December 23, 2013
Let's celebrate another year of L.A.'s AMAZING BIODIVERSITY. The benevolent blogger that I am, here are your gifts:
Twelve Rattlers Rattling
Eleven Potter Wasps Piping
Ten Flies Decapitating (decapitating ants that is)
Nine Dragons Dancing (in the L.A. River)
Eight Mantids a Milking
Seven Planarians a Swimming
Six Lizards a Laying
Five Foxes Ring-ding-ding-ding-dingeringeding!
Four Glowing Worms (yes, they're glowworm beetles)
Three French Opossums
Two Turtle Newts
and P-22 in the Hollywood Hills
Here's to another year full of amazing Los Angeles nature discoveries!
*P-22 image courtesy of the Griffith Park Connectivity Study
April 18, 2013
On Monday night, I found a glowworm while I was up in Griffith Park! That's right people, glowworms really do exist, and they're right here in our city.
No it wasn't a discarded 80s toy, like these (though I might have been equally excited if it was):
Photo taken by Astronit
It was like this:
Check out those sexy pectinate antennae!
This beauty of a specimen is a male Western Banded Glowworm, Zarhipis integripennis. I know it's a male because it doesn't glow and it isn't wormy. That's right, only the grubs and adult females (which resemble the grubs) can glow. I find it intensely odd and fascinating that these insects have evolved, such that the adult females look and behave similarly to the immature forms. Imagine what our lives would be like if humans did that! Okay, maybe not.
Want more information about this awesome family of beetles? Check out the University of Florida's page about them.