Arthropodae in the back yard

by

Saturday, 13 April 2013

Sitting in the back yard, I heard little clicks from the nearby vegetation. I never found the live source of the clicks, but I think I know what they are. Locusts!  I have found the occasional cicada around the bay area over the years, but we may be in for an invasion this year.

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This empty shell is fairly small as such things go. Upon careful inspection, I find there are complete insects, hundreds more, thousands more, very tiny. I think the little bright specks drifting through the sunlight may be these things. The one in the lower left is also an empty husk, which suggests that they molt repeatedly as they grow. Not surprising, I guess, but I didn’t really know that.

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Does this happen every year, and I just never really noticed before? Or is this an exceptional year? I have no idea how many will mature, but it should be an interesting season. Watch this space.

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Of course, while poking around the house and yard with my camera, I came upon a wolf spider, this one busy enjoying lunch.

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As best I can tell, lunch is not a cicada. Too bad.

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And another tiny spider, this one with wonderful giant mandibles and bulgy eyes.

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