September 01, 2023

Galling all gall-friends: It's that time again! Gall Week September 2nd-10th 2023!

Gall I ever wanted...was it to be Gall Week again! Manually add your gall observations photographed September 2nd-10th to Gall Week September 2023 Project! Photograph galls anywhere in the world!
Challenge yourself to find the most species of galls in a day! Or the most species of galls on one tree! Or to see a new gall you've never seen before!
Catch you gall later,

Posted on September 01, 2023 03:58 AM by chyroptera chyroptera | 0 comments | Leave a comment

August 05, 2023

OdOlympics 2023 Bioblitz! August 19-27!

Join me in this bioblitz project focusing on Odes, aka dragonflies and damselflies! (Order Odonata)
Created and curated by Odonata Central:
Read the description and join the iNaturalist project here:
To find odes, check your local lakes, rivers, and ponds, especially those with a lot of emergent vegetation like rushes and cattails, but also local meadows, fields, ditches, and gardens!

Posted on August 05, 2023 02:35 AM by chyroptera chyroptera | 0 comments | Leave a comment

July 21, 2023

National Moth Week! July 22-Jul 30, 2023!

It's National Moth Week in one day! Join the iNaturalist project here:
Attend an event or just do your own thing!
I'm going to be moth-lighting most nights wherever I happen to be staying.
To moth-light: at dusk I turn on regular porchlights and/or a 395nm UV light (aka a blacklight or "purple party light") on the side of a building and leave it on until I go to bed around 11pm. I check every 30min-1hour to see what has showed up and take photos! Lots of moths (and non-moths) to be seen!

For moth photography:
The blacklight adds a purplish cast to photos and is not very bright, so I recommend using a flashlight to add extra light if you are taking photos with your phone.
I usually take photos of moths with my Olympus Tough TG6 Macro camera with the ringlight feature set to "on" and the white balance set to AWB-additionally, I turn on the flashlight on my phone and shine it on the moths to add extra light. Regular camera flash is usually too bright. The important thing is to find a moth that stays still and then experimenting with different techniques until you find the one you like!

If you check my recent King County, WA observations you can see all the creatures that visit the blacklight!
Pro tip: even if you turn off your porchlight/blacklight off at midnight to let the moths and other creatures disperse, be sure to check the same wall in the morning, as you may find "leftovers" hiding underneath objects and in the crevices, corners, and edges near your light!

Posted on July 21, 2023 02:15 AM by chyroptera chyroptera | 0 comments | Leave a comment

May 05, 2023

Interesting and Useful Projects on iNaturalist-ongoing

List of favorite and/or interesting iNaturalist projects (continually updated):
(need to add the list from the opening paragraph)

Wildlife disease:
(list from ) (not for feet, but as an example of a very specific project)

See "Favorite projects" post from the iNaturalist Forum (need to investigate some of these):

Posted on May 05, 2023 06:14 PM by chyroptera chyroptera | 0 comments | Leave a comment

February 16, 2023

Identification Resources-Ongoing

(The current plan is that this is going to be an ever-evolving post where I dump new identification resources.
Maybe I'll break up posts by Kingdom--let's see how unwieldy this gets!)

Identification resources:

Butterfly eggs
Moth eggs
Hemiptera eggs
Things mistaken for insect eggs:
ScaleNet-ID insect scales
Particularly useful is the "Ecological Associates" tab at the top where you can look up lists of scale species by host plants
Currently I look up host plant, then plug the scale genus into iNat for photos. Many species do not have photos on iNaturalist or even when searching the internet.

Tree cricket ID:
Nancy Collins’s iNaturalist bio has ID tips and sources:

Moths and butterflies in North America:
Miller, Jeffrey C.; Hammond, Paul C. 2003. Lepidoptera of the Pacific Northwest: caterpillars and adults. FHTET-2003-03. Morgantown, VW: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Forest Health Technology Enterprise Team. 324 p. (Online only)
Can look up photos by state. Useful to have a genus to start with.

Horticultural plant arthropods-some photos
(see long list on side of individual entry)

Kingdom Plants:

Seed resources (seeds often look like insect eggs or insects!)(Thanks @harsiparker !)

Common Mosses of Western Oregon and Washington by Bruce McCune and Martin Hutten (Book):

Mosses, liverworts, hornworts, lichens, lichenicolous fungi:
Rambryum's journal posts with excellent resources for identifying Mosses, Liverworts, Hornworts, Lichens, and Lichenicolous Fungi:

Book: Macrolichens of the Pacific Northwest by Bruce McCune and Linda Geiser
Overview of lichen forms Wikipedia (online):
The Lichens of British Columbia: Illustrated Keys by Goward, McCune, Meidinger (online):
Or at

Posted on February 16, 2023 08:53 PM by chyroptera chyroptera | 0 comments | Leave a comment

December 24, 2022

Be on the lookout for stem gall Diplolepis ashmeadi on Rosa nutkana!

Everybody! Just found out this gall existed! Be on the lookout for stem gall Diplolepis ashmeadi on Rosa nutkana! And maybe on other roses too! Only two observations in iNat! One in CA and one in OR!
See photos:
and @norikonbu 's observation:
@harsiparker @merav @naturesarchive @nancyasquith @chilipossum @anudibranchmom @megachile
Feel free to "at" people in the comments.

Posted on December 24, 2022 05:20 AM by chyroptera chyroptera | 11 comments | Leave a comment

September 04, 2022

Hey Gallfriends! Today starts Project Gall Week 2022! Sep 3-11!

Starts today! Be sure to join the project and add your gall observations
I'm going to challenge myself to get as many different gall species in the Bay Area as I can! (While working 4 days this week (ha ha!). And get some new gall species! Today I started in Contra Costa County at Mt Diablo SP to pick up Urchin Gall and Coral Gall (both uncommon on blue oak):
Urchin gall (attaches to the leaf)
Coral gall (attaches to the stem)
Tomorrow it's the Livermore Valley area of Alameda County to get various additional oak and willow galls and some on sage.
What are your gall adventures looking like?

Posted on September 04, 2022 03:46 AM by chyroptera chyroptera | 0 comments | Leave a comment

August 06, 2022

It's that time of year! Gall Week 2022! Sept 3-11!

Gall aficionados! It's that time again! Fall galls are upon us! To celebrate this lovely diversity, September 3-11 join me and a swarm of other people in photographing galls anywhere in North America and the world and adding them to the project Gall Week 2022! Let's see how many species we can find!

Posted on August 06, 2022 10:02 PM by chyroptera chyroptera | 0 comments | Leave a comment

July 25, 2022

Grindelia Gall Quest: keep your eyes peeled for more of these!

This all started with @naturesarchive posting this observation from Stanislaus County CA this month!:
I am in the east bay and I regularly see tons of Grindelia sp. but had not noticed any leafy galls on them before. I assume since the plants are so common they get passed over often by iNatters in favor of rarer wildflowers and flowers with more pollinators. Interestingly enough I was at a project site in Alameda County this week surrounded by Grindelia sp. and once I actually looked I saw leafy galls for the first time! So excited and wanted to post, but they were on private property, so I figured I would try to find them at a public location such as EBRPD Brushy Peak Regional Preserve which is somewhat nearby in the same habitat.
In iNat, I looked up which trails people had seen Grindelia, and set off this morning to find more leafy galls. I looked at 20+ Grindelia plants before finding my first one!
Looked at 20 more Grindelia plants and found a second!
The third plant with a gall I decided I would split it open to see if it was indeed an insect creating the gall as suspected, and if the gall actually had a chamber--I was in luck:
Chamber and larva confirmed!
One more gall from the day:
I bet there are many more leafy galls on Grindelia throughout the Bay Area and Central Valley! Keep your eyes peeled! (See a dried up version from Jan 2020):

Posted on July 25, 2022 05:15 AM by chyroptera chyroptera | 5 comments | Leave a comment

July 16, 2022

National Moth Week! 11th Annual July 23-31, 2022

National Moth Week is almost here! Anyone up for a night of moth-lighting?
List of events at:

National Moth Week, 11th annual, July 23-31, 2022

"National Moth Week celebrates the beauty, life cycles, and habitats of moths. “Moth-ers” of all ages and abilities are encouraged to learn about, observe, and document moths in their backyards, parks, and neighborhoods. National Moth Week is being held, worldwide, during the last full week of July. NMW offers everyone, everywhere a unique opportunity to become a Citizen Scientist and contribute scientific data about moths. Through partnerships with major online biological data depositories, NMW participants can help map moth distribution and provide needed information on other life history aspects around the globe."

Posted on July 16, 2022 03:33 PM by chyroptera chyroptera | 6 comments | Leave a comment

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