Journal archives for July 2020

July 02, 2020

Identify Velvet Ants by Species

In the past I have received more than one spanking for misidentification of species. As of my last post of a Dasymutilla observation, I was able to ask an expert the following:
"What is the visual difference between aureola and magnifica?"
Many thanks to Kevin Williams, CURATOR.

Dasymutilla magnifica has a black head and thorax. It's hard to separate from D. klugii, and those are usually separated by distribution (D. magnifica mostly in California and Arizona hot deserts; D. klugii mostly in New Mexico and Texas).
Dasymutilla aureola is a Pacific species with a short thorax, thick head, and uniform white to red setae on the head, thorax, and abdomen.

  • as well, there are MANY excellent and fascinating photos too be found on the following project:
    Mutillids of the World

Posted on July 02, 2020 11:54 PM by jwparker2 jwparker2 | 3 comments | Leave a comment

July 04, 2020

Malta Star Thistle "Tocolote"

Scientific name
Centaurea melitensis
Additional name information:


Common name
tocolote, Maltese star thistle, Napa star thistle, Malta starthistle

Tocolote was brought to California during the Spanish mission period. The earliest record of its occurrence was seed found in adobe bricks of a building constructed in 1797 in San Fernando (Hendry 1931). It appears to have been a contaminant in wheat, barley, and oat seed and was widely distributed in dry-farmed grain fields. In one instance its seed was found embedded in an oat floret (Stanton and Boerner 1936). Seed is transported by humans, animals, or wind, similar to starthistle (Gerlach unpubl. data).

Posted on July 04, 2020 02:27 PM by jwparker2 jwparker2 | 0 comments | Leave a comment

July 13, 2020

Invasive Snails and Love Darts

ALWAYS something new!

This morning I read the following FASCINATING article from a friend of mine:

I then went out to the park, photographed and posted an iNat obeservation of same.

I was quickly reminded (again) that there were MANY iNaturalists with far greater expertise than I have....

And of course comes THIS little biological tidbit:

Posted on July 13, 2020 09:31 PM by jwparker2 jwparker2 | 1 comment | Leave a comment

July 18, 2020

San Diego Wire Lettuce

Fascinating discussion on complexities of identification.
San Diego Wirelettuce (Stephanomeria diegensis) from Flintkote Drive, Sorrento Valley, CA on December 02, 2015 at 12:54 PM by Jay L. Keller · iNaturalist

Posted on July 18, 2020 06:36 PM by jwparker2 jwparker2 | 0 comments | Leave a comment

July 24, 2020

Desert Plants and Flowers Info

These iNat folks are known as "efmer". They are a MOST EXCELLENT resource for flora of Anza-Borrego Desert.

Fred Melgert / Carla Hoegen
Joined: Jan 20, 2018 Last Active: Jul 24, 2020 Monthly Supporter since October 2019


2017-now: Creating a voucher-based list of plants that occur in the San Felipe Valley region (San Felipe Wildlife Preserve).

2008-now: Making the best flower guide / plant list of the Anza-Borrego Desert and surrounding area.

2010-2019: Field work to map the range of the recently discovers Malacothamnus enigmaticus.

Our seasonal bloom report:

Android and iOS flower app of the Anza Borrego Desert and surrounding areas.

Flower (id) site:

Hiking site with detailed info and GPS.



Posted on July 24, 2020 05:55 PM by jwparker2 jwparker2 | 0 comments | Leave a comment

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