Nymphea stems

This September, the Palo Verde wetland was clear enough to easily see to the bottom where there were no macrophytes present blocking the sunlight.  This phenomenon is in sharp contrast to what is observed early in the wet season, when tannins and other darkening pigments are leached into the waters from copious amounts of decomposing organic matter and the wetland water appears almost black.

As a result, lily stems can be seen and traced to their origin.

Views from El Puente - 09.16.2010 - 11.16.13

Wetland ferns – Salvinaceae

 

Floating ferns are common at Palo Verde. Here are two of the three common species: Salvinia minima (the larger green) and Azolla (the smaller red).  Another common wetland fern that is fairly peculiar is the large Acrostichum aureum seen in the background of the first photo in this post. Salvinia minima and Azolla - 09.16.2010 - 11.14.24

Salvinia minima and Azolla - 09.16.2010 - 11.14.36Salvinia minima and Azolla - 09.16.2010 - 11.14.40

Hesperiidae larval abundance

The skipper (Hesperiidae) caterpillar is again quite abundant and has nearly completely defoliated the Thalia geniculata at Palo Verde.  There are a few patches with limited herbivory, and it would be interesting to test whether those patches free of the larva were relatively small, or had reduced density or were otherwise missed by the adults when laying eggs.  I’ve collected some and hope they pupate so I can identify the adult.

Thalia skipper larvae - Hesperiidae - 09.16.2010 - 10.34.07Thalia skipper larvae - Hesperiidae - 09.16.2010 - 10.04.32Thalia skipper larvae - Hesperiidae - 09.15.2010 - 19.35.21Thalia skipper larvae - Hesperiidae - 09.16.2010 - 10.35.22