Between Seasons at the River Bend, 09-20-19

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.

Galls of the Willow Rosette Gall Midge, Rabdophaga saicisbrassiciodes

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!)

Woolly Oak Aphid, Stegophylla brevirostris, on the lead of an Interior Live Oak, Quercus wislizeni, exuding honeydew from their backsides.
Video of the same aphids taken with my cell phone.

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.

A swarm of Sand Willow Flea Beetles, Altica bimarginata.

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.

Species List:

  1. Ash Flower Gall Mite, Eriophyes fraxinivorus
  2. Assassin Bug, Zelus luridus
  3. Blue Elderberry, Sambucus nigra cerulea
  4. California Brickellbush, Brickellia californica
  5. California Buckeye Chestnut, Aesculus californica
  6. California Manroot, Bigroot, Marah fabaceusI
  7. California Mugwort, Artemisia douglasiana
  8. California Pipevine, Dutchman’s Pipe, Aristolochia californica
  9. California Sycamore, Platanus racemose
  10. Canada Goose, Branta canadensis
  11. Chinese Praying Mantis, Tenodera sinensis [ootheca]
  12. Chinese Tallow tree, Triadica sebifera
  13. Common Green Lacewing, Chrysoperla carnea
  14. Convoluted Gall Wasp, Andricus confertus
  15. Coyote, Canis latrans [scat]
  16. Crown Whitefly, Aleuroplatus coronata
  17. European Skipper, Thymelicus lineola [black tips on antennae]
  18. Fiery Skipper, Hylephila phyleus
  19. Gold Dust Lichen, Chrysothrix candelaris
  20. Goodding’s Willow, Salix gooddingii
  21. Gouty Stem Gall Wasp, Callirhytis quercussuttoni
  22. Green Shield Lichen, Flavoparmelia caperata
  23. Hoary Lichen, Hoary Rosette, Physcia aipolia
  24. Interior Live Oak, Quercus wislizeni
  25. Interior Sandbar Willow, Salix interior
  26. Kernel Flower Gall Wasp, Callirhytis serricornis, 2nd Generation
  27. Lace Lichen, Ramalina menziesii
  28. Live Oak Gall Wasp, 1st Generation, Callirhytis quercuspomiformis
  29. Narrowleaf Willow, Salix exigua
  30. Oakmoss Lichen, Evernia prunastri
  31. Oregon Ash, Fraxinus latifolia
  32. Pennyroyal, Penny Royal, Mentha pulegium
  33. Pumpkin Gall Wasp, Dryocosmus minusculusI
  34. Purpletop Vervain, Verbena bonariensis
  35. Rough Cocklebur, Xanthium strumarium
  36. Ruptured Twig Gall Wasp, Callirhytis perdens
  37. Rust Fungus, Puccinia sp.
  38. Rusty Tussock Moth, Orgyia antiqua [cocoons]
  39. Sand Willow Flea Beetle, Altica bimarginata
  40. Sandhill Skipper, Polites sabuleti sabuleti
  41. Sulphur Shelf Fungus, Western Sulphur Shelf Fungus, Laetiporus gilbertsonii
  42. Sunburst Lichen, Xanthoria elegans
  43. Tarweed, Common Madia, Madia elegans
  44. Unidentified Vervain, Verbena sp.
  45. Velvety Tree Ant, Liometopum occidentale
  46. Wand Buckwheat, Eriogonum roseum
  47. Western Bluebird, Sialia mexicana
  48. White-Breasted Nuthatch, Sitta carolinensis
  49. White-Crowned Sparrow, Zonotrichia leucophrys
  50. Willow Apple Gall Wasp, Pontania californica
  51. Willow Rosette Gall Midge, Rabdophaga saicisbrassiciodes
  52. Willow Stem Gall Wasp, Euura exiguae
  53. Woolly Oak Aphid, Stegophylla brevirostris