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What

Redbud Borer Ptosima gibbicollis

Observer

cotinis

Date

May 31, 2020 02:31 PM EDT

Description

This little buprestid has a delightful bold pattern. It was resting on vegetation beside a trail at the Eno Confluence Natural Area on a pleasant late spring day.
Redbud Borer - Ptosima gibbicollis (~7 mm)
bugguide.net/node/view/25566

Photos / Sounds

Observer

cotinis

Date

May 31, 2020 01:06 PM EDT

Description

Another beetle found on vegetation at the Eno Confluence Natural Area on a pleasant late spring day.
Firefly - Photinus species (~7mm)
bugguide.net/node/view/12418
I suppose this could be the abundant Photinus pyralis, but I do not think there is any way to tell.
Full crop for details.

Photos / Sounds

Observer

cotinis

Date

May 31, 2020 02:00 PM EDT

Description

This small click beetle was on vegetation along a woodland trail.
Edit. I initially estimated the size at 4 mm, but references give it as 6-7 mm, which sounds more reasonable.

Also uploaded to:
bugguide.net/node/view/1826234
See comments on ID--thanks very much.

Photos / Sounds

Square

Observer

cotinis

Date

May 31, 2020 01:41 PM EDT

Description

This little click beetle was crawling about on vegetation in a woodland at the Eno Confluence Natural Area in Orange County, NC. Their bright color scheme is unusual for click beetles. I am guessing they are Batesian mimics of fireflies or soldier beetles, groups that typically have powerful chemical defenses.
Lacon discoideus (circa 10 mm length)
bugguide.net/node/view/45171

Photos / Sounds

Observer

cotinis

Date

May 31, 2020 12:57 PM EDT

Description

There were lots of insects on flowers on this pleasant late spring day at the Eno Confluence Natural Area in Orange County NC. The breeze was refreshing, but interfered with photography.
Tumbling Flower Beetle - Mordellistena cervicalis
bugguide.net/node/view/82876
On fleabane, Erigeron species.
Edit. Cropped image added. Compare to description from BugGuide:
"Head and pronotum reddish yellow with black spot or cloud at base of each, antennae with four basal segments pale, others black, elytra black with gray/brown pubescence, front and middle legs pale (male only), posterior legs black, female - all legs black, anal style black with silvery pubescence at base." (Liljeblad, 1945)

Photos / Sounds

Observer

cotinis

Date

May 9, 2020 12:32 PM EDT

Description

This small caddisfly (maybe 15 mm wingspan?) was chilled out on vegetation at the Eno Confluence Natural Area, Orange County, NC, on 9 May 2020.
I have looked at identified images of Nyctiophylax on BugGuide at:
https://bugguide.net/node/view/206149
My critter seems to match those in all details I can see--coloration, spurs on legs, antennae, fringe on rear of wings. There is also an observation from Caswell County, NC (nearby) in June, so the phenology looks correct.
Crossing my fingers here, but I am fairly confident now, as much as I can be on any caddisfly!
(Apologies for posting this observation with an incorrect caption before--I decided to repost in a more organized fashion. Thanks for the feedback on my original misidentification. I must have been REALLY tired when I posted it.)

Photos / Sounds

What

Great Spangled Fritillary Speyeria cybele

Observer

cotinis

Date

May 31, 2020 02:49 PM EDT

Description

A pleasant sunny late spring day at the Confluence Natural Area, Orange County, North Carolina.
Great Spangled Fritillary - Speyeria cybele (male)

Photos / Sounds

Square

Observer

cotinis

Date

May 30, 2020 11:42 PM EDT

Description

Cultivated and wild yucca plants are blooming right now in my area. I found a pair of these pretty little beetles inside one, mating. They refused to couple again for my photo session when I put them on a stage.
Yucca Beetle - Carpophilus melanopterus (likely female, length 4-5 mm)
bugguide.net/node/view/37497

Photos / Sounds

Observer

cotinis

Date

May 30, 2020 10:41 PM EDT

Description

Cultivated and wild yucca plants are blooming right now in my area. I found a pair of these pretty little beetles inside one, mating. They refused to couple again for my photo session when I put them on a stage.
Yucca Beetle - Carpophilus melanopterus (likely male, length 4-5 mm)
bugguide.net/node/view/37497

Photos / Sounds

Observer

cotinis

Date

May 9, 2020 11:51 AM EDT

Description

This recently dead fly was found along a trail at the Eno Confluence Natural Area (Orange County NC). It looks to be the victim of an entomopathogenic fungus.

Identified by diptera experts at:
bugguide.net/node/view/1817357/

It is a soldier fly (Stratiomyidae) - Actina viridis
bugguide.net/node/view/171059

Photos / Sounds

What

Turkey Vulture Cathartes aura

Observer

cotinis

Date

May 23, 2020 09:14 AM EDT

Description

Vultures gathering around some dead fish in a recently drained flooded field at Lake Crabtree County Park, Wake County NC.
Turkey Vulture - Cathartes aura

Photos / Sounds

What

Dark Flower Scarab Euphoria sepulcralis

Observer

cotinis

Date

May 24, 2020 02:51 PM EDT

Description

This scarab beetle was found on the flowers of a privet in a suburban landscape.
Dark Flower Scarab - Euphoria sepulcralis (length 11 mm)
bugguide.net/node/view/3769
I suspect the name "Euphoria" was given to this genus of beetles in reference to its habit of playing dead for a long time after the slightest disturbance, but I am not sure about that.
A friend on Facebook noted the resemblance of the beetle's pattern to a mummy's wrapping. Perhaps that is the origin of the species name sepulcralis, "of the tomb". Excellent idea--I had not thought of that.

Photos / Sounds

What

Red-necked Phalarope Phalaropus lobatus

Observer

cotinis

Date

May 22, 2020 04:26 PM EDT

Description

Birders visiting the flooded fields of Lake Crabtree County Park in Wake County NC on 5/22/20 got to see a flock of four colorful phalaropes. These are very uncommon inland, I believe. I had seen them in California many times, wintering in the kelp beds, but never in breeding plumage, that I recall.
Red-necked Phalarope - Phalaropus lobatus
Composite of my two best images--same bird.
Other frames here show 3/4 or 4/4 of the four birds present at the site.
We enjoyed seeing the birds perform a head-bobbing/chest puffing display a few times, but I never got a photo. This had the look of a courtship display, but I am not sure.

Photos / Sounds

What

White-rumped Sandpiper Calidris fuscicollis

Observer

cotinis

Date

May 22, 2020 05:24 PM EDT

Description

I arrived at the flooded fields of Lake Crabtree County Park late on the afternoon of 22 May 2020 to look at the shorebirds. Luckily, I ran into two astute friends who found this bird for me. They showed me how the wings stick out beyond the tail--pretty easy to see, even at a distance. Eventually I got several photos, including a short sequence in flight, showing the white rump.
White-rumped Sandpiper - Calidris fuscicollis
Frames here on iNaturalist show a composite in flight plus comparison with Spotted Sandpiper and Semipalmated Sandpiper.
First frame shows the white eyebrow that Cornell's All About Birds says is characteristic of breeding plumage.
Edit. A couple of more cropped frames showing just the White-rumped added.

Photos / Sounds

What

Greater Yellowlegs Tringa melanoleuca

Observer

cotinis

Date

May 22, 2020 04:07 PM EDT

Description

This was one of a number of shorebirds on a flooded field at Crabtree County Park in Wake County, NC. There was some debate online about whether this was Lesser or Greater. I think(!) it is a Greater.
Greater Yellowlegs - Tringa melanoleuca

Photos / Sounds

Observer

cotinis

Date

May 9, 2020 11:54 AM EDT

Description

HFDF! This small fly was sitting on trailside vegetation at the Eno Confluence natural area, Orange Cty NC on a cool, blustery spring morning. I got a decent lateral (ish) image, but never could get a good dorsal shot--too much wind. A kind expert on BugGuide identified this as family Lauxaniidae, genus Minettia
bugguide.net/node/view/44388
Images uploaded for expert attention at:
bugguide.net/node/view/1816955
Edit. See below for comments on ID as M. magna.
https://bugguide.net/node/view/44389

Photos / Sounds

What

Eastern Phoebe Sayornis phoebe

Observer

cotinis

Date

May 16, 2020 10:18 AM EDT

Description

At a local park, I tried to catch up with a very photogenic group of three phoebe fledglings that were all perching together and being fed. However they scattered and I was only able to approach this one bird as it rested on the ground, perhaps basking in the sun. It looks to be one of the adults, but I am not sure. Happy Wing Wednesday!
Eastern Phoebe - Sayornis phoebe
Edit. A friend on Flickr notes that this is likely one of the fledglings--the edge of the base of the beak is yellow, rather like seen in a chick. I had noticed the plumage looks fresh--the parents would have worn plumage.

Photos / Sounds

What

Louisiana Waterthrush Parkesia motacilla

Observer

cotinis

Date

May 17, 2020 08:09 AM EDT

Description

Looking for birds and mammals from the Bynum Bridge (Chatham County, NC), I got some distant shots of a Louisiana Waterthrush. Several references note that Louisiana has pink legs, Northern Waterthrush has dark legs. I did not know that mark!

Photos / Sounds

What

Prothonotary Warbler Protonotaria citrea

Observer

cotinis

Date

May 17, 2020 09:04 AM EDT

Description

A cooperative male Prothonotary Warbler came close briefly while I was on the old Bynum Bridge in Chatham County, North Carolina. Frames cropped quite a bit.

Photos / Sounds

What

Common Snapping Turtle Chelydra serpentina

Observer

cotinis

Date

May 16, 2020 08:48 AM EDT

Description

I found this presumed female snapping turtle in the middle of a suburban road about 150 meters from a lake. I imagine she had been up there laying eggs. When I returned with camera, she had made it up onto the curb and held still, though cautious, for a photo session. It was fun to watch her swivel her eyes to watch me and passersby. She seemed very aware of her surroundings, but confident of her defenses.

Common Snapping Turtle - Chelydra serpentina

Photos / Sounds

Observer

cotinis

Date

May 3, 2020 12:08 PM EDT

Description

I found this fly by searching beech bark for insects--the clever technique shown to me by @myriorama. (Critters are easy to spot on beech bark.) This is a member of the family:
Dark-winged Fungus Gnat - Sciaridae
bugguide.net/node/view/7014
Identification of these often requires special techniques, however this one looks similar to specimens identified by experts as:
Odontosciara nigra
bugguide.net/node/view/995241
Series also posted at:
bugguide.net/node/view/1813670
HFDF!

Photos / Sounds

Square

Observer

cotinis

Date

April 26, 2020 04:37 PM EDT

Description

This large midge was posed on a leaf on a windy, cool spring afternoon at the Brick House Road area north of Durham NC.
Uploaded to:
bugguide.net/node/view/1805511
Where identified as tribe Chironomini, female

Photos / Sounds

What

Large Twayblade Liparis liliifolia

Observer

cotinis

Date

May 12, 2002 02:30 PM EDT

Description

Large Twayblade - Liparis liliifolia
I have seen this orchid just once in many years of botanzing, 12 May 2002 at Eno River State Park, Orange County (but near Durham), North Carolina. I found notes on this trip in my calendar that year--this was a Mother's Day trip to look at mountain laurel, led by my botanical mentor @camcc.

Photos / Sounds

Observer

cotinis

Date

June 14, 2009 10:46 PM EDT

Description

A "Corsair" - Rasahus hamatus (length 19 mm)
bugguide.net/node/view/106915
The genus name (Rasahus Amyot & Serville 1843), is Hebrew for "rascal":
www.biodiversitylibrary.org/page/24571601
I heard this at the window (curtains closed) and thought it sounded a bit like a beetle, but a little too fluttery--going outside, I found it was a hemipteran! This is an obscure talent--I can recognize some species of insect from my area by the particular sound they make when hitting my living room window.

Photos / Sounds

What

Common Musk Turtle Sternotherus odoratus

Observer

cotinis

Date

May 10, 2020 07:53 PM EDT

Description

I found this turtle on a suburban lawn near a lake and kept it in a terrarium briefly for photos. They usually do not show their heads, but this one was fairly cooperative and active. I used a foam cooler for an impromptu studio. The flat plastron (plate on the underside) suggests to me it is a female. It also had a small tail, not shown in thes photos. Males are said to have a stout tail. Note the barbels under the neck--characteristic of this species as compared to its relatives. The feet are interesting--webbed, but also with long claws. These things are good climbers, I have seen them basking in shrubs several feet above the water's edge.
Eastern Musk Turtle or Stinkpot - Sternotherus odoratus (female, I think; body length about 10 cm)
The Animal Diversity Web (ADW) has a thorough account.
animaldiversity.org/accounts/Sternotherus_odoratus/

Photos / Sounds

What

Orange Wheat Rust Puccinia recondita

Observer

cotinis

Date

May 9, 2020 12:36 PM EDT

Description

Black cohosh (Actaea racemosa, formerly Cimicifuga racemosa) is common in the rich woods at the Eno Confluence reserve in Orange County, NC. Much of the foliage had these prominent orange spots. The underside of each spot was swollen, with little protrusions. I thought these were galls, but perhaps it is a type of fungus. Opinions?
Note that I am filing this under the plant and hope to get a possible ID on the fungus(?). Then I guess I can add another observation for that.
Any ideas, @tracysfeldman ?

Photos / Sounds

Observer

cotinis

Date

May 3, 2020 12:51 PM EDT

Description

March Fly - Bibio superfluus (female)
bugguide.net/node/view/392474
I have seen these brightly colored flies a few times in spring. I always think they are "lovebugs", genus Plecia in the same family, and with a similar pattern. Bibio, however have a long, thick spur projecting from the front tibiae, and that can be seen in two of the frames here.
I am pretty sure of the species ID on this one--there are a fair number of records on BugGuide, and the pattern of the female, with the bright thorax, appears to be distinctive. The male is all black. HFDF!

Photos / Sounds

What

Changeable Grass-Veneer Fissicrambus mutabilis

Observer

cotinis

Date

May 5, 2020 07:13 PM EDT

Description

This little moth was perched on an iron bird feeder pole for several hours. I usually find these at lights--it was interesting to find one elsewhere. HWW!
Update on ID--see comments on Flickr:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/pcoin/49862345713/
Fissicrambus mutabilis - Changeable Grass-veneer - Hodges 5435
bugguide.net/node/view/70225
Update: detail shot added 5/30/20, now the first photo on iNaturalist.

Photos / Sounds

What

White-eyed Vireo Vireo griseus

Observer

cotinis

Date

May 3, 2020 10:05 AM EDT

Description

On a birding trip, without camera, I saw this bird fly down to a nest and sit tight. A singing male WHite-eyed Vireo had been interacting with it just beforehand, so I presume it was a female, now incubating. I returned the next day with a camera, and the bird was still there. This was right next to a busy trail, so I did not feel the bird was threatened by my presence.
White-eyed Vireo - Vireo griseus (likely female)
Location approximate in order to protect the nest from interference.

Photos / Sounds

Observer

cotinis

Date

April 25, 2020 12:33 PM EDT

Description

I was doing some lawn work when I noticed a small fly motionless on a dandelion head. I returned with camera, expecting to find an ambush bug or spider had killed the fly, but no--the fly itself is the predator. Turns out this is a predaceous muscid fly:
Neodexiopsis (~4-5 mm)
bugguide.net/node/view/718534
Series posted for ID at:
bugguide.net/node/view/1804330
I don't know what the victim is, but in one of the frames the head sure looks like that of another fly. (You can see it in the closest frame, lying on the flowers.) Close relatives of the predator are called Tiger Flies, a great name for this tiny beast.
HFDF!
@treegrow , would love your opinion on this one. John Carr identified it as Neodexiopsis on BugGuide.

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