Flora and fauna of the Athens County area, and occasionally habitats outside Ohio. Subject matter will consist of both interpretive material and taxonomic issues in plant and animal identification.
Friday, September 23, 2011
What the heck am I saying. Back to business. Here's to a good quarter of Dendrology and Plant Ecology. This is a pic of my class measuring a 61 inch DBH Red Oak. Let's hope we find such interesting things again this year. School doesn't mean I have to stop blogging though. I've been busy all month shooting new photos. Below is just a random selection of extras you might say, but I have more theme posts on the way soon.
While not native to Ohio, for some reason Bald Cypress, Taxodium distichum gets planted quite frequently around the state. It's natural range stops just south in Kentucky. It looks nearly identical to Dawn Redwood, Metasequoia glyptostroboides. Don't use the cones, branches or growth form to try and separate them. Just look at how the leaves attach to the twig. Dawn Redwood is opposite and Cypress is alternate.
Monday, September 5, 2011
Andromorphs are females that mimic males. This female above is not normally blue. To what advantage is this character? Female Odonata take a beating during mating, especially when pursued by multiple males for repeated mating attempts. Regular females not receptive to mating simply fly away and hide. An andromorph female will turn and face males head-to-head in defiance, thereby not exposing her genitalia. This polymorphism is not only morphological, but behavioral. While these females do mate successfully, the gene is less prevalent in populations because males tend to give up on them and stick to the more abundant, normal looking females.
They do feed on other trees, but Black Locust is their primary host. Trees will re-leaf, and mortality usually only occurs during drought.
They latch on and begin chewing through the chiton of the exoskeleton. It will feed on the body fluids of the host. They stay on the outside (an ectoparasite) being careful not to kill the host. Upon maturity, the wax covered caterpillar will drop off, form this white cocoon, and hatch into a small black moth.
American cowboys use a lasso to rope cattle. In Argentina, the cowboys or gauchos use a Bolas. It is rope with round weights at the end for entangling the legs of livestock. The Bolas Spider spins a rope of silk with a weighted drop of a glue-like substance at the end. It swings it around and grabs the moth, pulling upward while it's stuck on the silk. Farm out!