Frakin’ tomatoes

I think this is an alien Solanaceae that I found in Kent bog.  Another Solananaceae I discovered was in Palo Verde and was covered in spines.  It inhabited nearly the entire wetland area while the wetland was dry and, when the first rains came, the plants quickly grew, flowered and set fruit.  As the wetland became inundated, the plants died and their fruits and spines were dispersed.  These spines eventually forced me to abandon my tennis shoes while wading in favor of hot, rubber waders.

Solanaceae - Solanum dulcamara - Bittersweet Nightshade - 09.04.2009 - 15.09.40 Solanaceae - Solanum dulcamara - Bittersweet Nightshade - 09.04.2009 - 15.10.20



Someone asked if I saw large spiders in Palo Verde the other day. Yes. I did.

The were a fair number of them emerging from burrows during one week, presumably because it was breeding time.  I found 3 individuals in the lab one morning, one of which had decided to rest on the light switch.

There were two distinct species (unless they were actually different sexes); pictured here was the larger one.  Paul decided to pit them together one night and the larger of the two killed and deflated the smaller.

Hemipteran under attack?

This juvenile bug has a queer appearance.  First of all, it is covered in tiny, blue-ish tufts.  Secondly, there are two white ‘eggs’ along its midline.  I’m not sure whether either of these structures are actually part of the bug, or if they are from an outside source – fungus/parasitoid.

There are no tufts on the eyes, and they appear rather uniform in distribution about the rest of the body, so they might be part of the bug.  The ‘eggs’, on the other hand, look a bit more dangerous for this guy…  It’s be cool to see a couple of wasp larva hatch out and burrow in.

Unknown Hempiteran - 09.04.2009 - 15.43.16
Unknown Hempiteran - 09.04.2009 - 15.42.55 Unknown Hempiteran - 09.04.2009 - 15.42.55-2