Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Beautiful wings

On a crane fly:

Tipula sp.

I looked these up on BugGuide, and found several with the same patterns (this one, for example), but BugGuide only identifies them down to the family, Tipulidae, or Large Crane Flies. It doesn't really matter; other LCF know where she belongs.

She's female; the males' abdomen ends in a club, while the females have this sharp, pointed ovipositor for laying eggs.

On a moth:

What are you thinking, little one?

On BugGuide, I found several different species of cutworm moths, Apamea, all present in the Pacific Northwest, all similar to this one. Apamea cogitata seems to be the best match. And I like the name; it means "Thoughtful Apamea".

And on a cricket:

Gryllus sp., female, as shown by her long ovipositor. She was trapped in my sink and tired of trying to climb the walls, so she sat still for me.

Every evening this summer, boy crickets chirp hopefully out on the lawn, holding those short, leathery hindwings up at an angle and scraping the serrated edges together. The curve of the hindwings against the body makes an echo chamber, amplifying the sound; females may hear the male's song up to 75 metres away!

Crickets are difficult to identify; most species look more or less alike. They are most easily distinguished by their song.

In a given area, it is usually possible to learn the various species through experience, by learning which songs go with which crickets at what time of year.  ... This is a group where it is actually usually easier to identify a specimen by hearing it than by seeing it! (BugGuide)

But the females don't make music; they don't have the equipment. So to identify a female, you have to find her mate, and get him to play you a song. I found a male tonight, hiding behind my favourite chair; tracked him down by ear. But once on stage, he refused to play any more, and scuttled away under the baseboard.

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