Wednesday, August 31, 2011

The Insects of Morningside Park

A little "field guide" or list to all the insects successfully identified in my beloved park with notes and observations.....♥

Butterflies - Lepidoptera:

1. Cabbage White (Pieris rapae)
2. Clouded Sulpher (Colias philodice) *Could also be Colias eurytheme but most like it's C. philodice although we could also be getting C. eurytheme too. Idk.....*^^*
3. Red Admiral (Vanessa atalanta)
4. Painted Lady (Vanessa cardui) *First 2 this year. Got to hold the second one on July 8th 2011. Epicness
5. Tiger Swallowtail (Papilio glaucus) *Black form of female 08-17-11
6. Silver Spotted Skipper (Epargyreus clarus)
7. Spring Azure (Celastrina argiolus)
8. Summer Azure (Celastrina neglecta)
9. Silvery Checkerspot (Chlosyne nycteis) *2009
10. Eastern Comma (Polygonia comma)
10a. Fritillary (Speyeria sp.)? *2009, larger then Silvery Checkerspot Adding from memory
11. Monarch (Danaus plexippus)

Moths - Lepidoptera:

12. Case Bearers (Colephora sp.)? *Tiny beige moths in grass fly off a few feet and settle down when disturbed. Masters of camouflage. I had the name of these things (at least down to genus/family) at one point but I forgot. XD Research!
13. Pale Beauty (Campaea perlata)
14. Hummingbird Clearwing (Hemaris thysbe) *H. deffinis I might've also seen too. Once not too sure.

Beetles - Coleoptera:

15. Asian Ladybug (Harmonia axyridis)
16. Redish Brown Stag Beetle (Lucanus capreolus)

Leafhoppers - Cicadellidae

16. Red & Green Leafhopper (Graphocephala coccinea)
17. Microsteles sp. *Still somewhat of a mystery because I know I have seen these before with the name.

Grasshoppers/Crickets - Orthoptera:

18. Katydid (Microcentrum rhombifolium)

Dragonflies & Damselflies - Odonata:

19. Black Saddlebags (Tramea lacerata)
20. Blue Dasher (Pachydiplax longipennis)
21. Eastern Amberwing (Perithemis tenera) *Took me a whole year to ID these. xP

Bees, Wasps, & Ants - Hymenoptera:


22. Honey Bee (Apis mellifera)
23. Impatient Bumblebee (Bombus impatiens)
23a. American Bumblebee (Bombus pennsylvanicus) *Possibly
24. Carpenter Bee (Xylocopa virginica)
25. Melissodes bimaculata
26. Giant Resin Bee (Megachile sculpteralus)
27. Digger Bees (Melissodes sp.)
27a. Nomad Bee (Nomada sp.)? *Possibly Triepeolus sp. & other similar looking bees within Nomadinae
28. Sweat Bee (Agapostemon splendens)
29. Leafcutter Bee (Megachile sp.) *Numerous species Possibly non Megachile too.
30. Coelioxys sp.?
31. Wool Carter Bee (Anthidium manicatum)


32. European Paperwasp (Polistes dominula)
33. Hoplisoides sp.
34. Ancistrocerus sp.
35. Cicada Killer (Sphecius speciosus)
36. Yellowjacket (Vespula sp.) *Either V. germanica or V. maculifrons *male
37. Great Golden Digger Wasp (Sphex ichneumoneus) *Possibly Also might be the three wasp I saw this year. Coloration matches this one too. Don't know about the legs though.
38. Mud Dauber (Chalybion sp.) *Might also be Sphex pensylvanicus
39. Cecercis fumipennis


40. Lasius nearticus

40a. Black Garden Ant (Lasius niger) *Most likely since I've seen black ones.
41. Eastern Black Carpenter Ant (Camponotus pennsylvanicus) *Don't see these anymore.....

Flies - Diptera:

42. American Hoverfly (Eupeodes americanus)
43. Pseudodoris clavatus, or Ocyptamus sp.
44. Condylostylus sp.
45. Ornate Snipe Fly (Chrysopilus ornatus) *Or a relative of some sort. Bugguide doesn't mention C. ornatus occuring anywhere near NYC just North Carolina. Must do further research.

True Bugs - Heteroptera:

46. Lygus Bugs (Lygus sp.)
47. Heterotoma merioptera
48. Lopidea sp. *Bugguide's mystery bug. Everyone's trying to narrow it down to species

Spiders - Araneae

49. Leucauge sp.
50. Clubiona sp.
50a. Cheiracanthium sp.
51. Araneus diadematus? *Or something very similar

Lacewings - Neuroptera

52. Green Lacewings (Chrysopa, Chrysoperla sp.) *No way of knowing which ones.

Centipedes & Millipedes - Myriapoda

Millipedes (Diplopoda):

53. Cylindroiulus caeruleocinctus? *Nothing else comes to mind
54. Greenhouse Millipede (Oxidus gracilis)

Centipedes (Chilopoda):

55. Stone Centipedes (Lithobiomorpha) Zygethobius ecologus? *Only one listed in BG. Range is not given. Guessing.

*Note: This list will change. There's always something new popping up in that park. Can't wait for next year to see what it is. ^______^

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Epic Observations

Went to the park today proceeded to witness epicness:

3-4 European Paper Wasps, 1 bee (Anthidium sp.?), Cabbage whites, 2 Graphocephala coccinea, 1 Female blue dasher (?) 1 12-spotted skimmer.
Aug 31 via webFavoriteRetweetReply

What a buggy day indeed. Totally loving it. I got pictures of said female blue dasher. Not too sure yet if it is one. Don't remember them having orange stigmata. This one had orange ones.


1 Perithemis tenera, 1 Mystery Leaf hopper (Research!), Bumble bees & 1 Monarch butterfly! Yay! I can now add it my list! Hope to see more!
Aug 31 via webFavoriteRetweetReply

Yay! ^________^

Monday, August 29, 2011

The Hall of Shame - Bed Bugs (Cimex lectularius)

Funny..........then how come my couches are gone?!

Long long ago when you were a wee little lad and your parents tucked you into bed they often told you "Sleep tight don't let the bedbugs bite......."

You, being the naive young child probably thought that "Bed Bugs" were something cute and cuddly that your parents made up and were perfect harmless fabrications of your mommy and daddy's minds.......nothing to worry about right?"


As we all know bed bugs are very real and not some sick twisted fabrication of some fucked up folklore although I wish (and the rest of the world does too) they were. New York (and the rest of America), as we also all know is in the middle of what Animal Planet had so kindly called it "The Bed Bug Apocalypse".

Scared yet? You should be. I know I am........

.....You see (there's no kind way to put this) people have died trying to get rid of these things simply because they have no knowledge and have never had to deal with something like this.......ever.

That and they're stupid. One man lit his house on fire so to speak because he tried killing them with rubbing alcohol.....stupid stupid fool. While apparently rubbing alcohol does kill them it's not worth destroying your house and possibly killing yourself in the process.

Nope. I'd fine other means. Safer means.......

Exterminators are one way. As we all know the little bastards are becoming more resistant to pesticides, but it doesn't make them unkillable. The one thing they cannot resist or fight in anyway is heat. Heat is the No.1 enemy of Bedbugs.......there's no coming back from being baked at 140 degrees.

But not everyone can afford to pay to get their entire house heated up to insane degrees cause that shit is expensive. But it works.

So why doesn't some entomological genius use this valuable information and start working on figuring out something that the general public can afford to use and is most importantly 1000000000000% safe to use?

Come on America!!

To be continued.....with "The Evil Lives of Bedbugs" Hehehehe *^^*

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Psychodidae Invasion

Clogmia albipunctata life cycle. *Note: Pupae is not of Psychodidae.

So for the past 2 months I believe (June-July) I've been seeing quite alot of Moth flies in my house. I have never........I repeat never have had this many in my house ever. Once in a blue moon one would come in but I would normally see most of them outside on the windows in the lobby.

So what's different this year that they came into my house "one by one" and so many? Must've seen about 10- 20 in the course of 2 months! The only idea that comes to mind that's most definitely different this year is the weather. We've gotten a shitload of rain it's not even funny.

And Psychodidae love moist areas. Hence why they live in your drains and are also called Drain flies. But 99% (if not 100%) of all the ones I saw this year were in my house. Mind you it wasn't "out of hand" but it was like every other day or so I'd find one on the walls in my kitchen or bathroom or flying towards my computer screen.

What the hell was going on here? The only thing different in my house is that the furniture is gone (Thank you Cimex! *Sarcasm*). They could've also gotten in somehow too. But once again is why? If they came into my house like everything else does why so many? What's in my house that they love so much?

Mind you I'm not complaining I'm just curious. Then there's the matter of them being called Psychodidae. Get it? >:) Have they finally lost it or something? While I'm at it I'll list the other "insect invasions" we've had:


Red Admiral (Vanessa atalanta)

Saw 14 of them in one day. That year we got a large influx of them. This year I didn't see one. Interesting........

Convergent Lady Bug (Hippodamia convergens)

Saw more of these then I did of Harmonia axyridis at some points. 0_0


Lacewings (Chrysopa, Chrysoperla sp.)

Not gonna even begin with these. TONS of them this year.

Eastern Commas (Polygonia comma)

Saw maybe 20 in one day.......0_0 Mass emergence perhaps?

Can't think of any more but I have to wonder about all of this.........fascinating. Getting back to Psychodidae.........why Pyschodidae? What's so crazy about them? They're actually (Clogmia albipunctata don't know about other species although I'd imagine other ones too) very very important insects as they help keep our sewage systems clean by feeding on the algae.

No one wants an algae clogged up sewer spilling it's guts everywhere. But again why the "Psycho" in Psychodidae?

I need an origin of names here on Psychodidae!! Anyone care to explain?

Appreciate it immensely. Be on the look out for part 2!

Saturday, August 27, 2011

I'm Alive :P

This is a fill in for this day obviously.

Just wanted to let you know that I'm alive. :P Said hurricane turned into a tropical storm by the time it reached us. Wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. Power stayed intact (sp?) (we disconected everything though just incase) and I had plenty of crackers, chips, fruit preserve thingies, chips, sodas, books, and music holed up in my little "hidey hole" (that sounds so wrong. XD) a.k.a the bathroom.

So I was "ok". Scared shitless but alive. :P Now I must go do fill ins because I obviously missed a few days. ^___________^ This was one of them.

God bless you all.

Friday, August 26, 2011


I have no idea on how I even begin to say this. Tomorrow we're supposed to be getting a freaking hurricane........they're expecting the power to go out and everyone's "running around like crazy" making preparations. And I mean everyone. In other words I have no idea when I'll update this thing again.

I'll make it ASAP I promise you I just wanted to let you know. I've got enough going on as it is I don't need this too. This year has been quite eventful not to mention stressful so I haven't been blogging much I know. I'm trying to make up for it but it's hard. Consider this day "Mass posting day". Filling in all the posts I can.

Not to mention I'm scared shitless but who isn't at this point? Oh did I mention this in NEW YORK CITY?!!! Yes, we're having fucking hurricanes in the freaking city. And Manhatten (the borough that I live btw) is supposed to get the worst of it.

Holy shit.......

Regardless of where you are stay safe and God bless........God have mercy please.

On The Buggy Side of Things:

When stuff like this happens I have to wonder where all the bugs go? Yesterday the cicadas were singing again......I wonder if they somehow sense what's going on? Mind you it was much much less then what they've been usually doing.

As for other insects Idk.......I haven't been able to get out too much this August to observe them. You can thank the fucking weather being messed up as hell for it but when I did it ensued in epicness. You shall hear about said epicness and also a list of all the successfully identified insects at my precious park. "A Field Guide To The Insects of Morning Side" if you will.

↑ I really like the name of that. *Gets ideas* ^____^

I love you all......♥ God bless you.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

The Great Carpenter Bee Mystery

Xylocopa virginica virginica subspecies of X. virginica....Eastern Carpenter Bee. Really? Subspecies now? Oh Lord.......X_X

How do I even begin with this......? Ok I've been seeing 3 bees that resemble a "Carpenter Bee" in coloration/patterning and "size". There was a 4th bee but I've already ID'd that one. Megachile sculpturalis. Giant Resin Bee. So that's over and done with.

Now the three other ones I'm seeing.......1 is Bombus impatiens (in the beginning I thought it was Bombus pennsylvanicus but I think that was a bout of insanity on that one) the other is definitely Xylocopa (shiny abdomen and HUGE) and the other is what's stumping me.

It looks like a smaller (bigger then a honey bee, about the size of Melissoides bimaculata give or take a few) B. impatiens. Is this the male? It definitely is not a Carpenter Bee. So what the hell is it?

Male Bombus impatiens?? But why are they pollinating flowers then? Male bees DO NOT have pollen baskets. They're main purpose in life is to bang the queen and die. What they do after screwing Your Majesty depends on the species but they all die sooner or later. So WTF is going on here?

HELP! I'm going to try and get back to the park ASAP and have a look at the smaller ones. A good good look.

Damn it this is confusing:

1. Giant Resin Bee (Megachile sculturalis) o

I had mistaken these to be males of Bombus pennsylvanicus during a moment of lack of knowledge and insanity. My apologies. ^^;;

2. Eastern Carpenter Bee (Xylocopa virginica, X. v. virginica) o

Idk if the subspecies occurs here but I wouldn't be surprised if it did. They all look alike to me. X_X Must train my eyes better.

4. "Impatient" Bumble (Bombus impatiens) o

More then certain on this one as B. pennsylvanicus has a "form" (Have to look into this more to know exactly what this is) that I don't see here at all.

5. "Mystery Bee" (Bombus, Xylocopa, Other) x

This is the one that making me go nuts. X_X It has fuzz on it's abdomen so I guess that rules out Xylocopa.......sooo then Bombus sp.? Male B. impatiens? WHAT IS IT?!

Research! I'll get back to you.......why must you all look so similar?! -_-

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Cicada Mania Part 2

Tosema depicta from Borneo Malaysia. The Tosema genus and others have some of the most beautiful cicadas I've ever seen......♥ And there's nothing on them. Grrrr.....>:(

After today's epic observations I have now no doubt that there's more then one species of cicada singing here. I don't remember how they all sounded and to look through only God knows how many recordings of their songs to find each one from a little much don't you think?

However this will not stop me from speculating and ranting. Wild guesses: They're all Tibicen species. Which ones? I know Tibicen tibicen for sure and after that I haven't the slightest clue. XD I'd have to do more research.


They were singing like mad at the pool today to the point I was hoping I would get to see one. That sadly didn't happen. I was standing right over them underneath a Japanese Pagoda Tree hoping one would fly down or something. No such luck.

Damn you vegetation. :P But it was wonderful (as always) to hear them singing. It got to the point where cicadas in trees on the other side of the street would start singing too!

Holy just thinking about gets me on a high. Looks like I'll have to do research after all on this as I want possible names to all the participants that weren't already known. *^^* Expect an edit shortly along with linkies.

God I love Cicadas........

Edit: Trying a little something different

Why is twitter so over capacitated today? Eh anywho: 1 Pieris rapae, 2 European Paper Wasps, Bumble bees, & Mystery black bees at the pool.less than a minute ago via Tweet Button Favorite Retweet Reply

My tweet detailing the epicness that I was able to observe. I wonder what those bees were? Too big to be Melissodes bimaculata......sooooo?

Off to do research now! Back in a bit.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

The Celastrina Mystery

The "Holly Blue" (Celastrina argiolus) which is my first time seeing this butterfly listed with this common name. I have always seen them listed as "Spring Azures".......interesting.

The genus Celastrina (Lycaenidae) is a mystery to me simply because they all look alike. There has been "speculation" (Idk whether this was a joke or not) on whether or not the entire Celastrina genus was one big mega species.

I mean Celastrina argiolus has fourteen different subspecies alone (See Wikipedia) as well as 6 different seasonal forms according to The Butterflies of North Amerca: A Natural History and Field Guide (James A. Scott). ← Look! I'm promoting! Go buy it now! But does this answer the question alone?
Is Celastrina one big mega species or not?

This is something that appears to already have an answer from what I'm understanding. For instance upon further research before typing up this entry I have realized that I could be seeing three different "species" of Celastrina!!

1. Holly Blue/Spring Azure (Celastrina argiolus)
2. Summer Azure (Celastrina neglecta)
3. Holly Azure (Celastrina idella)

All 3 occur in the Eastern United States.....all 3 look like what I'm seeing in my park and around my house. All 3 are absolutely gorgeous. :P All 3 are proceeding to baffle my poor brains trying to figure them out. X_X

The reason I wrote 'species' as "species" is because C. ladon is/or was once considered to be a subspecies of C. argiolus. (See Wikipedia and do extra research) C. ladon doesn't occur over matter what it is (species subspecies) they're found elsewhere.

Confused yet? >:) Basically it's this: Celastrina in general is being questioned as it being one big insanely variable species. All my books are speaking of them as if the "mystery" has already been solved and I'm just questioning what's already known to "everyone else".

But my books give no mention on this at all. No mention of Celastrina being one big mega species. No mention of this even being considered. However......there is this:

Azures: Celastrina Tutt:

The Azures are found throughout the Northern Hemisphere and are all very similar. In North America this maybe our most poorly understood group. Before 1972 where it was shown that Celastrina nigra was a separate species we thought there was only one azure. Now we know that there are at least three, and very probably there are at least several other sibling host-plant specialists.

Our most commonest species Celastrina argiolus is quite variable geographically and seasonally. The caterpillars are tended by ants and the winter is spent in the chrysalis.

~ Peterson Field Guide: Eastern Butterflies Copyright infringement is not intended I needed to quote this for obvious reasons.....please don't sue. :P


At least partially. :P At least this implies that the "mystery" has indeed somewhat been solved. And I wonder if the three species that are mentioned are the three that I mentioned that occur in the Eastern United States. And then there's this on the ID of Celastrina idella quoted from Bugguide:

"Dr. David Wright (22 Jan '06) believes this could be a Holly Azure. First described in 1999 it is known from Aiken Co., SC. A Spring-flying species that resembles the Summer Azure. Summer Azures do have a Spring emergence in some localities - hence the confusion. Summer Azures are predominantly found in association with Black Cherry (Prunus serotina). Holly Azures are associated with Holly (Ilex spp.). Summer Azures perch with wings vertical above body; Holly Azures perch with wings partly spread at 30-45 degrees. This specimen has its wings partly spread.
Identification may come down to habitat: are there Holly species in the immediate area?
I am placing it as a Holly Azure so that photographers can be made aware of this species and hopefully get some more images in 2006."

- Tony-2 from Bugguide

There is Holly at that park and there might be Black Cherry too. Lord knows there's tons of trees/shrubs that bear black/dark dark purple berries at some point. Bugguide had also said that any species seen after July 1st may be Celastrina neglecta......that is of course assuming C. argiolus doesn't have a summer form (and I bet you it does). X_X

Someone shoot me! Cyren!! What would you know about this?!! Have you heard of the Celastrina? I will be doing further research into this. This obviously includes asking people. XD
OH FUN! Lepidoptera why must you be so confusing?! @_@

Wednesday, August 17, 2011


The most beautiful.....♥

I saw one today. The dark form of the female Tiger Swallowtail (Papilio glaucus). This had me doing 2 things:

1. Chasing after it like Moby Dick minus the net to get a better look at it
2. Sent me on a wild goose chase trying to ID it.

Notes on No.2: The pretty little sneak had me considering:

1. Eastern Black Swallowtail (Papilio polyxenes)
2. Polydamas Swallowtail (Battus polydamas)
3. Red Spotted Purple (Limenitis astyanax) *The last 2 was a bout of insanity. To even consider the last two.....X_X

Nevertheless when I finally was reminded and "forced" to go researching the dark form of the female Tiger Swallowtail I had to almost facepalm myself for my utter stupidity. With all the Tiger Swallowtails we've been getting this year (starting last year) for some reason it didn't occur to me that I'd eventually "bump into" the dark form of the female.

I am stupid stupid stupid.......but in this case it was a good stupid as I needed the surprise and utter joy it brought me. It was the icing on the cake to an utterly perfect day.

And I thank it immensely (yes you read that right :P).

Edit: Tweets of epicness!

@ The park: 10 cabbage whites, 1 Agapostemon splendens, 1 American Hoverfly, 1 Cicada killer (went in burrow), 1 Ancistrocerus sp.less than a minute ago via web Favorite Retweet Reply

↑ This is making me want to go on a research rampage for Sphecius speciosus. But "The Observations of Sphecius speciosus" is for a bit later on. *^^*

1 Perithemis tenera, 2 Unidentified dragonflies, Hoverflies, 1 yellow jacket or European paper wasp, ✩1 BLACK SWALLOWTAIL✩ (I think) 대박!less than a minute ago via web Favorite Retweet Reply

This is where the insanity with the ID with this butterfly ensued as at the time I could've sworn what I saw was a Black Swallowtail (Papilio polyxenes).

I wonder when I do my list do I count this form of the Tiger Swallowtail as separate?

At the Pool:

1 Cabbage White (Pieris rapae) & 1 dragonfly.........♥ ← You didn't expect me to post the tweet for this did you? :P Laterz! ^______^

P.S. For those of who who don't know 대박 is jackpot in Korean. ^^;;

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Mystery Solved?

Pwecious! *.*

Remember this? I think I might've figured this little guy out. I was browsing my books and found photos of members from Platypezidae (Flat-Footed Flies) and they look just like this little one. The key feature: The eyes.

Be it that only the males (right? Have to check again) have the giant eyes........damn I lost my train of thought here. >_< Uh nevermind. I did a quick research binge on them and there doesn't seem to be much on them unfortunately.

Also since I got this photo from a Chinese site it maybe hard to ID it to species or even genera since I wouldn't know anyone that's an expert on Chinese Diptera or all insects in general.

But I will ask around regardless at least to confirm that it's a member of Platypezidae (man that is FUN to say!).

First up: Bugguide's Facebook Group!

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

Hall of Shame Introduction

Only the baddest of the bad, the most annoying of the annoying, and the most evil of the evil will make their way on to this infamous list.

You see not all of my little friends are good. There are some that need to be dealt with accordingly and others that need to just be wiped out completely because they're affecting and ruining people lives, not to mention the well being of other insects that we do need.

So without further ado......welcome to the Hall of Shame! >:)

WARNING: Some post might not be suitable for at your own risk. >:)

Monday, August 08, 2011

Cicada Mania Part 1

As I type this they're singing like crazy. They've been doing so since the first. All of this has prompted me to try and figure out what species I'm hearing. By researching all of this I've fell in love with cicadas even more. ♥

I still don't know exactly which ones I'm hearing. But I believe that they're in the Tibicen genius and after that might be either Tibicen tibicen or Tibicen t. australis. However I naturally (obviously) have to question this based on, 1. Observations 2. Facts (from sites & books).


1. They start their "concerts" like crazy around 6-7 (dusk/sunset) E.g Right now. *^^*
2. They have sung during the day (not as frequent)
3. I think I'm hearing 2-3 different species/subspecies? *As of today
4. Cicada mania really kicked off 08-01-11 *Have heard them once in a while late July
5. Songs varied in volume but are the "same" *As of today

3. Very subtle difference in between songs. I'm mostly hearing "one type" though. They're really going at it now. *^^* I love it
1. It's 7:55PM and the sky's all pink and light blue sun has gone down.

I'm very happy right now. ^__________^


1. I'm thinking they're either Tibicen tibicen or Tibicen t. australis. I "narrowed it down" via this epic site that has recordings of the songs of Cicadas of the Eastern United States. Both have very similar songs to what I'm hearing....however there's a subtle difference to it that's hard to describe and the sites doesn't list any other Tibicen species with similar sounding songs........

See Bugguide page on Tibicen tibicen. Lists them as being common in New York........I live in New York and I also believe that that's what I've seen upstate too. Resemblance is uncanny! I have yet to see one at my house (I hope I do as that would solve this mystery 100 %).Link
2. Might be something other then T. tibicen.........although now due to research I highly doubt that.......XD


1. Will have to rule out Tibicen t. australis apparently. Bugguide completely disputes the possibility of it being that due to it (according to them) not occurring in New York. Read guide page. Duh! :P

2. Mystery possibly solved? Answer Tibicen tibicen? Unless there another similar sounding Tibicen species occurring in NY state (will due further research) I'm going with T. tibicen.

To be continued!!! Photo: Unknown Cicada species. Gorgeous no? Will ask around for ID. Link