Warm afternoon...91 degrees

Shield-backed katydid (Tettigoniinae family) hanging out on the gayfeather (Liatris mucronata).

Green June Beetle (Cotinis nitida) found on the trail dead. I placed it on the Russula species mushroom for a better photo.

Underside is even more pretty. 

Buffalo Gourd (Cucurbita foetidissima) blooms again.

This afternoon after it warmed up, the Spotted Cucumber beetles (Diabrotica undecimpunctata) were all over the Buffalo Gourd plant.

White-banded crab spider (Misumenoides formosipes) was making meal of this Feather-legged fly (Trichopoda lanipes). You can't see the spider in this photo, but when you see an insect not moving away from you, look for a spider or another predator having a meal. You can clearly see the "feathers" on the leg of the fly.

Love the name of this one...Great Golden Digger Wasp (Sphex ichneumoneus)

Another view. 

New rare critter in Wise County...migrated from Oklahoma! Is it an animal or plant or both? It may need a new branch on the tree of life!

The White Tuberosa (Vegettuber alba)! (Veget is Latin for lively, spirited and tuber means a knot, knob or swelling in Latin.)

Closeup of the cute face.

Oh my gosh, it says..."it is too much. I'm all worn out". 
Claire, thanks for catching this rare critter for me ;-)

Keep on looking!

Up a creek!

 Normally in 2020, this would be a bad place to be "up a creek", BUT today...well, we went up a creek and it was wonderful on the LBJ National Grasslands.

Also of note, I saw 100+ White Pelicans, 100+  Monarchs (most at the grasslands), and one Yellow-shafted Flicker today.  House Wrens started showing a week ago. 

Most of day we could actually walk along the side of the creek, but here we had to go up and around this part of the creek. 

Maidenhair fern was abundant along the creek.

Drip marks on the sandstone

Plenty of frogs in the creek!

Cool piece of sandstone that had fallen off the bank.

I believe this might be Russula species.

This is a mushroom and that is as far as I'm willing to say what it is today :-)

Puffball, maybe Peeling puffball (Lycoperdon marginatum)

Another puffball! I think from my reading, a lot of the whitish color puffballs belong to Lycoperdon genus BUT I could be way off on that.

Curly-cup Gumweed (Grindelia squarrosa)

The Black Dalea (Dalea frutescens) was really going gang busters today.


Closer-up. Notice the resin glands on the bracts (part holding the flower) and the leaves.

Snailseed (Cocculus carolinus)

This Feather-legged fly (Trichopoda lanipes) was a new for me. 

Look at the hind legs and you can kinda see the "feathers".

Weevil, Family Curculionidae (Snout and Bark Beetles)

Monarch on Gayfeather (Liatris mucronata)

Southern shield fern (Thelypteris kunthii). We found 8 or so plants of these along the creek bed. A new fern for Wise County and the grasslands.

You can not miss this lichen (Chrysothrix xanthia) if you come across it in the woods. It is a bright neon chartreuse. Stunning!


So if you are up a creek, maybe turn the volume up and listen to it. 

Clouds and Xerociris wilsonii

 The morning started off with some cool clouds. Just love the patterns. 

Ailanthus Webworm Moth (Atteva aurea)

Five-banded Thynnid Wasp (Myzinum quinquecinctum)

This is a Wilson's wood-nymph moth (Xerociris wilsonii) caterpillar. It is the 30th record in the US and a new record for Wise County. Last year, Jeanne found one on her place in Montague County (the 28th record in US and also new for the county).

The paddle-shaped setae (the hairs sticking up) are awesome!

I found probably 8 or so. Their host plant is Cow-itch (Cissus incisa).

You never know what you can find!

Thread-legged bugs

 Yesterday, Jeanne brought me a walkingstick bug to take photos of it. I was missing a closeup in my photo collection. First thing I noticed when I got home and looked in the container was that the bug had bent itself midway in the body at a 45 degree angle. I wondered, could a walkingstick do that? 

The answer was not a walkingstick!  

Jeanne said these were all over her porch screens. So what are they? Thread-legged Bugs (Emesaya brevipennis)!  This explains why they are on her screens. They are hunting. These belong to the Assassin Bug (Reduviidae) family. Walkingsticks are herbivores.
Closeup of its head. The part pointing down is the beak. If you have ever looked at a Wheel Bug (Arilus cristatus) before you may have noticed the beak as well.

Closeup of wings

Update: I forgot to put this photo in yesterday (9-27-2020). It shows the usual shape that can fools you into thinking it is a walkingstick.

Can you see the beak on this Wheel Bug (Arilus cristatus)?

Also in the container Jeanne brought me was this midge (Chironomidae)

In this photo, you can see the haltere.

Another view

Closeup of the midge. Love its antennas! Looks a bit like a bird's downy feathers.

Closeup of a Conehead Katydid (Neoconocephalus)
Love my microscope!

Keep looking!