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Elokuu 4, 2020 03:43 PM PDT

Kuvaus

The banana slug appeared to be feeding on either the white mold or the shelf fungus (or perhaps both). Scene took place on a douglas fir trunk.

BTW, I think Kenny mentioned there are a few similar (i.e. cryptic) species of banana slug in our coastal forests...I'm not really sure which species this is, so just went with what iNat's "image AI" suggested.

If anyone has ideas on what the mold and shelf fungus are...and whether they're common food for banana slugs, I'd be interested to know.

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Elokuu 4, 2020 11:26 AM PDT

Kuvaus

Kenny made good on his pledge that we'd see this beauty :-)

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Paranvoi Fuligo septica

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Elokuu 4, 2020 10:31 AM PDT

Kuvaus

This was growing on a fallen douglas fir trunk. I'm assuming it's the same kind of slime mold as Joerg photographed later along the Canyon Trail in this iNat observation...though that one appears covered in longer "hair-like" growth (perhaps it's at a more advanced stage of development?).

I'm not at all familiar with slime molds, so would appreciate any correction or confirmation from those more knowledgeable.

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Suku Ornidia

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Syyskuu 19, 2017 10:11 AM PDT

Kuvaus

ATTN: This was not my field observation...it is derived from John Karges' iNat observation here.

Context & Collage Details

I became interested in the ID of this small metallic-green syrphid via the discussion thread under John Karges' iNaturalist observation 8376114, where the primary subject of the photos is the larger cerioidine, Sphiximorpha roederii.

The composite collage above (click it twice to view at full-size) was made solely for educational purposes to support the ID of this smaller metallic-green syrphid. It consists of a zoomed-in crop from the 1st photo in John's observation, together with crops of wing venation reference diagrams ("Fig. 2" & "Fig. 4") from the Copestylum and Ornidia pages of the Syrphidae da Amazônia website (associated with the paper Miranda(2017)). I added the colored-arrows to help indicate critical diagnostic ID characters in the discussion below. (Note, in particular, that although I made the collage, the component images were not taken be me, see my "Acknowledgements/Copyright Disclaimer" at bottom of these remarks.)

Genus ID Details

To pursue the ID I started with Miranda's 2017 "Syrphidae da Amazônia" picture key and followed what seemed the two most apropos sequences of choices available, leading to either "Step 1-3" of the key or to "Step 2-1". The joint outcome boiled down to either genus Copestylum or Ornidia (since the other alternatives at "Step 2-1" could be eliminated for John's photos due to: the lack of conspicuous antennae visible from above, and there being just a single species of Cepa in the treatment...which, unlike here, has entirely hyaline wings).

The character dichotomies at "Step 1-3" indicate that, within the given region of coverage (i.e. Amazônia), members of Copestylum are "rarely with metallic shine" while Ornidia have "metallic shine (green to blue)"...suggesting Ornidia here. Due to lack of a clear view of the face and side of the thorax here, two of the remaining three characters in "Step 1-3" can't be evaluated (i.e. those involving facial tubercles and anepimeron hairs)...but I think John's dorsal photo suggests that the notopleuron is indeed "laterally produced" (see orange arrow in the collage...and for comparison the specimen photos in the "Step 1-3" plate...and note that (from the placement of the insect pins) those specimens photos are dorsal(!) views with their heads twisted far to the left...and not profile views as they may initially appear to be!).

Moreover, note the two distinctive dark spots on the otherwise hyaline wings in John's photos (see pink arrows in the collage), which agree with those in the wing diagram for O. obesa in Fig. 4 from the Ornidia page ...and with similar wing markings in other online images, like the male & female BugGuide posts of O. obesa thumbnailed below:

As further support for the genus ID, I noticed something more while scrutinizing the wing venation details in Figs. 2 & 4 at the bottom of the collage (from the Copestylum and Ornidia pages of the Syrphidae da Amazônia website)...something that provides yet another character that appears to separate the genera Copestylum and Ornidia (and that I've corroborated by checking many additional reference images online). I've used yellow arrows in the collage to illustrate this character. It's somewhat technical (involving the basad [= closest to the wing base] veinlet bounding the "discal cell" of the wing) and it's tricky to describe, but here's my attempt:

For Ornidia, the most basad veinlet bounding the discal cell tends "anterior & apicad [= towards the wing apex]"; whereas in Copestylum the corresponding vein tends "anterior & basad [= towards the wing base]".

Each yellow arrow in the collage was drawn to lie within the discal cell of its associated wing, and point to the "basad bounding veinlet" of that discal cell. Though barely visible in the crop of John's photo, that basad bounding veinlet can be seen to be veering anterior and apicad, in accordance with Ornidia.

All of the above strongly points to a genus ID of Ornidia here...as does, additionally, the presence of a transverse "pre-apical scutellar depression" (see blue arrow in the collage) which is absent in most Copestylum but is a distinctive character of Ornidia, as indicated in the paper Thompson(1991), cited below.

Species ID Details

As far as species ID goes, the Ornidia page lists 4 species in its coverage area: O. aemula, O. major, O. obesa, and O. therezinhae.

The paper Thompson(1991) provides a good revision for Ornidia...though it doesn't include O. therezinhae, which was described in 2009 (in the paper Carvalho-Filho & Esposito(2009), which I've not yet seen).

Based on the key and descriptions in Thompson(1991), the small apical wing spot in John's photos eliminates O. aemula (which has a larger apical spot).

I also suspect that this is not O. major...since it's described as having the pre-apical scutellar depression "divided medially" (this character is shared by O. whiteheadi, and is nicely illustrated here). It appears to me that in John's photo (again, see blue arrow) the scutellar depression is not divided medially ...though the image-resolution is perhaps not clear enough to make that assessment unequivocally. To illustrate the potential difficulty here in interpreting this character, note that in the two photos from the BOLDSystems web site thumbnailed below (click them to enlarge)...both of which are females placed as O. major...the 1st specimen does appear to have the pre-apical scutellar depression divided medially; whereas the 2nd does not:
For context, I don't know for sure whether some of the BOLD O. major images may be mis-identified (or perhaps identified solely by molecular concordance with a reference specimen, without cross-checking the given specimen ID using morphology?).

It should be noted that O. obesa is the most widespread and frequently-encountered member of the genus, and is notably "(hemi)synanthropic"...i.e. often associated with (but not dependent on) human settlements (usually rural) where it is known to take advantage of additional resources for larval rearing such as animal dung, sewage, and rotten fruits & vegetables (see Thompson(1991) and 3rd paragraph after the abstract in Martins et. al.(2010)).

So, taking all the above into consideration, I think John's little metallic-green syrphid is most likely Ornidia obesa...though I can not rule out O. major or O. therezinhae with complete confidence.

Acknowledgements/Copyright Disclaimer

While I composed the collage here, the component photos were not taken be me...they were taken by John Karges and the photographers cited in the "Acknowledgements" at the end of Miranda(2017). I'm very grateful to those photographers (and Gil F. G. Miranda) for sharing their work on the web, however I have not yet obtained their explicit usage permission here, though I hope to and am in the process of trying. In the interim I'm posting this since to the best of my knowledge the usage here (i.e. a transformatively-modified composite image for very-limited educational & non-profit use) is allowed under "fair use" rules (see also here) for limited use in the pursuit of research & scholarship in a non-profit, non-commercial, public interest context such as this. Still, I believe that even when "fair use" applies, it's often good (i.e. considerate & respectful) to inform & request permission of the appropriate parties when one uses their works, and will do so here.

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Maaliskuu 11, 2020 02:24 PM PDT

Kuvaus

Note the stalked inflorescence.

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Maaliskuu 11, 2020 02:13 PM PDT

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Maaliskuu 11, 2020 06:04 PM PDT

Kuvaus

Although the white petals may suggest T. albidum to some...the red connective tissue between the (laterally-positioned) anthers of the stamens indicates T. chloropetalum, which does have white-flowered forms.

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Maaliskuu 13, 2020 06:27 PM PDT

Kuvaus

A massive clump of Trillium chloropetalum...much bigger than I've seen at this locale in the past.

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Karvaorvakat Suku Punctularia

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Helmikuu 8, 2020 01:36 PM PST

Kuvaus

More "purple fuzz" fungus...found by Joerg on a piece of bark on the ground.

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Helmikuu 11, 2020 12:41 PM PST

Kuvaus

I believe the lichen here with the conspicuous orange apothecia is Teloschistes chrysophthalmus (see also images here and here). But I'd also love to know what the other lichens in the photo are (e.g. the leafy pale-green and white-encrusted one, and the other near the top of the photo with black apothecia).

Kuvat / Äänet

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Helmikuu 11, 2020 11:52 AM PST

Kuvaus

Apical fasciation on poison oak stems was epidemic along an area to the south of the trail here (in patches over ~60 feet long). Those who are familiar with poison oak (e.g. from too many rash-engendering encounters ;-) can identify it even when leafless by its smooth bark, fairly long internodes, and characteristic branching pattern. The 1st photo here also exhibits remnants of its tell-tale fruits.

An informative "Bay Nature" article on fasciation (by iNat contributor Damon Tighe) features an opening photo of a magnificently fasciated poison oak plant growing in the Oakland Hills (at Knowland Park).

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Kuvat / Äänet

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Helmikuu 11, 2020 12:49 PM PST

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Helmikuu 11, 2020 02:43 PM PST

Kuvaus

On initial view from a distance, the tan colored portions in the photo here appeared to be old leaves or other detritus. But if you examine the photo at full-resolution (click it twice), you can see that those areas are actually dense clusters of mistletoe fruits. We'd seen some Cedar Waxwings visiting clumps of mistletoe earlier in the day, and they were almost certainly after the mistletoe "berries".

The Jepson eFlora treatment of P. leucarpum ssp. tomentosum is here.

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Viola adunca

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Kesäkuu 4, 2015 01:15 PM PDT

Kuvaus

Note a (very) short stem (a diagnostic character of V. adunca) is visible in the upper right portion of the photo. There's also a fruit dangling just below & left of center of the image.

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Orvokit Suku Viola

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Helmikuu 8, 2020 11:54 AM PST

Kuvaus

We saw a small group of these plants along the Fall Creek Trail during a CNPS field trip in the Fall Creek Unit of Henry Cowell State Park. Initially the flower color brought Viola adunca to mind...though the open habitus (i.e. w/ long, lanky, erect petioles & peduncles), and shaded redwood under-story habitat seemed atypical in my previous experience with that species. Only later that night did I recall encountering & grappling with the identity of a similar-looking species in similar habitat 2 years earlier in adjacent San Mateo County. Upon study, that population was determined to be the introduced species V. odorata (for details see this CalPhotos post).

According to the Jepson eFlora Viola key (and also that in Munz) V. adunca and V. odorata separate by either having a (perhaps short) stem or being stemless, respectively. My photos didn't capture that character, so I'm posting them here under the genus for now...although I suspect these plants are likely V. odorata.

Indeed, almost exactly 8 years earlier (on 2/11/12), the very keen naturalists Brian & Eileen Keelan made this CalFlora observation of Viola odorata at approximately the same location as ours. There is also mention of a 1975 record of this species from Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park in the Annotated Checklist of the Vascular Plants of Santa Cruz County. ...though it's unclear whether that record was from the main part of the park or the Fall Creek Unit of the park (added in 1972).

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Diaea livens

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Helmikuu 4, 2020 12:12 PM PST

Kuvaus

"The most beautiful crab spider in California" according to Robert Z. Schick, author of 1965 "The Crab Spiders of California".

At the time of writing in 1965, this was called Diaea pictilis...a species described in 1896 and considered native to coastal California from Sonoma & Napa counties south to San Diego and into northern Baja California.

Only later was it synonymized with D. livens...a species of central & southern Europe and reaching east to Iran. Presuming that synonymy is sound, it suggests this may be an introduced species in CA.

For more details on the ID here (with lots of supporting links & references) see this companion BugGuide post.

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Helmikuu 4, 2020 12:58 PM PST

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Helmikuu 4, 2020 01:35 PM PST

Kuvaus

As pointed out by Sandy, there were a number of these "witch's broom" (cf. here or here) on the terminal ends of many bush poppy plants (Dendromecon rigida) along the trail here.

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Helmikuu 4, 2020 02:55 PM PST

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Karvaorvakat Suku Punctularia

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Helmikuu 4, 2020 03:20 PM PST

Kuvaus

This rather intriguing purple "mold"(?) was growing on bark at the base of a tanoak (Notholithocarpus densiflorus).

The flash brought out the color better...the color was more subtle-looking in the low light beneath the forest canopy.

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Helmikuu 4, 2020 12:42 PM PST

Kuvaus

Had to photograph this picturesque epiphytic Polypodium. I presumed in the field it was P. californicum...but checking the Jepson key I realized I can't really guarantee this isn't P. calirhiza or perhaps even P. glycyrrhiza. Maybe others viewers will be able to verify which species this is from the photo, location, & habitat?

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Helmikuu 4, 2020 03:29 PM PST

Kuvaus

Lots of this was seen in leaf under the redwood understory (of course)...but at this early point in the season this was the only O. oregana flower seen.

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Helmikuu 4, 2020 01:07 PM PST

Kuvaus

We saw a number of these on the hike...impressive!

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Rouskut Suku Lactarius

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Helmikuu 4, 2020 12:38 PM PST

Kuvaus

According to the key on pg. 47 of "California Mushrooms: The Comprehensive Identification Guide" distinguishing Lactarius from Russula depends on whether the fruitbodies do or do not (resp.) exude latex (white, orange, or red) when cut across the gills. I can't see evidence of exudate in my photos, and we didn't check by making a small "slice" in the field.

Some companions on our walk opined this was Lactarius deliciosus, and iNat's automatic ID matching algorithm also suggested the same. But the description of L. deliciosus in "California Mushrooms" states the cap of is "convex to plano-convex" and is illustrated as substantially gray...whereas the cap here appears appreciably "concave-up" (umbella-like) and all brownish-orange (or "br-orange"? ;-).

So I'm just placing to Lactarius for now.

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Kalifornianmansikkapuu Arbutus menziesii

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Helmikuu 4, 2020 02:54 PM PST

Kuvaus

Recently fallen madrone by the trail.

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Helmikuu 4, 2020 02:40 PM PST

Kuvaus

I used to know this as Helianthemum scoparius (e.g. see here)...which really seemed like it should have been a name for a composite rather than a member of Cistaceae! But now that's somewhat moot, as it's had a name change (cf. here).

At this early time, only this one flower was found open...even though hundreds of these bushy plants were seen (most of which hadn't even leafed-out yet).

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Helmikuu 4, 2020 12:45 PM PST

Kuvaus

Male catkins of hazelnut plants in this area were much more common at this early point in the season than the much smaller (& graceful & beautiful!) red-stigmas of the female flowers...of which only a few were seen.

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Helmikuu 4, 2020 01:19 PM PST

Kuvaus

Note the 4-lobed corolla...separating A. sensitiva and A. nummalaria from all other manzie species.

The Jepson eFlora key break between A. sensitiva and A. nummarlaria is based on old stem bark ("smooth & red" vs. "generally rough-shredding, gray or red-gray", resp.). I didn't photograph (or check) the old stem bark. But according to the key and descriptions, in the Santa Cruz Mountains only A. sensitiva is present.

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Ranskansukaheinä Polypogon monspeliensis

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Tammikuu 28, 2020 09:13 PM PST

Kuvaus

This iNat post was prompted by a novel field-observation of strange glowing-green "clumps" initially seen among rocks along a small creek within coastal oak woodland during overcast-to-drizzling weather. The scene appears in the photo from Joerg's post shown below (click it to enlarge):

.

At first glance from a distance, these "clumps" looked like happy patches of moss. It was only after a member of our group (Edith) looked closer that she realized one of the "moss clumps" was actually attached to the end of a senescent grass culm!

None of us in the group had ever seen such a thing, but it appeared to be a dead grass culm whose dense, withered inflorescence had retained much of its seed which was now profusely sprouting in place at the end of the dead culm. Numerous other dead grass stems from last year were seen in the vicinity with similar terminal "false moss clumps".

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Syyskuu 25, 2019 04:11 PM PDT

Kuvaus

1st photo show habitus of a typical plant of Wahlenbergia marginata as found at this site...where plants were a bit taller and less densely-bushy then in some other curb-side stations I've seen in San Francisco.

2nd photo shows "zoomed-out" view relative to the 1st, giving a sense of the type of disturbed habitat...a cement and asphalt covered road median. The plant in the 1st photo appears at the junction of the hardscape cracks at center-right of the 2nd image.

The plant in the 3rd & 4th photos was pulled from the upper left corner of the lid for the utility box seen on the ground at bottom-center of the 2nd image. The plant was scraggly and somewhat disintegrated compared to many others present there, but that allowed for a less cluttered image showing structure of the stems. Plus the taproot was anchored in unusually pliant inter-crack soil, and I was able to remove a full 32 cm of it before the point where it broke from its very-narrowly tapered distal end.

Hand gives a visual scale, and the red clip-board gives an exact scale (also 32 cm...when the root was stretched straight it was virtually exactly as long as the clip-board!)

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