster | 1 comments | Leave a comment