Around 6:30 am, my friend and fellow naturalist, Roxanne Moger, headed over to the American River Bend Park for a walk. It was about 55º when we got to the river and only made it into the high 80’s by the late afternoon.
We’re between seasons right now, so there wasn’t a whole lot of anything new or exciting to see. We joked that you know you’re desperate when you’re taking photos of empty moth cocoons and dried up plants. Hah! One thing we found that was new to Roxanne were the galls of the Willow Rosette Gall Midge, Rabdophaga saicisbrassiciodes. When the midge lays its eggs on the willow, the willow responds by growing leaves around each egg in the shape of a “flower”. They’re actually quite lovely. I was happy to find them.
We came across some lovely Wand Buckwheat, Eriogonum roseum. They were growing up along the riverbed showing off their tiny pink faces.
CLICK HERE for the full album of photos.
I also got a few good photos of the Woolly Oak Aphids, Stegophylla brevirostris, on a leaf. I was also able to get a little video snippet of them trying to lumber along while exuding honeydew from their backsides. (Nature can be unintentionally humorous sometimes. Hah!)
And we also came across these remarkable dark iridescent blue beetles that were swarming and chowing down on some of the plants. I believe they’re Metallic Flea Beetles, and I think the specific species is the Sand Willow Flea Beetle, Altica bimarginata. Very cool.
CLICK HERE for a short video snippet of the beetles that I took with my cell phone and its clip-on macro lens.
We walked for about 2-1/2 hours and then headed home,stopping for breakfast along the way.
- Ash Flower Gall Mite, Eriophyes fraxinivorus
- Assassin Bug, Zelus luridus
- Blue Elderberry, Sambucus nigra cerulea
- California Brickellbush, Brickellia californica
- California Buckeye Chestnut, Aesculus californica
- California Manroot, Bigroot, Marah fabaceusI
- California Mugwort, Artemisia douglasiana
- California Pipevine, Dutchman’s Pipe, Aristolochia californica
- California Sycamore, Platanus racemose
- Canada Goose, Branta canadensis
- Chinese Praying Mantis, Tenodera sinensis [ootheca]
- Chinese Tallow tree, Triadica sebifera
- Common Green Lacewing, Chrysoperla carnea
- Convoluted Gall Wasp, Andricus confertus
- Coyote, Canis latrans [scat]
- Crown Whitefly, Aleuroplatus coronata
- European Skipper, Thymelicus lineola [black tips on antennae]
- Fiery Skipper, Hylephila phyleus
- Gold Dust Lichen, Chrysothrix candelaris
- Goodding’s Willow, Salix gooddingii
- Gouty Stem Gall Wasp, Callirhytis quercussuttoni
- Green Shield Lichen, Flavoparmelia caperata
- Hoary Lichen, Hoary Rosette, Physcia aipolia
- Interior Live Oak, Quercus wislizeni
- Interior Sandbar Willow, Salix interior
- Kernel Flower Gall Wasp, Callirhytis serricornis, 2nd Generation
- Lace Lichen, Ramalina menziesii
- Live Oak Gall Wasp, 1st Generation, Callirhytis quercuspomiformis
- Narrowleaf Willow, Salix exigua
- Oakmoss Lichen, Evernia prunastri
- Oregon Ash, Fraxinus latifolia
- Pennyroyal, Penny Royal, Mentha pulegium
- Pumpkin Gall Wasp, Dryocosmus minusculusI
- Purpletop Vervain, Verbena bonariensis
- Rough Cocklebur, Xanthium strumarium
- Ruptured Twig Gall Wasp, Callirhytis perdens
- Rust Fungus, Puccinia sp.
- Rusty Tussock Moth, Orgyia antiqua [cocoons]
- Sand Willow Flea Beetle, Altica bimarginata
- Sandhill Skipper, Polites sabuleti sabuleti
- Sulphur Shelf Fungus, Western Sulphur Shelf Fungus, Laetiporus gilbertsonii
- Sunburst Lichen, Xanthoria elegans
- Tarweed, Common Madia, Madia elegans
- Unidentified Vervain, Verbena sp.
- Velvety Tree Ant, Liometopum occidentale
- Wand Buckwheat, Eriogonum roseum
- Western Bluebird, Sialia mexicana
- White-Breasted Nuthatch, Sitta carolinensis
- White-Crowned Sparrow, Zonotrichia leucophrys
- Willow Apple Gall Wasp, Pontania californica
- Willow Rosette Gall Midge, Rabdophaga saicisbrassiciodes
- Willow Stem Gall Wasp, Euura exiguae
- Woolly Oak Aphid, Stegophylla brevirostris