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July 12 -- Quail Hollow flower survey, general wandering

Did a flower survey for work at Quail Hollow. The diversity of blooming plants and the overall numbers of flowers has declined noticeably since last month and is dramatically lessened compared to two months ago.

Butterflies seemed more common than earlier in the season, especially on the Corethrogyne, which is one of the few species in peak bloom.

I saw two whiptails in a couple hours, both in hot, sandy trailsides near manzanita chaparral. Their weird jerky movements before they actually take off at full speed are really interesting. Does this style of movement scare bugs out of the duff?

My desire to see a Phrynosoma grows stronger. I wonder if there are any still left in northern Santa Cruz County? My guess is that they are still in the Pajaro hills somewhere, maybe in the Star Creek Ranch/Soda Lake area.

Dragonfly diversity is picking up. Wandering Gliders, Black Saddlebags, Cardinal Meadowhawks, Flame Skimmers... I just got Manolis' book and got and updated version of Alex Rinkert's list of QH odonates. Now to learn me some.

Posted by leptonia leptonia, July 13, 2016 14:46

Observations

Photos / Sounds

What

Acmon Blue (Icaricia acmon)

Observer

leptonia

Date

July 12, 2016

Photos / Sounds

What

California Whiptail (Aspidoscelis tigris ssp. mundus)

Observer

leptonia

Date

July 12, 2016

Comments

Cool stuff! I've never seen a whiptail before, I'll keep my eyes out for them.
When we went to (Mazda Raceway) Laguna Seca last year in March, we caught three Horned Lizards but saw more, maybe 7 total. They're really slow when they scuttle away. But this year when we went in May it was raining and we didn't see a single one.

Posted by izaj over 5 years ago (Flag)

Interesting about Wandering Gliders in QH. I've seen Spot-winged Gliders there, but never Wandering. I'll have to keep my eyes open for those. (Generally a good idea when hiking, anyway.)

Posted by jmaughn over 5 years ago (Flag)

@jmaughn - I could be wrong! I never got an image of the critter. I'll try to get a photo when I go back today. Both Pantala are on the most-recently updated list for QH.

Posted by leptonia over 5 years ago (Flag)

I love seeing all the whiptails out here in the Sierra foothills. I've been told one of the keys for finding horned lizards is finding good harvester ant colonies. Once you find a nice juicy anthill keep an eye out.

Posted by vermfly over 5 years ago (Flag)

@vermfly - I think part of the problem is that Argentine Ants are displacing harvesters here.

Posted by leptonia over 5 years ago (Flag)

That's really sad. I love seeing the hills of the big harvester ants. All of them hard at work carrying seeds and bugs.

Posted by vermfly over 5 years ago (Flag)

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