Insects of Joaquin Miller Park - Oakland, CA Download this page in PDF format.   Download this site guide in PDF format.  Upload photographs, etc. 




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About Joaquin Miller Park
Joaquin Miller Park is one of the City of Oakland's largest wildlands. Joaquin Miller passed in 1913 and the City of Oakland purchased 68 acres from his estate, as well as the adjacent redwood groves. Joaquin Miller Park covers more than 500 acres. Many of its trails lead to adjacent Roberts and Redwood Regional Parks, which are part of the East Bay Regional Park System. The parks is subject to many forays by ISMC photographers and annual outreach events through Oakland Parks and Recreation's Great American Backyard Campout.

Oakland Parks, Recreation & Youth Development (OPR&YD)
In 2014 OPR&YD asked ISMC to increase natural history education in this historic park. ISMC programs in the park fall under the OPR&YD umbrella. ISMC has had programs in the park since 2007. These include insect walks, observations, collection and photography. Artifacts from the park are on display in the park's Ranger Station.

Field Guide
Findings from this project may become part of an evolving Insects of the San Francisco Bay Area field guide. The Merritt College portion of the guide can be downloaded at the link that follows.
Virtual Field Guide
In addition to iNaturalist, the ISFBA Survey requests that photographs be uploaded to the ISFBA Dropbox account. Photos need to be *unedited* original photos that include the photography location in the filename. Photographs uploaded using the link below become a part of this website.
iNaturalist
iNaturalist is a citizen science app that uses crowdsourcing technology to pull together and serve observations about organisms all over the world. The ISFBA project uses iNaturalist to organize, view and interact with observations at Merritt College and throughout the Bay Area. Insects of the San Francisco Bay Area observations are organized into a project that can be queried, downloaded or formatted into a field guide. Be sure to view the videos. Look under the iNat logo at the left.
Photograph Uploads
In addition to iNaturalist, the ISFBA Survey requests that photographs be uploaded to the ISFBA Dropbox account. Photos need to be *unedited* original photos that include the photography location in the filename. Photographs uploaded using the link below become a part of this website.

Insect Photo Survey Date(s):

1998-2017

Cockroaches & Termites
Order Blattodea Dampwood Termites (Family Archotermopsidae)

Photo Date/Time: January 29, 2012
Location: Joaquin Miller Park
Photograph By: Eddie Dunbar

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Dampwood Termite
Zootermopsis sp. ( Emerson 1933 )

Importance: These termites will infest damp wood in structures.
Development: Colonies are founded by a primary reproductive king and queen. Thousands of primary reproductives fly at one time (swarm) and mates pair off. Reproductives remove their wings and excavate a small chamber. The chamber is typically under the bark of a dead tree previously entered by beetles, but these termites will also use other damp or waterlogged wood. The first eggs to hatch develop into soldiers. Subsequent hatches become workers. Unique to this Bay Area genus, Zootermopsis workers may change castes to become soldiers or primary reproductives. Additionally, the Zootermopsis have a fifth caste of fertile workers called "secondary reproductives" or neotenics which are darker and have wingbuds. There may even be a sixth caste of reproductive soldiers which have wingbuds and modified mandibles and abdomen. As the wood source in which the colonies are growing is depleted, more of the workers develop into winged reproductives. Dampwood Termite colonies do not move from one wood source to another. Colonies die out once the wood source has been fully consumed.
Habitat: Generally found in the rotting wood of trees, both living and dead. More common in the dead wood of fallen trees. These termites will also infest damp wood in structures.
Range: Wesern North America, Canada south to northern Mexico.
Diversity: Three species in North America. Two species in California: Z. angusticollis (Pacific Coast Dampwood Termite) and Z. nevadensis (Nevada Dampwood Termite).

Beetles
Order Coleoptera Ground Beetles (Family Carabidae)

Photo Date/Time: January 29, 2012
Location: Joaquin Miller Park
Photograph By: Eddie Dunbar

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Menetries' Snail-eating Beetle
Scaphinotus interruptus ( Ménétries 1843 )

Description: This beetle is shiny black on its all over except for the pronotum, which is matte; and the distal antennal segments are brown. Thorax: The pronotum is flanged and vertically stout. It narrows posteriorly to resemble a lady's bottom. At the margins it is strongly sinuate. Wings: Elytral intervals are "interrupted" especially at the sides, and the explanation (upturned, outer edge of elytra) has a faint bluish tinge.
Body Length: 20-25 mm.
Biology: These insects are nocturnal and forage for prey items at night. Eggs are typically laid under debris in late spring or early summer. Individuals overwinters as a larva, and possibly also as adults. Pupation occurs pupates in the spring.
Importance: This beetle is under investigation for its efficiency as a predator against the beneficial gray garden slug (Deroceras reticulatum), a pest on the invasive yellow starthistle (Centauea solstitialis). In California, yellow starthistle interferes with grazing livestock and outdoors recreation, and it is poisonous to horses.
Active Period: Adult beetles can be found from January to July, and September to December. Teneral adults can be found in June and December.
Habitat: On sterile sandy ground at the edges of rivers and streams and beneath ground debris that is moderately most in in woodlands, deciduous forests, coniferous forests, open grassy knolls, gardens, and in cultivated fields.
Food: The long, broad palpi of the beetle collect chemical cues that likely play a part in the detection of prey. Prey items include terrestrial snails and slugs. Locally, prey includes the gray garden slug (Deroceras reticulatum), the greenhouse garden slug (Milax gagates) and the European brown snail (Helix aspersa). The beetle attacks prey from the front. Attacks on slugs are more successful than on the snails. Snail secretions entangle the beetle's legs and discourage continued attacks.
Range: Restricted to California, including the Coast Ranges and the Sierra Nevada, south to Riverside County.

Beetles
Order Coleoptera Ground Beetles (Family Carabidae)

Photo Date/Time: January 29, 2012
Location: Joaquin Miller Park
Photograph By: Eddie Dunbar

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Millipede Ground Beetle
Promecognathus laevissimus ( Dejean 1829 )

Description: Adult: Body is elongate, with the head, thorax and abdomen separately ovate. All 3 main body sections are very smooth and shiny. Mandibles are prominent, longer than the head and curved at tip.
Colors: Entirely black with the integument as shiny as polished metal.
Body Length: About 14 mm.
Habitat: Among and beneath ground debris in forested areas where the soil is moist.
Food: This is a specialist predator on yellow-spotted millipede (Harpaphe haydeniana), other members of the genus Harpaphe and other polydesmid millipedes which spray hydrogen cyanide as a deterrent to predation. Hydrogen cyanide is a colorless, very poisonous and highly volatile liquid which makes these millipedes poisonous to most carnivores. When hunting millipedes the beetle straddles its prey and quickly moves toward the head, severing the ventral nerve cord with its mandibles. The prey is thereby paralyzed, circumventing the millepede's cyanide defense.
Range: Known from California, Oregon and Nevada.
Diversity: The genus has two species in in California. The other is P. crassus.

Beetles
Order Coleoptera Ground Beetles (Family Carabidae)

Photo Date/Time: July 13, 2009
Location: Joaquin Miller Park
Photograph By: Eddie Dunbar

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Contracted Bombing Beetle
Metrius contractus ( Eschscholtz 1829 )

Description: Adult: This beetle is, in all 3 body sections, wider than most other members of the Carabidae. The beetle is almost entirely black. The tarsi and tibae have golden setae. The distal segments of the antennae are brownish in color. Larva: The larva differs from those of other Carabidae (except some species of ozaenines) by having the epipleurites of the 9th segment and the tergum of the 8th segment transformed into a plate and by having the urogomphi antler-like and located in a vertical plane. Colors: Black, with extremities golden brown.
Colors: Black
Body Length: 9-13.5 mm.
Biology: When disturbed the beetle discharges a hot, quinonoid-based froth from gland openings near its abdominal tip. The discharge is accompanied by a faint hiss. It builds up over the gland openings and clings to its body, moving forward along the elytra if the beetle is attacked from the front. Typical of the bombardier beetles the defense glands are two-chambered, allowing chemicals to be combined and discharged from the combination chamber. However, the frothing mechanism is unique among bombardiers and is thought to be primitive.
Food: Examination of gut contents from adult specimens in California and Oregon reveal a variety of ant subfamilies are fed upon.
Distribution: California, Oregon, Washington and southern British Columbia.

Beetles
Order Coleoptera Long-horned Beetles (Family Cerambycidae)

Photo Date/Time: April 12, 2015
Location: Joaquin Miller Park
Photograph By: Eddie Dunbar

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Dimorphic Flower Longhorn
Anastrangalia laetifica ( LeConte 1859 )

Description: Males have phases with legs, antennae, head and thorax that are black, and with elytra that are black or that are brown with variable black patterning. Females legs, antennae, head and thorax are black, but the elytra is red with black spots of varying sizes.
Colors: All black, except for elytra which are brown in males and red in females, and variably patterned with black markings, often with a large black blotch in the center and a smaller, large black spot longitudinally centered on either side of each elytron.
Body Length: 7-13 mm.
Active Period: April-August
Habitat: Dry serpentine is one of many possible habitats. Also, oak woodlands, chaparral, and Yellow Pine forests.
Food: Floral hosts of adults include Calochortus (Liliaceae); Ceanothus (Rhamnaceae); Achillea, Heracleum (Apiadaceae); Eriodictyon (Hydrophyllaceae).
Host: Pinaceae
Range: In the western United States and western Canada.

Beetles
Order Coleoptera Long-horned Beetles (Family Cerambycidae)

Photo Date/Time: July 12, 2009
Location: Joaquin Miller Park
Photograph By: Eddie Dunbar

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Flower Longhorn
Xestoleptura crassicornis ( LeConte 1873 )

Description: Recognized by the orange antennae and glossy surface of the elytra. The elytra are also a little more parallel-sided. X. crassipes has the antennae black to yellowish-brown, and the elytra duller. Linsley, E.G. & J.A. Chemsak. 1976: Sides slightly tapering; elytra yellowish, usually with 4 transverse black bands.
Body Length: Male: 10-14 mm, Female: 11-17 mm
Development: Larvae utilize very moist wood in advanced stages of decay. Pupal chambers are constructed in the same material.
Flight Period: July to September
Food: Flower records: Cirsium, Gayophytum, Chrysolepis.
Host: Pinus, Abies
Range: Washington to Idaho and Sierra Nevada to southern California
Similar Taxa: X. crassipes

Beetles
Order Coleoptera Longhorn Beetles (Family Cerambycidae)

Photo Date/Time: August 8, 2008
Location: Joaquin Miller Park
Photograph By: Eddie Dunbar

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Ponderous Borer
Trichocnemis spiculatus ( LeConte 1851 )

Description: Adult: Uniformly very dark brown with rectangular bodies. Thorax: Lateral margins are lined with numerous tiny spines. Antennae: Long and thin. Larvae: Full grown larvae are thick-bodied, creamy white with a reddish-brown head bearing four toothlike processes just above the mandibles.
Colors: Very dark brown.
Body Length: Adults: 42-65 mm.
Importance: This insect plays an important role in fire ecology. Larvae, known to loggers as "timberworms", feed on trees that are already dead or dying. Feeding weakens tree reducing standing fuel available during fires. The mandibles of this beetle’s grub is said to have been the inspiration for the modern chainsaw.
Development: Females lay eggs in basal crevices of dead or dying trees. Larvae excavate very large, meandering galleries, first in the sapwood then deep into the heartwood. The life cycle is presumed to require several to many years.
Active Period: Adults fly from June to September and may be attracted to lights in wooded areas of Oakland.
Host: Grubs are found chiefly in Ponderosa Pine and Douglas Fir, but will also attack oak, madrone, poplar, apple, cherry, walnut, chestnut and some eucalyptuses.
Range: Western North America.
Similar Taxa: California Prionus (Prionus californicus) is similar in size, but is not as dark brown as T. spiculatus. Also, the antennae in P. californicus is pectinate.

Beetles
Order Coleoptera Leaf Beetles (Family Chrysomelidae)

Photo Date/Time: April 12, 2015
Location: Joaquin Miller Park
Photograph By: Eddie Dunbar

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Seed Beetle
Stator limbatus ( Horn 1873 )

Description: A very small beetle with black head and the antennae are bicolored, with the base being yellow and the outer segments black. The thorax is wedge shaped and black as well. The eleytra are mostly brown with a black triangle covering the base of the elytra and running down the center where the wings meet. There is also a black spot on the outer side of each elytra. The eytra don't cover the abdominal segments entirely so the abdomen is exposed beyond the elytra.
Body Length: 2-3 mm.
Development: The adult beetle lays its eggs on fruit/seeds damaged by other organisms or on fruit that has dehisced. The larvae hatch and feed on the fruit/seeds in which they were laid and do not leave their host seed until fully mature. The egg size is dependent on the size of the seed on which its laid.
Food: The adults feed entirely on seeds and the larvae survive on the fruit/seed in which they have been laid in, and require no additional food or water. Unlike most members of the Stator genus, S. limbatus uses a wide variety of different host plants, encompassing more than 70 species over its range, whereas other members are host specialists.
Host: They do their egg laying on a variety of different plants, Acacia, Cercidium and Paloverdes.
Range: California and the southwestern United States, south to northern South America.

Beetles
Order Coleoptera Leaf Beetles (Family Chrysomelidae)

Photo Date/Time: April 12, 2015
Location: Joaquin Miller Park
Photograph By: Eddie Dunbar

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Eucalyptus Leaf Beetle
Paropsisterna m-fuscum ( Boheman 1859 )

Description: The beetles are pale, with variable brown markings on the elytra and pronotum and sometimes with bright flaring at the base of the elytra. The larvae are larviform and pale green like the leaves they eat.
Colors: Adult: Gray to reddish brown. Larva: Yellow to greenish gray.
Body Length: 6-9.5 mm.
Importance: A serious pest of Baby Blue Eucalyptus (Eucalyptus pulverulenta) and in the forestry industry. Heavily infested trees may lose most of their leaves. While beetles are not known to kill trees, damage to tree is compounded against more than a dozen other eucalyptus pests introduced into California in the last three decades.
Development: Females lay eggs singly or in groups of up to 40. Eggs are bright orange becoming darker before hatching. Larvae may be up to 1 cm in length. The head is darker with the thorax lighter. The body tapers distally, is a dark yellow and is characteristically covered with a powdery substance. The last 3-4 terminal segments may have wide, darker patches. Six legs are concentrated forward, under the thorax and are very dark. Pupation occurs beneath loose bark or in soil at the base of infested trees.
Active Period: April through November, based on records in BugGuide and iNaturalist.
Habitat: Foliage of Eucalyptus trees.
Host: Eucalyptus spp. Notched leaves are often the only indicator that the insect is present.
Range: BugGuide or show records for California and South Carolina. In California, iNaturalist records show observations in Alameda Co., Contra Costa Co., Los Angeles Co., and San Diego Co., Sonoma Co.
Distribution: Native to Australia, introduced to California around 2003.
Similar Taxa: Australian Tortoise Beetle (Trachymela sloanei). T. sloanei adults are similar in size, shape and host, but is darker brown with blackish mottling. Larvae are more elongate than P. m-fuscum and darker, contrasted with the more compact larva of P. m-fuscum.

Beetles
Order Coleoptera Leaf Beetles (Family Chrysomelidae)

Photo Date/Time: April 12, 2015
Location: Joaquin Miller Park
Photograph By: Eddie Dunbar

030.Insecta.COL.Coleoptera.Polyphaga.Chrysomeloidea.Chrysomelidae.Chrysomelinae.Paropsisterna_m-fuscum[(COL02261)(01100147)(2015-04-12-15-05-56)].jpg

Eucalyptus Leaf Beetle
Paropsisterna m-fuscum ( Boheman 1859 )

Description: The beetles are pale, with variable brown markings on the elytra and pronotum and sometimes with bright flaring at the base of the elytra. The larvae are larviform and pale green like the leaves they eat.
Colors: Adult: Gray to reddish brown. Larva: Yellow to greenish gray.
Body Length: 6-9.5 mm.
Importance: A serious pest of Baby Blue Eucalyptus (Eucalyptus pulverulenta) and in the forestry industry. Heavily infested trees may lose most of their leaves. While beetles are not known to kill trees, damage to tree is compounded against more than a dozen other eucalyptus pests introduced into California in the last three decades.
Development: Females lay eggs singly or in groups of up to 40. Eggs are bright orange becoming darker before hatching. Larvae may be up to 1 cm in length. The head is darker with the thorax lighter. The body tapers distally, is a dark yellow and is characteristically covered with a powdery substance. The last 3-4 terminal segments may have wide, darker patches. Six legs are concentrated forward, under the thorax and are very dark. Pupation occurs beneath loose bark or in soil at the base of infested trees.
Active Period: April through November, based on records in BugGuide and iNaturalist.
Habitat: Foliage of Eucalyptus trees.
Host: Eucalyptus spp. Notched leaves are often the only indicator that the insect is present.
Range: BugGuide or show records for California and South Carolina. In California, iNaturalist records show observations in Alameda Co., Contra Costa Co., Los Angeles Co., and San Diego Co., Sonoma Co.
Distribution: Native to Australia, introduced to California around 2003.
Similar Taxa: Australian Tortoise Beetle (Trachymela sloanei). T. sloanei adults are similar in size, shape and host, but is darker brown with blackish mottling. Larvae are more elongate than P. m-fuscum and darker, contrasted with the more compact larva of P. m-fuscum.

Beetles
Order Coleoptera Leaf Beetles (Family Chrysomelidae)

Photo Date/Time: June 27, 2009
Location: Joaquin Miller Park
Photograph By: Eddie Dunbar

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Western Spotted Cucumber Beetle
Diabrotica undecimpunctata ( Mannerheim 1843 )

Description: These insects are widely mistaken for lady beetles, but are only distantly related. Adult: Elytra and thorax are pale green. Elytra with 11 black spots. Head, antennae and legs are all black.
Body Length: Adult: 5-9 mm. Larva: Up to 8 mm.
Importance: Adults feed upon and damage the leaves and fruits of many crops, including cucumbers, soybeans, cotton, beans, and many others. Cucumber beetles also spread squash mosaic virus.
Development: Eggs are laid at soil surface or below at the base of food plants. Larvae hatch in 7-10 days and begin to feed on plant roots right away and continue for 3-6 weeks. Pupation occurs at the base of host plants. Adults eclose in 1-2 weeks. There are about three generations a year. Beetles overwinter as adults and are active by the time the earliest melons are planted in spring.
Food: Adults prefer tender, succulent portions of plants, including the flowers and leaves, which they may destroy with their feeding, it is the damage to the surface of the melon that reduces marketable yield.
Range: Widely distributed across America north of Mexico, except north in the northern Rocky Mountains.

Beetles
Order Coleoptera Lady Beetles (Family Coccinellidae)

Photo Date/Time: January 29, 2012
Location: Joaquin Miller Park
Photograph By: Eddie Dunbar

030.Insecta.COL.Coleoptera.Polyphaga.Cucujoidea.Coccinellidae.Coccinellinae.Coccinella_trifasciata_subversa[(COL00341)(01100147)(2012-01-29-15-22-16)].jpg

Three-banded Lady Beetle
Coccinella trifasciata subversa ( LeConte 1854 )

Description: Adult: Elytra are red with a single, dark basal band. The pronotum is black with a white anterior margin. Larva: Pale yellow with small dark spots, notably paler than the larvae of other lady beetles.
Colors: Pale orange to red
Body Length: 4-5 mm.
Development: Females lay a cluster of small, pale yellow football shaped eggs, usually in the spring and summer. Eggs are fixed to the underside of a leaf where there are abundant aphids, and sometimes on other substrates. Eggs hatch in about a week. Larvae are light in color and resemble tiny alligators, turning darker as they mature. There are four instars before pupation. Mature larvae anchor to plants or other substrates. Pupation lasts from a few days to more than a week.
Active Period: Active from spring through summer months and on warm days of fall; diapausing through the colder winter months.
Habitat: Found on grasses, weeds, succulents and crops that host aphids in meadows, weeds, gardens and agricultural fields.
Food: Aphids and other soft-bodied insects.
Range: California, north to British Columbia.
Distribution: The west coast of North America
Similar Taxa: Similar to C. t. perplexa, but usually have the transverse bands reduced, interrupted or absent.

Beetles
Order Coleoptera Lady Beetles (Family Coccinellidae)

Photo Date/Time: January 29, 2012
Location: Joaquin Miller Park
Photograph By: Eddie Dunbar

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Convergent Lady Beetle
Hippodamia convergens ( Guérin-Méneville 1842 )

Description: H. convergens adults are flatter and more elongate than other Bay Area lady beetles. The pronotum is black with white borders on the forward and lateral margins and always bears a pair of white, longitudinal lines that converge posteriorly. Elytra are red to pale orange with a shortened white border where the elytra attach. Typically, there are 13 black spots, but spots may be merged or absent. The head is black with a transverse white stripe. Legs are black. Antennae are pale brown with a dark brown club.
Body Length: 4-7 mm.
Importance: H. convergens is used commercially for biological control in gardens and agriculture. They are effective predators in both adult and larval stages.
Development: Adults overwinter in masses in areas protected by trees or other land features. Females lay clusters of small, pale yellow, football-shaped eggs. Eggs are affixed where there are abundant aphids, but also on other substrates. Eggs hatch in about a week. Emerging larvae resemble tiny alligators. They consume their egg shells, then start to consume aphids. There are four instars. Mature larvae anchor to plants or other substrates, and flex if disturbed. Pupation lasts from a few days to more than a week. Eclosing adults are very pale with no visible markings, and darken over a few hours.
Active Period: Spring and summer into the autumn in warmer areas.
Habitat: H. covergens is found wherever aphids are present, in meadows, fields, agricultural crops, gardens, parks, and forests. They are frequently found in "ladybird wash-ups" on the beach and sometimes cluster in pinecones and log piles throughout the state.
Food: Both larval and adult stages prey on aphids and other soft bodied insects on plants. They will sometimes consume pollen. If no other prey is present they may cannibalize other eggs and larvae. Their first meal is the egg shell, then sometimes an unhatched egg or larval sibling. They can adjust their life cycle according to the availability of aphids.
Range: Common and widespread in North America, south to South America.

Beetles
Order Coleoptera Snout & Bark Weevils (Family Curculionidae)

Photo Date/Time: March 27, 2010
Location: Joaquin Miller Park
Photograph By: Eddie Dunbar

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Weevil
Curculionidae ( Latreille 1802 )

Body Length: 1-35 mm (usually 5-15 mm).
Food: Most larvae and adults occur and feed on all parts of plants, and many species are important pests because they chew holes in fruits, nuts, and other parts of cultivated plants
Range: worldwide
Diversity: Arguably, the largest animal family with more than 40,000 species worldwide and 2,500 species in about 480 genera of 19 subfamilies in North America (Staphylinidae and/or Ichneumonidae may turn out more speciose.).

Beetles
Order Coleoptera Soft-Bodied Plant Beetles (Family Dascillidae)

Photo Date/Time: April 30, 2016
Location: Joaquin Miller Park
Photograph By: Eddie Dunbar

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Soft-Bodied Plant Beetle
Dascillus davidsoni ( LeConte 1859 )

Description: Adult: Pronotum and elytra have a grayish pubescence due to scales. Older specimens, with scales removed, may appear brown or blackish. Wings are grayish with 2 irregular, darker transverse bands. Antennae are comparable in length to the antennae of Longhorn Beetles (Coleoptera: Cerambycidae). The third antennomere (antennal joint) is not longer than the fourth. Larva: Dorsally convex grubs, but not C-shaped grubs as in the Scarabaeidae or Lucanidae.
Body Length: 12 mm.
Habitat: These are fairly common beetles that appear on stems, leaves and other parts of plants, especially among grasses in the cooler parts of heavily wooded areas.

Beetles
Order Coleoptera Soldier Beetles (Family Cantharidae)

Photo Date/Time: June 27, 2009
Location: Joaquin Miller Park
Photograph By: Eddie Dunbar

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Soldier Beetle
Cantharidae ( Imhoff 1856 )

Description: Adult beetles are soft and somewhat flattened, with parallel sides, long legs and long, usually threadlike antennae. Many species colorful--aposematic. Lack light organs. Head typically protrudes (somewhat) from under pronotum--mostly visible from above, unlike in Lampyridae. Tarsal formula 5-5-5, with the fourth segment lobed. Common species have heads, antennae, pronota and legs are brown, red or orange with dark elytra. Elytra are soft. Larvae are usually velvety.
Body Length: About 13 mm long for common species.
Habitat: Adults mostly on vegetation, often on flowers. Larvae in leaf litter, under tree bark, loose soil, rotten wood, etc.
Food: Adults are often observed feeding on aphids, pollen or nectar on flowering shrubs and trees. Adults may feed on other insects, as well. Larvae are fluid-feeding predators on eggs of other insects and the larvae of beetles, butterflies, moths, and other insects.
Distribution: Worldwide and throughout North America.
Diversity: More than 100 species in California. More than 470 species in 23 genera in North America, more than 5,000 species in 137 genera worldwide.

Beetles
Order Coleoptera Click Beetles (Family Elateridae)

Photo Date/Time: December 29, 2010
Location: Joaquin Miller Park
Photograph By: Eddie Dunbar

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Click Beetle
Elateridae ( Leach 1815 )

Description: They are recognized by an elongate, narrow body form, with a large and free articulated prothorax and usually serrate antennae. Peculiar in being able to ""click"" and jump: if placed on their backs, click beetles use the flexible union of the prothorax and mesothorax (the prosternal spine fits into a groove on the mesosternum) to snap and jump usually falling right side up (in other beetles, the union of prothorax and mesothorax allows little or no movement). Body moderately to very elongate. Head usually prognathous. Frontal region highly variable, not or only slightly declined to vertical or inflexed at apex, forming frontal carina. Eyes usually large and protuberant, finely facetted. Frontoclypeal suture absent. Labrum free. Antennae usually 11-segmented and serrate, sometimes pectinate, bipectinate or flabellate. Tarsi 5-5-5, tarsomeres often simple, sometimes with ventral pubescent pads or membranous lamellae. Abdomen with five ventrites, the first four of which are connate.
Colors: Generally, black or brown; but some may have striking coloration.
Body Length: 1-75 mm.
Habitat: Found in all but aquatic and the most severe arctic and alpine habitats: adults on flowers/vegetation or under bark; larvae in rotten logs or soil. The larvae live in rotten wood, soil, litter and insect nests.
Food: Adults usually eat plants. Larvae eat newly planted seeds, roots, etc., some eat other insects.
Distribution: Worldwide, and throughout North America.
Diversity: About 970 described valid species in America, north of Mexico; an estimated 75-100 that are undescribed. Worldwide there are about 10,000 species in 400 genera, arranged into 17 subfamilies.

Beetles
Order Coleoptera Click Beetles (Family Elateridae)

Photo Date/Time: July 29, 2008
Location: Joaquin Miller Park
Photograph By: Eddie Dunbar

030.Insecta.COL.Coleoptera.Polyphaga.Elateroidea.Elateridae.Elateridae[(COL01470)(01100147)(2008-07-29-20-45-13)].jpg

Click Beetle
Elateridae ( Leach 1815 )

Description: They are recognized by an elongate, narrow body form, with a large and free articulated prothorax and usually serrate antennae. Peculiar in being able to ""click"" and jump: if placed on their backs, click beetles use the flexible union of the prothorax and mesothorax (the prosternal spine fits into a groove on the mesosternum) to snap and jump usually falling right side up (in other beetles, the union of prothorax and mesothorax allows little or no movement). Body moderately to very elongate. Head usually prognathous. Frontal region highly variable, not or only slightly declined to vertical or inflexed at apex, forming frontal carina. Eyes usually large and protuberant, finely facetted. Frontoclypeal suture absent. Labrum free. Antennae usually 11-segmented and serrate, sometimes pectinate, bipectinate or flabellate. Tarsi 5-5-5, tarsomeres often simple, sometimes with ventral pubescent pads or membranous lamellae. Abdomen with five ventrites, the first four of which are connate.
Colors: Generally, black or brown; but some may have striking coloration.
Body Length: 1-75 mm.
Habitat: Found in all but aquatic and the most severe arctic and alpine habitats: adults on flowers/vegetation or under bark; larvae in rotten logs or soil. The larvae live in rotten wood, soil, litter and insect nests.
Food: Adults usually eat plants. Larvae eat newly planted seeds, roots, etc., some eat other insects.
Distribution: Worldwide, and throughout North America.
Diversity: About 970 described valid species in America, north of Mexico; an estimated 75-100 that are undescribed. Worldwide there are about 10,000 species in 400 genera, arranged into 17 subfamilies.

Beetles
Order Coleoptera Darkling Beetles (Family Tenebrionidae)

Photo Date/Time: June 27, 2009
Location: Joaquin Miller Park
Photograph By: Eddie Dunbar

030.Insecta.COL.Coleoptera.Polyphaga.Tenebrionoidea.Tenebrionidae.Alleculinae.Pseudocistela_sp[(COL00923)(01100147)(2009-06-27-19-40-24)].jpg

Comb-clawed Beetle
Pseudocistela sp. ( Croctch 1873 )

Description: These beetles are characterized by an oval body, threadlike antennae, relatively long legs and tarsi quite elongated. Their most striking feature, however, are the combed nails of the hind tarsi, that show fine teeth. Pectinate claws gave the group its common name (not the only determining characteristic)
Colors: Specimens in the San Francisco Bay Area are entirely black, but other specimens are dark brown and may have areas of reddish brown on the legs.
Development: Holometabolous

Beetles
Order Coleoptera Darkling Beetles (Family Tenebrionidae)

Photo Date/Time: July 13, 2009
Location: Joaquin Miller Park
Photograph By: Eddie Dunbar

030.Insecta.COL.Coleoptera.Polyphaga.Tenebrionoidea.Tenebrionidae.Tenebrionidae[(COL00990)(01100147)(2009-07-13-00-07-31)].jpg

Fungus, Bark, Darkling and Blister Beetles
Tenebrionidae ( Latreille 1802 )

Description: One of the most diverse animal families. Usually dark, a few colored and/or patterned, sometimes with red. Body shape variable--elongated to more oval, usually flattened. Many large species are flightless and have fused elytra. First abdominal sternite entire, not divided by hind coxae (unlike Carabidae). Eyes usually notched. Antennae variable [thread-like (filiform), bead-like (moniliform), or clubbed], typically 11-segmented, with insertion concealed from above. Tarsal formula 5-5-4.
Biology: Many species have chemical defenses.
Development: Holometabolous
Habitat: Typically found under stones, decaying logs, bark, on bracket fungi, or on the ground. A few species diurnal, found in open. Many species are adapted to desert conditions.
Food: Many are scavengers of plant material as both adults and larvae. Some attracted to carrion, dead insects, dung. Some feed on fungus, often found under bark. Some are pests of stored grain and of insect collections.
Range: Worldwide and throughout NA, much more diverse in the western states.
Diversity: One of the largest insect families, with ca. 1200 spp. in ~190 genera in America north of Mexico (and almost 20,000 spp. worldwide); ca. 225 spp. east of the Mississippi River and almost 5 times as many in the West.

Earwigs
Order Dermaptera Forficulid Earwigs (Family Forficulidae)

Photo Date/Time: June 27, 2009
Location: Joaquin Miller Park
Photograph By: Eddie Dunbar

040.Insecta.DER.Dermaptera.Eudermaptera.Forficuloidea.Forficulidae.Forficulinae.Forficula_auricularia[(DER00707)(01100147)(2009-06-27-17-48-58)].jpg

European Earwig
Forficula auricularia ( Linnaeus 1758 )

Description: Male: Cerci (pincers) 4-8 mm. Female: Cerci 3 mm; tegmina 2 mm. Male cerci vary from about half as long to longer than the abdomen, broadened basally, with crenulate teeth basally and on beginning of curvature of inner margin. Antennae: 12 to 15 segments. Color: Adults are rich reddish-brown, with wing covers and legs dull yellow brown, and the wings completely developed. Large forceps of male distinguis this species from others in North American.
Colors: Abdomen very dark brown. Head dark brown. Elytra pale with dark areas. Legs pale. Cerci pale brown at center and dark on edges and at distal ends.
Body Length: 12-22 mm.
Wingspan: About 10-12 mm. However, wings are folded beneath the tegmina (leathery forewings) and are rarely visible. These earwigs do fly.
Development: Females lay clutches of eggs which she tends to keep clean and safe. Nymphs are miniature, undeveloped versions of the parents, with wings developing gradually on the outside of the body with each molt, the number of segments in the antennae also increasing with each molt, and the cerci develop from thin rods into the characteristic cerci of the adults. The female continues to look after early stage hatchlings.
Food: Omnivorous, and both beneficial and pestiferous. This insect will eat pests on plants as well as the plants themselves.
Distribution: Cosmopolitan, native to western Palearctic; widely though spottily distributed across NA; introduced from Europe around 1910.

True Flies
Order Diptera Root-Maggot Flies (Family Anthomyiidae)

Photo Date/Time: January 29, 2012
Location: Joaquin Miller Park
Photograph By: Eddie Dunbar

050.Insecta.DIP.Diptera.Anthomyiidae.Anthomyiidae[(DIP00470)(01100147)(2012-01-29-14-59-55)].jpg

Root-Maggot Fly
Anthomyiidae ( Robineau-Desvoidy 1830 )

Description: Small to medium-sized flies, usually yellow, brown, gray or blackish; well-developed calypter at base of each wing; resemble muscid flies but more slender; wings sometimes clouded with gray or brown; legs yellowish to black. R5 cell parallel-sided, 2A reaches margin of wing, at least as a fold; hypopleura without bristles, often only one sternopleural bristle. Except for a few species with distinctive color patterns, identification to genus requires observation dorsal and lateral views, views of leg and thorax bristle patterns, as well as the calypters, and antenna. Some genera can only be identified by dissection.
Importance: The genus Della in this family have important pests, including the Onion Fly (D. antiqua), the Wheat Bulb Fly (D. coarctata), the Turnip Root Fly (D. floralis), the Bean Seed Fly (D. platura) and the Cabbage Root Fly (D. radicum).
Development: Development is varied, based on the ecologies of the genera and species.
Habitat: Adults can often be seen on flowers in wooded habitats. They also are common in fields.
Food: Most larval Anthomyiidae are plant feeders, and their habit of invading roots gave them the name root maggots. Some species feed on dung, others are entomophagous. Adult flies are mainly predaceous, most frequently attacking other Diptera, often of the same family. Most entomophagous species are predaceous, although some species are primary, internal, solitary or gregarious parasitoids. A number of predaceous species attack the egg pods of grasshoppers and locusts, while the adults of other species are predaceous on other flies, often members of the same family. Most adults feed on nectar, but others may feed on pollen.
Distribution: Throughout North America and the world.
Diversity: About 640 species in about 40 genera in America north of Mexico. About to 2,000 species in 53 genera total worldwide.

True Flies
Order Diptera Leaf Miner Flies (Family Agromyzidae)

Photo Date/Time: January 29, 2012
Location: Joaquin Miller Park
Photograph By: Eddie Dunbar

050.Insecta.DIP.Diptera.Brachycera.Agromyzidae.Agromyzidae[(DIP00037)(01100147)(2012-01-29-15-19-36)].jpg

Leaf Miner Flies
Agromyzidae ( Fallén 1823 )

Description: Adults: Small, usually dark-colored, sometimes with yellowish markings. Most species are more easily recognized by the mines than by the insects themselves. Eyes: Compound, usually ovalar and fairly small, but larger and more circular in some species. Wings: Usually translucent and equal or slightly longer than the body. The calypter is small or absent. Abdomen: Moderately long, consisting of 6 segments. The female ovipositor has an elongated, telescopic ovipositor which is distinctive, highly scleritized and can be retracted.
Body Length: 1-5 mm, with most about 2-3 mm.
Biology: The biology of many species is yet unknown.
Importance: About 110 species are known to occur on cultivated plants and are considered pests. Larval mining may destroyed. Females which bit plants are also capable of transmitting pathogenic fungi or viruses.
Habitat: Adults occur in a variety of habitats, depending on the larval host plants.
Food: Larvae mine in the leaves, stems and seeds of many kinds of plants, but some feed on only plant species. Some produce galls.
Distribution: Worldwide
Diversity: America, north of Mexico: About 640 species in 19 genera. Worldwide: More than 3,000 species in 40 genera.

True Flies
Order Diptera Bee Flies (Family Bombyliidae)

Photo Date/Time: August 26, 2017
Location: Joaquin Miller Park
Photograph By: Eddie Dunbar

050.Insecta.DIP.Diptera.Brachycera.Bombyliidae.Bombyliidae[(DIP02559)(01100147)(2017-08-26-14-02-50)].jpg

Bee Fly
Bombyliidae ( Latreille 1802 )

Description: Hairy, often brightly colored flies. Legs usually slender, Wings often have dark markings, held outstretched at rest. Face not hollowed out. Eyes almost touching above, especially in males. Proboscis either short with broad tip, or long and used to take nectar. Hover and dart, rather like syrphid flies. Females sometimes seen hovering over sandy areas, dipping abdomen to oviposit.
Body Length: 4-40 mm.
Development: larvae undergo hypermetamorphosis: 1st instar larva is active and penetrates the host's nest, then turns into a sedentary parasitoid; pupa is equipped with spines/spikes to drill out of the nest
Habitat: females hover over their host's nest, often in dry areas
Food: larvae are mostly external parasitoids of holometabolous, esp. soil-inhabiting, larvae (Coleoptera, Hymenoptera, Lepidoptera, Diptera), slowly consuming the host completely without making a visible wound; a few are endoparasites, predators (esp. on grasshopper eggs), or kleptoparasites; adults take nectar/pollen.
Range: cosmopolitan; most diverse in semi-arid and arid environments (Yeates & Lambkin 2004)
Diversity: About 800 species in about 70 genera of 13 subfamilies in North America, over 5,000 spp. in more than 230 genera of 15 subfamilies worldwide.
Similar Taxa: Syrphidae are not as hairy and never have a long proboscis

True Flies
Order Diptera Thick-headed Flies (Family Conopidae)

Photo Date/Time: August 2, 2008
Location: Joaquin Miller Park
Photograph By: Eddie Dunbar

050.Insecta.DIP.Diptera.Brachycera.Conopidae.Conopidae[(DIP00747)(01100147)(2008-08-02-12-12-40)].jpg

Conopidae ( Latreille 1802 )


True Flies
Order Diptera Lauxaniid Flies (Family Lauxaniidae)

Photo Date/Time: August 26, 2017
Location: Joaquin Miller Park
Photograph By: Eddie Dunbar

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Lauxaniid Fly
Lauxaniidae ( Macquart 1835 )

Description: Small flies of woodlands, yellowish-brown or black. Wings often clear, but some groups, such as Homoneura, have patterned wings. Many have iridescent reddish/purplish or greenish eyes. Distinguished from other muscoids by the complete subcosta, no oral vibrissae and the postverticals converging. Lauxaniidae versus Drosophilidae: The easiest character to look for is the strong bristles on the frons (top of the head right above the eye). In most of our lauxaniids, there will be two strong bristles above each eye, both facing backwards. Drosophilids usually have one strong bristle facing backward, often a weaker one facing backward just in front of the strong one, but usually a fairly strong one facing forward as well. Many drosophilids have long rays on the arista of the antenna, while in most lauxaniids the arista is bare or has very short hairs.
Body Length: 7 mm or less
Habitat: Woodlands, forests. Moist shady places. Larvae occur in decaying vegetation.
Food: Adults may visit flowers. Larvae reported to feed on decaying vegetation in moist areas.
Diversity: 136 Species in 30 genera in North America, about 1,900 species in more than 180 genera worldwide.
Similar Taxa: Pomace Flies (Drosophilidae)

True Flies
Order Diptera Flower Flies (Family Syrphidae)

Photo Date/Time: April 30, 2016
Location: Joaquin Miller Park
Photograph By: Leslie Flint

050.Insecta.DIP.Diptera.Brachycera.Syrphidae.Syrphinae.Allograpta_sp[(DIP02341)(01100147)(2016-04-30-12-07-55)].jpg

Allograpta sp. ( Osten-Sacken 1875 )

Description: This genus is easily recognized due to the distinct longitudinal striped patterning of the apical abdominal tergites. In California species the fourth abdominal tergite has two pale oblique stripes. A. Obliqua has two central parallel yellow stripes bordered by a pair of oblique yellow maculae on both the 4th and 5th tergites. In A. obliqua, males have a pale crescent-shaped band on third abdominal tergite, whereas in female A. exotica the band is only slightly curved, and is flattened along its base.
Colors: Head yellow with dark red eyes. Pronotum black and yellow. Abdomen black with yellow stripes; ventrum yellow.
Food: California larvae prey on aphids, but some exotic species are herbivorous.
Diversity: 3 Species in America north of Mexico.
Similar Taxa: Other members of the Syrphinae lack the markings on the 4th abdominal tergite.

True Flies
Order Diptera Syrphid Flies (Family Syrphidae)

Photo Date/Time: March 8, 2014
Location: Joaquin Miller Park
Photograph By: Michelle Sawyers-Harris

050.Insecta.DIP.Diptera.Brachycera.Syrphidae.Syrphinae.Syrphinae[(DIP02134)(01100147)(2014-03-08-12-29-52)].jpg

Syrphid Flies
Syrphinae ( )

Description: Adults have bare humeri (postpronotal lobes), though these are often hidden by the concave posterior of their close fitting heads. Larvae have pairs of locomotory organs on the first six abdominal segments. These are not true prolegs because they lack musculature and crochets.
Importance: Efficient biocontrol agents and minor pollinators.
Food: Adult: Adults exploit pollen and nectar produced by native plants having large inflorescences and flat corollae (e.g. Apiaceae, Asteraceae, Ranunculaceae and Rosaceae). Larva: The larvae are primarily aphid predators. Some are generalists, others specialize in just a few species of aphids. Those in the Pipizini tribe specialize on gall forming aphids.
Diversity: About 300 species in 43 genera in America north of Mexico.

True Flies
Order Diptera Mosquitoes (Family Culicidae)

Photo Date/Time: July 29, 2008
Location: Joaquin Miller Park
Photograph By: Eddie Dunbar

050.Insecta.DIP.Diptera.Culicidae.Culicidae[(DIP00753)(01100147)(2008-07-29-22-02-05)].jpg

Mosquito
Culicidae ( Meigen 1818 )

Description: Wings with scales on veins and along margins; legs and proboscis long; antennae with 6 or more segments, plumose on males and short-haired on females.
Body Length: 3-15 mm.
Biology: Carbon dioxide, expelled in the breath of animals, attracts female mosquitoes that are looking for a blood meal. They detect carbon dioxide in the air and travel upwind to the source.
Importance: Female mosquitoes are vectors of major diseases, including malaria (caused by a protozoan), yellow fever (virus), filariasis (nematode), dengue (virus), and certain types of encephalitis (virus).
Development: Eggs are laid either on the surface of standing water or above the waterline in areas subject to flooding; eggs hatch in spring and larvae complete 4 stages of development before pupating; larva stage may last from less than a week to more than a month, depending mostly on temperature and species; pupa stage typically lasts less than a week; adults emerge directly from pupae at the water surface; from one to several generations per year, depending on species and latitude.
Active Period: Mostly spring and summer in temperate climates.
Habitat: Larvae are aquatic, developing mainly in standing water (temporary pools, water in discarded containers, saltmarshes, treeholes, etc.). However, some mosquitos, like some species of Anopheles, lay eggs in very slow moving streams and brooks.
Food: Male and female adults feed on nectar and plant juices and only females feed on blood because a blood meal is usually required for development of eggs. Females can feed on the blood of amphibians, birds, reptiles, and mammals - including humans. Larvae feed on algae, protozoans, and organic debris filtered from the water. However, a few species are predaceous on other mosquito larvae.
Distribution: Cosmopolitan.
Diversity: 174 Species in 14 genera in America north of Mexico; More than 3,700 species in 46 genera and 145 subgenera worldwide, arranged in 2 subfamilies.
Similar Taxa: Midges (Chironomidae) are similar in appearance, but lack the proboscis.

True Flies
Order Diptera

Photo Date/Time: June 28, 2008
Location: Joaquin Miller Park
Photograph By: Eddie Dunbar

050.Insecta.DIP.Diptera.Diptera[(DIP00835)(01100147)(2008-06-28-19-27-29)].jpg

True Fly
Diptera ( Linnaeus 1758 )

Description: Adult flies, except for wingless species, have two functional wings and two halteres. The halteres are club-like appendages that are essentially the modified hind wings. The only other adult insects that only have two wings in both sexes are the Strepsiptera, which have the front wings reduced rather than the hind wings. Males of some species of Mayflies and scale insects have only front wings. A few tiny parasitic wasps, e.g. Mymarommatidae, have their hind wings reduced, but these can be distinguished from flies as the wasps have only one vein in their front wings and flies always have two or more veins in their wings as long as their wings are membranous.
Body Length: 0.5-40 mm.
Distribution: Worldwide.
Diversity: Around 17,000 species in 2,222 genera of about 110 families in America north of Mexico. More than 150,000 species in about 160 families worldwide

True Flies
Order Diptera Horse & Deer Flies (Family Muscidae)

Photo Date/Time: July 29, 2008
Location: Joaquin Miller Park
Photograph By: Eddie Dunbar

050.Insecta.DIP.Diptera.Muscidae.Muscoidea[(DIP00763)(01100147)(2008-07-29-20-58-36)].jpg

True Fly
Muscoidea ( )


True Flies
Order Diptera March Flies (Family Bibionidae)

Photo Date/Time: April 12, 2015
Location: Joaquin Miller Park
Photograph By: Eddie Dunbar

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March Fly
Bibionidae ( Fleming 1821 )

Description: Body: Usually black, covered with long hair, thorax red or yellow in some genera. Antennae: Short, placed low on face. Eyes: Ocelli present. Males with large compound eyes, divided into upper and lower sections. Legs: Tibiae with prominent apical spurs. Pulvilli (pads) present beneath tarsal claws. Wings: Clear or dark, some have dark spot on the anterior margin. Anal angle of wing usually well developed.
Body Length: 5-12 mm.
Importance: Larvae may damage cereal crops, vegetable crops, ornamental plants, nursery stock, grass, and forage crops. Adult Bibio and Dilophus may be important pollinators in orchards and are the exclusive pollinators of some species of Orchidaceae and Iridaceae.
Development: Adults emerge synchronously in huge numbers and often form dense mating aggregations. Males form loose ""swarms"" and copulate immediately with females as they emerge from the soil. After mating, female bibionines dig a small chamber in the soil with their fossorial fore tibiae, lay eggs, and die within the chamber. Some species lay eggs on the soil surface. Adults are short-lived (3-7 days).
Habitat: Larvae live gregariously in the top layers of soil and leaf litter, rotten wood, and dung; adults often found on flowers.
Food: Adults feed on nectar or pollen, but also on honeydew and plant liquids associated with damage from other insect feeding. Some species do not feed as adults. Larvae feed on leaf and needle litter, decaying organic matter, also on subterranean structures of live plants. Some larvae are xylophagous and bore in the decaying wood of various deciduous trees.
Range: Worldwide; most diverse in the Neotropical and Palaearctic regions, but distribution patterns vary considerably between genera.
Diversity: About 60 species in 6 genera in our area. More than 1,100 species in 12 genera total.

True Flies
Order Diptera Blow Flies (Family Calliphoridae)

Photo Date/Time: January 29, 2012
Location: Joaquin Miller Park
Photograph By: Brad Smith

050.Insecta.DIP.Diptera.Oestroidea.Calliphoridae.Chrysomyinae.Chrysomyinae[(DIP01406)(01100147)(2012-01-29-15-04-56)].jpg

Blow Flies
Chrysomyinae ( )


True Flies
Order Diptera Flesh Flies (Family Sarcophagidae)

Photo Date/Time: August 26, 2017
Location: Joaquin Miller Park
Photograph By: Eddie Dunbar

050.Insecta.DIP.Diptera.Sarcophagidae.Sarcophagidae[(DIP02561)(01100147)(2017-08-26-13-02-23)].jpg

Flesh Fly
Sarcophagidae ( Macquart 1834 )

Description: Similar to blowflies, but generally blackish with gray thoracic stripes (never metallic); 3 lateral black lines on a gray background.
Food: Adults feed on various sugar-containing materials such as nectar, sap, fruit juices and honeydew. Larvae: many species are necrophagous, but some feed in mammalian tissues or parasitize other arthropods (bees, cicadas, termites, grasshoppers/locusts, millipedes), earthworms, or snails.
Range: Worldwide and throughout North America.
Diversity: About 400 species in 49 genera in our area. About 3,100 species in more than 170 genera worldwide.

True Flies
Order Diptera Dung Flies (Family Scathophagidae)

Photo Date/Time: August 26, 2017
Location: Joaquin Miller Park
Photograph By: Eddie Dunbar

050.Insecta.DIP.Diptera.Scathophagidae.Scathophaga_stercoraria[(DIP00362)(01100147)(2017-08-26-13-48-09)].jpg

Golden Hair Dung Fly
Scathophaga stercoraria ( Linnaeus 1758 )

Body Length: 5-12 mm.

True Flies
Order Diptera Dung Flies (Family Scathophagidae)

Photo Date/Time: August 26, 2017
Location: Joaquin Miller Park
Photograph By: Eddie Dunbar

050.Insecta.DIP.Diptera.Scathophagidae.Scathophaga_stercoraria[(DIP00362)(01100147)(2017-08-26-13-57-19)].jpg

Golden Hair Dung Fly
Scathophaga stercoraria ( Linnaeus 1758 )

Body Length: 5-12 mm.

True Flies
Order Diptera Tachinid Flies (Family Tachinidae)

Photo Date/Time: December 29, 2010
Location: Joaquin Miller Park
Photograph By: Eddie Dunbar

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Tachinid Fly
Tachinidae ( Robineau-Desvoidy 1830 )


True Bugs, Cicadas, Hoppers, Aphids & Allies
Order Hemiptera

Photo Date/Time: July 29, 2008
Location: Joaquin Miller Park
Photograph By: Eddie Dunbar

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True Bug
Heteroptera ( Latreille 1810 )


True Bugs, Cicadas, Hoppers, Aphids & Allies
Order Hemiptera Seed Bugs (Family Lygaeidae)

Photo Date/Time: October 5, 2009
Location: Joaquin Miller Park
Photograph By: Eddie Dunbar

090.Insecta.HET.Hemiptera.Heteroptera.Lygaeidae.Lygaeidae[(HET01512)(01100147)(2009-10-05-11-17-26)].jpg

Seed Bug
Lygaeidae ( Schilling 1829 )


True Bugs, Cicadas, Hoppers, Aphids & Allies
Order Hemiptera Plant Bugs (Family Miridae)

Photo Date/Time: June 28, 2008
Location: Joaquin Miller Park
Photograph By: Eddie Dunbar

090.Insecta.HET.Hemiptera.Heteroptera.Miroidea.Miridae.Orthotylinae.Paraproba_pendula[(HET00183)(01100147)(2008-06-28-20-05-05)].jpg

Mirid Plant Bug
Paraproba pendula ( Van Duzee 1914 )


True Bugs, Cicadas, Hoppers, Aphids & Allies
Order Hemiptera Stink Bugs (Family Pentatomidae)

Photo Date/Time: July 29, 2008
Location: Joaquin Miller Park
Photograph By: Eddie Dunbar

090.Insecta.HET.Hemiptera.Heteroptera.Pentatomidae.Pentatomidae[(HET00122)(01100147)(2008-07-29-21-13-36)].jpg

Stink Bug
Pentatomidae ( Leach 1815 )

Description: Body: Broad, shield-shaped. Head: Relatively small and often "tucked into" a concavity in anterior margin of pronotum. Antennae: 5-segmented. Scutellum: Large and triangular. Eyes: Ocelli present.
Body Length: 5-18 mm.
Development: Barrel-shaped eggs are laid on the underside of leaves in clusters with tight rows; in early spring, overwintered adult females seek out suitable hosts and typically deposit their eggs on wild host plants. Overwintering populations are commonly found along field borders, particularly along tree lines near their overwintering sites. Later-developing cultivated plants become more attractive when these initial wild hosts dry down, and their proximity allows easy access for stink bug colonization in crops; emerging nymphs are gregarious and remain on/near the egg mass, then begin to feed and disperse as they grow. Overwinter usually as adults under ground cover or leaf litter. Eggs generally laid in spring; uni- to multi- voltine. Overwintering adults often become conspicuous guests in homes; many spp. come to lights, sometimes in numbers.
Active Period: Spring through fall.
Food: The majority are herbivorous, but members of the subfamily Asopinae are predaceous on other insects. Both adults and nymphs of plant-feeding species may damage plants, mostly by piercing the plant tissues and thus opening a path for pathogens to enter the plant. Many species, whether primarily herbivorous or predaceous, are generalist feeders.
Range: Worldwide and throughout North America.

True Bugs, Cicadas, Hoppers, Aphids & Allies
Order Hemiptera Spittlebugs (Family Cercopidae)

Photo Date/Time: July 12, 2009
Location: Joaquin Miller Park
Photograph By: Eddie Dunbar

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Cone Spittlebug
Aphrophora princeps ( Walley 1928 )

Description: Adults: The Aphrophora are distinguished from all other Cercopidae by the following combination of characters: third antennal segment lacking sensory setae; metatibiae with more than one row of spines in apical crown; rostrum extending at least to hind coxae, its apical segment at least half again as long as the preapical one; aedeagus membranous, or at least in part membranous; hemelytra with radius and media each two branched in discal area. Nymph: Spittlebug nymphs are easily recognizable. They cover their bodies with fluids sucked from plants, forcing air into this fluid to form a frothy mass of bubbles. Aphrophora nymphs have 9 antennal segments, but this is not diagnostic.
Body Length: (M) 7.8-9.1 mm, (F) 9.2 mm.
Range: Coastal regions from north from California to British Columbia.

True Bugs, Cicadas, Hoppers, Aphids & Allies
Order Hemiptera Leafhoppers (Family Cicadellidae)

Photo Date/Time: August 2, 2008
Location: Joaquin Miller Park
Photograph By: Eddie Dunbar

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Bluegreen Sharpshooter
Hordnia atropunctata ( Signoret 1854 )

Importance: Vector of Pierce's disease of grape in coastal California.
Host: Associated with vines and woody plants.

True Bugs, Cicadas, Hoppers, Aphids & Allies
Order Hemiptera Leafhoppers (Family Cicadellidae)

Photo Date/Time: August 2, 2008
Location: Joaquin Miller Park
Photograph By: Eddie Dunbar

100.Insecta.HOM.Hemiptera.Auchenorrhyncha.Cicadoidea.Cicadellidae.Cicadellinae.Hordnia_atropunctata[(HOM00146)(01100147)(2008-08-02-12-46-30)].jpg

Bluegreen Sharpshooter
Hordnia atropunctata ( Signoret 1854 )

Importance: Vector of Pierce's disease of grape in coastal California.
Host: Associated with vines and woody plants.

True Bugs, Cicadas, Hoppers, Aphids & Allies
Order Hemiptera Leafhoppers (Family Cicadellidae)

Photo Date/Time: July 12, 2009
Location: Joaquin Miller Park
Photograph By: Eddie Dunbar

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Leafhopper
Chlorotettix sp. ( Van Duzee 1892 )

Range: California, north into Canada and south to Argentina.
Diversity: 45 Species in America north of Mexico. About 120 species total.

True Bugs, Cicadas, Hoppers, Aphids & Allies
Order Hemiptera Soft Scale Insects (Family Coccidae)

Photo Date/Time: April 12, 2015
Location: Joaquin Miller Park
Photograph By: Eddie Dunbar

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Kuno Scale
Eulecanium kunoense ( Kuwana 1907 )

Body Length: 3-4 mm
Biology: One generation per year (March - May).
Habitat: Stone fruit trees; apple trees; pear trees.
Range: Introduced from the orient. Has been in California since at least 1896. As of 1988, was known only in Bay Area counties (Alameda, Santa Clara, Contra Costa) and Lake, Butte, and Sacramento counties.

Ants, Bees and Wasps
Order Hymenoptera Bees (Family Apidae)

Photo Date/Time: August 2, 2008
Location: Joaquin Miller Park
Photograph By: Eddie Dunbar

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Bee
Apidae ( )

Diversity: America, north of Mexico: 3 Subfamilies, with about 1,000 species in 50 genera in our area and about 5,750 species in more than 200 genera worldwide. Apidae is the largest family within the superfamily Apoidea. The family includes some of the most commonly seen bees, including bumblebees and honey bees, but also includes stingless bees (also used for honey production), carpenter bees, orchid bees, cuckoo bees, and a number of other less widely known groups. Many are valuable pollinators in natural habitats and for agricultural crops.

Ants, Bees and Wasps
Order Hymenoptera Plasterer & Masked Bees (Family Colletidae)

Photo Date/Time: August 2, 2008
Location: Joaquin Miller Park
Photograph By: Eddie Dunbar

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Masked Bee
Hylaeus sp. ( Fabricius 1793 )

Description: These are small, black and yellow/white wasp-like bee species. The resemblance to wasps is enhanced by the absence of ventral abdominal hairs used to collect pollen, a feature typical among bees. Hylaeus often have the clypeus (plate above the labium) yellow to which it owes its name masked bee.
Nesting: Like most colletids, the liquid provisions are sealed inside a membranous cellophane-like cell lining; nests are typically in dead twigs or plant stems, or other similarly small natural cavities, rather than constructing or excavating their own nests as in many other bees.
Distribution: Worldwide
Diversity: 51 spp. in 8 subgenera in North America, 739 spp. in 52 subgenera worldwide.

Ants, Bees and Wasps
Order Hymenoptera Leaf-cutter & Mason Bees (Family Megachilidae)

Photo Date/Time: July 12, 2009
Location: Joaquin Miller Park
Photograph By: Eddie Dunbar

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Mason Bee
Osmia sp. ( Panzer 1806 )

Description: Metallic green, blue or blue-green, with short, robust body.
Body Length: 5-15 mm.
Development: Variety of nesting; some excavate in the soil, others use hollow stems. They partition the cells with walls made of clay or other materials.
Active Period: Most species early-late spring, a few active in summer.
Food: Many species visit Vaccinium, including blueberries, and other Ericaceae.
Range: Holarctic, with 1 sp. ranging into the Neotropics.
Diversity: About 150 species in 9 subgenera in North America, and more than 350 species in 23 subgenera worldwide.

Ants, Bees and Wasps
Order Hymenoptera Spider Wasps (Family Pompilidae)

Photo Date/Time: July 12, 2009
Location: Joaquin Miller Park
Photograph By: Eddie Dunbar

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Spider Wasp
Pompilidae ( Fabricius 1798 )

Description: These wasps are typically dark colored with smoky or yellowish wings. A few are brightly colored. Bodies are slender. Legs and long and spiny. The hind femora typically extends beyond the end of abdomen. Tibiae of rear legs have two prominent spines at apex. Wings are not folded flat on top of abdomen. Mesopleuron has a transverse suture. Like the Vespidae, the Pompilidae have the pronotum extending back to the tegulae, the pronotum thus appearing triangular when viewed from the side and horseshoe-shaped when viewed from above.
Biology: These wasps are solitary. Adults may be seen at flowers on in search of prey on the ground. These wasps are efficient fliers.
Development: Adult females paralyze spiders. Spiders are carried to a burrow where a single egg is laid on the abdomen of spider. The outermost chamber of the burrow is filled with dead ants that are a chemical barrier against predators. The larva hatches and feeds on the still-living spider, consuming its vital organs last. There are five instars. Pupation occurs in a silken cocoon. Eclosion typically occurs the following summer, but wasps may overwinter in the burrow.
Food: Larvae feed on spiders. In some groups the females sting and paralyze their prey and then transport it to a specially constructed nest before laying an egg; in others, leave the paralyzed spider in its nest and lay an egg upon it.
Host: A variety of spiders may be hosts, including wolf spiders (Lycosidae).
Diversity: ~300 species in about 40 genera in North America. About 5,000 species worldwide.

Ants, Bees and Wasps
Order Hymenoptera Stem Sawflies (Family Cephidae)

Photo Date/Time: June 27, 2009
Location: Joaquin Miller Park
Photograph By: Eddie Dunbar

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Stem Sawfly
Calameuta clavata ( Norton 1869 )


Ants, Bees and Wasps
Order Hymenoptera Common Sawflies (Family Tenthredinidae)

Photo Date/Time: January 29, 2012
Location: Joaquin Miller Park
Photograph By: Eddie Dunbar

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Sawfly
Tenthredinidae ( Latreille 1802 )

Description: Wasplike, often brightly colored, often found on flowers. Larva eruciform. They usually coil the body (or the posterior end) over the edge of the leaf.
Body Length: 5-20 mm.
Importance: Some species are serious pests of ornamentals and in agriculture.
Development: Usually a single generation a year. Overwinters in the ground or in protected places as a pupa or cocoon.
Food: Most of the larvae feed on foliage, but a few are leaf miners or stem borers.
Diversity: More than 900 species in more than 100 genera of 6-7 subfamilies in America north of Mexico about 7,500 species in almost 600 genera worldwide.

Butterflies & Moths
Order Lepidoptera (Family Depressariidae)

Photo Date/Time: July 29, 2008
Location: Joaquin Miller Park
Photograph By: Eddie Dunbar

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Agonopterix alstroemeriana ( Clerck 1759 )

Description: Adult: forewing creamy or pale brown with whitish area at base and a large dark squarish blotch that touches the costa mid-way along the wing; a short broken dark line runs obliquely just above the blotch; a few dark spots usually present along the wing fringe, and several small dots may be scattered across the wing. Larva: changes color and markings as it matures, from clear whitish-yellow (early instars) to black-dotted greenish (late instars).
Body Length: Larva: Up to 12 mm.
Wingspan: 17-19 mm.
Development: Overwinters as an adult.
Active Period: Larvae: May to July
Flight Period: April to August
Habitat: Fields, roadsides, waste places - wherever the host plant (Poison Hemlock) occurs; adults attracted to artificial light.
Host: Larvae feed exclusively on Poison Hemlock (Conium maculatum), which was introduced to North America from Europe in the 1800s. The caterpillar feeds on the plant leaves, buds, stem, flowers and immature speeds in spring and early summer.
Distribution: Introduced to the United States accidentally from Europe and has become established, naturally, in western States including California, Oregon, Utah, Idaho and Colorado. Introduced about 1973 to the U.S. by accident.

Butterflies & Moths
Order Lepidoptera Geometer Moths (Family Geometridae)

Photo Date/Time: June 23, 2012
Location: Joaquin Miller Park
Photograph By: Eddie Dunbar

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Geometer Moth
Geometridae ( Leach 1815 )

Description: Adult - usually have slender bodies and relatively large, broad forewings, often crossed by thin wavy lines; females of some species are wingless or have flightless atrophied wings. When at rest, many geometrid moths hold their wings away from the body and flat against the substrate (in contrast to most noctuid moths, which tend to fold their wings over their abdomen); some species/genera hold their wings in a characteristic position such as: flat & at right-angles to the body, or inclined 45 degrees above horizontal, or vertically over their back like a butterfly. Forewing cubitus vein appears 3-branched; hindwing subcostal vein bends abruptly downward at base. Larva - generally have only two pairs of prolegs (at the hind end) rather than the usual five pairs in most lepidoptera; the lack of prolegs in the middle of the body necessitates the peculiar method of locomtion, drawing the hind end up to the thoracic legs to form a loop, and then extending the body forward. Adults small to medium-sized.
Wingspan: 15-50 mm.
Habitat: Larvae found on host plants in various vegetated habitats. Adults usually nearby, but most are nocturnal and attracted to light; a number of species are day-flying.
Food: Most larvae feed on the leaves of woody plants (coniferous and deciduous trees, shrubs); some species eat herbaceous plants. Many species are economically important pests of fruit trees, forest trees, and berry crops.
Range: Throughout North America and the world.
Diversity: More than 1,400 species in 6 subfamilies in North America. About 35,000 species worldwide.

Butterflies & Moths
Order Lepidoptera Geometer Moths (Family Geometridae)

Photo Date/Time: June 23, 2012
Location: Joaquin Miller Park
Photograph By: Eddie Dunbar

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Cervinaria Slantline Moth
Tetracis cervinaria ( Packard 1871 )

Description: Adult - Medium-sized (typical FWL: 16–26 mm) moths varying in color from white, yellow, ochreous, to dark gray, and chocolate brown. Male antenna nearly filiform (laminate, prismatic or serrate) or bipectinate; female antenna essentially filiform, densely setose ventrally. PM line present, but AM line may be absent; varying patterns of dark maculation may be present. Wing outer margins arcuate at vein M3. No patch of setae or comb on male third abdominal sternite. Ferris and Schmidt, 2010. Wings - Angular and conspicuously pointed, light to dark brown (mimicing autumn leaves) with distinct AM and PM lines. Larva: yellowish to brownish twig mimic with dorsal hump on thorax. DFW apex strongly falcate; males tawny or cinnamon-tan with narrow pale ochre AM and PM lines with or without dark edging, PM line nearly straight, MB frequently darker; females often orange or cinnamon-rufous with well defined brown or brownish-orange AM and PM lines with usually darker MB. DHW with nearly straight median line duplicating color of PM line, in some examples there is a distal indistinct convex dark satellite line originating from the top to the middle of the median line; small FW and HW discal dots are present. Ventrally the dorsal markings are repeated to some degree depending upon individual specimens; there is also a widely distributed speckling by dark scales. Larva: a twig mimic; body light green to greenish-brown; dorsal hump on second thoracic segment; small dorsal wart on abdominal segments four and five.
Wingspan: Forewing length 19-23 mm.
Biology: One generation per year; overwinters as an egg
Development: One generation per year; overwinters as an egg.
Flight Period: Adults fly as early as February into June, with female stragglers into mid-July
Habitat: Deciduous, mixed, and coniferous forests and shrublands; adults are nocturnal and attracted to light.
Food: Two confirmed hosts in northern California for cervinaria are Prunus emarginata and P. virginiana, Ferris and Schmidt, 2010. Older information indicates larvae may also feed on leaves of alder, Bitterbrush (Purshia tridentata), cascara, Ceanothus species, Madrone (Arbutus menziesii), manzanita (Arctostaphylos spp.), willow. A variety of broad-leaved trees and shrubs.
Range: Western United States and southwestern Canada

Butterflies & Moths
Order Lepidoptera Geometer Moths (Family Geometridae)

Photo Date/Time: June 23, 2012
Location: Joaquin Miller Park
Photograph By: Eddie Dunbar

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Pug Moth
Eupithecia sp. ( Curtis 1825 )

Description: Eupithecia species form the bulk of the group commonly known as pugs. They are generally small with mottled coloring. Many are nondescript. Many require dissection for identification and there are many undescribed species. Adults at rest often hold their long forewings (with hindwings hidden beneath) at right-angles to the body, giving a distinctive ""soaring hawk"" appearance.
Wingspan: About 15 mm.
Habitat: Adults are commonly attracted to porch and other artificial lights.
Food: Larvae feed mostly on Asteraceae and also other plant families, preferring to eat the flowers and seeds, rather than the leaves and stems. Many species have a very specific food plant. Some Hawaiian Eupithecia are predators of other insects.
Distribution: Throughout most of the United States and Canada.
Diversity: By far the largest moth genus with over 1,400 species worldwide. About 160 Eupithecia species are found in America north of Mexico. 62 species in Canada. Several species are Holarctic.

Butterflies & Moths
Order Lepidoptera

Photo Date/Time: July 29, 2008
Location: Joaquin Miller Park
Photograph By: Eddie Dunbar

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Moths
Heterocera ( )

Description: Adult: Adults usually have feathery, thickened, or threadlike antennae, contrasted with knobbed or hooked antennae in butterflies, including the skippers (Hesperiidae), and most species are active at night. At rest, many species hold their wings out horizontally, or hugged over or around the abdomen. Rarely, the wings are held together vertically above the body, as butterflies do. Larvae: Larvae have a hardened head capsule and a fleshy body composed of a thorax bearing three pairs of legs, and an elongated cylindrical abdomen bearing from zero to five pairs of prolegs (short fleshy ventral projections used for clinging or walking). The body may be either uniformly colored or patterned with stripes, bands, or spots; the surface may be smooth, or may be sparsely or densely covered with short or long hairs, tufts of hair, spines, knobs, or other features. Larvae of moths are commonly called caterpillars (as are larvae of butterflies). However, the pupal case of moths is often covered in silk, commonly called a cocoon, contrasted with the typically naked chrysalis of butterflies.
Importance: Many kinds of moths are serious pests of ornamentals or in agriculture. Silk moths have been domesticated and are important in the silk industry. Many serve as food for humans an animals, alike.
Range: Worldwide.
Diversity: In North America there are some 11,000 described species of moths in about 70 families with about 165,000 described species worldwide. Many of the micromoths are yet undescribed.

Butterflies & Moths
Order Lepidoptera Erebid Moths (Family Erebidae)

Photo Date/Time: June 23, 2012
Location: Joaquin Miller Park
Photograph By: Eddie Dunbar

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Little White Lichen Moth
Clemensia albata ( Packard 1864 )

Description: Wings: Forewing white to light gray, variably dusted and spotted with brown and black; lines obscure; AM and median lines usually more distinct; reniform spot gray with sharp black inner half. Hindwing grayish-white with faint darker gray median line. May be mistaken for Oecophoridae and Tortricidae, due to its small size. May also be mistaken for several species of geometer moths.
Wingspan: 16-24 mm.
Development: Two or more generations per year in the south; one in the north (Quebec). Moisture is important to larvae. During dry periods, they with congregate under bark and become inactive. They pupate under bark or in bark crevices. Usually 2nd or 3 instar over-winter and resume feeding in early spring.
Active Period: Adults fly from March to October in the south; June to September in Ohio; July and August in Alberta and Quebec.
Habitat: Moist mixed wood forests - and probably other habitats, considering its vast distribution.
Food: Larvae feed on alga called Protococcus viridis that grows on smooth bark trees like maple and birch and also grows on Shield lichens Parmelia species.
Range: All of the United States and southern Canada.
Diversity: The only representative of the genus in North America.

Butterflies & Moths
Order Lepidoptera Owlet Moths (Family Noctuidae)

Photo Date/Time: June 23, 2012
Location: Joaquin Miller Park
Photograph By: Eddie Dunbar

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Owlet Moth
Noctuidae ( Latreille 1809 )


Butterflies & Moths
Order Lepidoptera Gossamer-wing Butterflies (Family Lycaenidae)

Photo Date/Time: March 27, 2010
Location: Joaquin Miller Park
Photograph By: Eddie Dunbar

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Blues
Polyommatinae ( Swainson 1827 )

Description: The family Lycaenidae contains mostly small butterflies commonly known as Blues, Coppers, Hairstreaks & Harvesters. They are mostly small. Many are rare many of them very rare. Most species are blue or brown colored with delicate, streaked markings, hence their common name, ''hairstreaks'' (Theclinae). Others are copper colored and popularly called ''coppers'' (Lycaeninae). Some characters of adults: antennae usually banded; eyes of adults indented near antennae and face is narrow; forelegs of males reduced, with fused tips without claws; forelegs of females ''of almost normal size'' and do bear claws; radial (R) veins of forewing simple, not forked; hindwing often with thread-like extensions that resemble antennae (typical of ''hairstreaks'') coloration often bright, iridescent.

Butterflies & Moths
Order Lepidoptera Brushfooted Butterflies (Family Nymphalidae)

Photo Date/Time: June 23, 2007
Location: Joaquin Miller Park
Photograph By: Eddie Dunbar

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Chalcedon Checkerspot
Euphydryas chalcedona ( E. Doubleday 1847 )

Description: Populations in the Coast Range have mostly black larvae with orange markings and little if any white.
Wingspan: 3.2 - 5.7 cm
Flight Period: One flight; April-June in California and Oregon
Habitat: Sagebrush flats, chaparral, desert hills, high prairie, open forest, alpine tundra.
Range: Primarily relatively near the Pacific Coast, west of desert areas, in areas of broken terrain, from northern British Columbia to northern Baja California Norte. Inland in mountains of eastern Oregon and Washington, across northern Idaho and just into extreme western Montana. Also inland in desert mountains across the Mojave and Sonoran Deserts of southern California and Nevada into southern Arizona and perhaps northwestern Sonora.
Distribution: Primarily relatively near the Pacific Coast, west of desert areas, in areas of broken terrain, from northern British Columbia to northern Baja California Norte. Inland in mountains of eastern Oregon and Washington, across northern Idaho and just into extreme western Montana. Also inland in desert mountains across the Mojave and Sonoran Deserts of southern California and Nevada into southern Arizona and perhaps northwestern Sonora.
Similar Taxa: Similar to E. anicia, but generally larger, mostly found at lower elevation, and more black and white in appearance (with orange above reduced in comparison with that species). Where they occur together, this species tends to start flying earlier in the season. More orange populations occur in some of the higher mountains that look very like E. anicia, and are grouped under a separate heading.

Butterflies & Moths
Order Lepidoptera Brushfooted Butterflies (Family Nymphalidae)

Photo Date/Time: April 30, 2016
Location: Joaquin Miller Park
Photograph By: Eddie Dunbar

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Common Buckeye
Junonia coenia ( Hübner 1822 )

Description: Adult - Upperside is brown. Forewing with 2 orange cell bars and 2 eyespots; part of white subapical band appears in the largest, lower eyespot. Hindwing has 2 eyespots; upper one is largest and contains a magenta crescent. Underside of hindwing is brown or tan in the wet season (summer) form and rose-red in the dry season (fall) form. Larva - Caterpillar is highly variable in color, but usually "mostly black above and white and/or orange along sides with metallic blue-black dorsal spines. Spines along sides arise from orange wart-like bases. Head orange above with black bordering frons;short black scolus over each lobe...heavily salted with white tubercles".
Body Length: Larva: Up to 45 mm.
Wingspan: 39-68 mm.
Development: Females lay eggs singly on leaf buds or on upperside of host plant leaves.
Active Period: In California there are 2 or 3 broods from May-October.
Habitat: Adult: Open, sunny areas with low vegetation and some bare ground.
Host: Adult food: Favorite nectar sources are composites including aster, chickory, gumweed, knapweed, and tickseed sunflower. Dogbane, peppermint, and other flowers are also visited. Larva: Plants from the snapdragon family including snapdragon (Antirrhinum), toadflax (Linaria), and Gerardia; the plantain family including plantains (Plantago); and the acanthus family including ruellia (Ruellia nodiflora).
Range: Resident in the southern United States and north along the coasts to central California and North Carolina; south to Bermuda, Cuba, Isle of Pines, and southern Mexico. Adults from the south's first brood migrate north in late spring and summer to temporarily colonize most of the United States and parts of southern Canada.

Butterflies & Moths
Order Lepidoptera Whites, Sulphurs & Yellows (Family Pieridae)

Photo Date/Time: March 27, 2010
Location: Joaquin Miller Park
Photograph By: Eddie Dunbar

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Spring White, California White
Pontia sisymbrii ( Boisduval 1852 )


Butterflies & Moths
Order Lepidoptera Diamondback Moths (Family Plutellidae)

Photo Date/Time: June 23, 2012
Location: Joaquin Miller Park
Photograph By: Eddie Dunbar

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Moth
Euceratia castella ( Walsingham 1881 )

Flight Period: Adults fly from April to August.
Host: Larvae feed on species in the Caprifoliaceae, such as Lonicera and Symphoricarpos.
Range: California, north to Washington.
Similar Taxa: E. castella can be differentiated from the similar Eucalantica polita in that, in E. castella, there is no dorsal patch on the forewing, and white annulations are present on the antenna (dorsal patch present and antennal annulations absent in E. polita).

Butterflies & Moths
Order Lepidoptera Snout Moths (Family Pyralidae)

Photo Date/Time: June 23, 2012
Location: Joaquin Miller Park
Photograph By: Eddie Dunbar

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Snout Moth
Pyralidae ( Latreille 1802 )

Body Length: 9-37 mm.
Range: Cosmopolitan.
Diversity: 682 Species in America north of Mexico.

Antlions, Lacewings and Allies
Order Neuroptera Brown Lacewings (Family Hemerobiidae)

Photo Date/Time: June 23, 2012
Location: Joaquin Miller Park
Photograph By: Eddie Dunbar

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Brown Lacewing
Hemerobiidae ( Latreille 1802 )

Description: Adult: Similar to Green Lacewings (Chrysopidae) but usually brown and smalle. Wings: Usually more rounded, and the membrane is covered with small hairs. Venation with two or more radial sector veins. Larva: Debris is not carried on the backs, as with the larvae of the Chrysopidae.
Body Length: 6-15 mm.
Importance: Adults of some species may live for months and may consume many pest species. High reproductive capacity lends to this insect being a significant agent for biocontrol of pest insects in agriculture.
Development: Eggs are laid singly or in small groups, directly to leaves (not on stalks as the Chrysopidae). There are 3 larval instars, of which the 1st is active in all species. Mature larvae spin in white cocoon in a protected area. The cocoon has two layers: the outer later is loosely threaded, and it encloses an inner, more compactly threaded lining.
Active Period: Spring to fall.
Habitat: Woodland areas.
Food: Predaceous on soft-bodied insects, such as aphids, mealybugs and insect eggs, as both adults and larvae.
Range: Worldwide & throughout North America; more diverse in the western North America.
Diversity: 58 Species in North America.

Antlions, Lacewings and Allies
Order Neuroptera Antlions (Family Myrmeleontidae)

Photo Date/Time: April 12, 2015
Location: Joaquin Miller Park
Photograph By: Eddie Dunbar

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Antlion
Myrmeleontidae ( Latreille 1802 )

Description: Adult: Superficially resemble Damselflies, but antennae are longer and clubbed at the end. Body: Long and slender. Antennae: Short, about the length of the head and thorax combined), clubbed, often curved at the tip somewhat like a field hockey stick. Wings: Transparent, mottled with brown and black. Larva: Robust with a very plump abdomen. Head: Comparatively much smaller than the abdomen and connected to the abdomen with a thing pronotum (neck-like). Mandibles: Very long, thin nad sickle-like with several sharp, hollow projections. Mandibles are used to inject digestive enzymes into prey. Larvae lack an anus and metabolic waste is stored until voided at the end of the pupal stage. Pupation occurs in a spherical, silken cocoon created within the pit.
Colors: Grey-brown, with wings mottled with grey-brown and black.
Body Length: 40-80 mm.
Wingspan: North American species from 2-11 cm, but up to 15 cm for tropical species.
Biology: Adults are mostly nocturnal or crepuscular, and are attracted to lights. Larvae lie in wait for arthropod prey in conical pits created under sand or loose soil, usually against ground debris, such as a rock, log or amongst vegetation. Larvae dig pits by walking backward in loose soil or sand and flinging the substrate outward. The larva situates itself buried in the bottom with mandibles protruding. When prey falls in the sickle-like mandibles grasp prey and inject digestive enzymes. Empty carcasses are flung from the pit. If prey tries to escape up the pit wall the antlion may create an avalanche by flinging matter in the direction of the prey. Larvae lack an anus and metabolic waste is stored until voided at the end of the pupal stage. Pupation occurs in a spherical, silken cocoon created within the pit.
Habitat: Woodland, forests and deserts, wherever loose soil or sand occurs.
Food: Ants and other small arthropods that happen into the antlion's pit, especially Myrmelon sp. Larvae lie in wait for arthropod prey in conical pits created under sand or loose soil, usually against ground debris, such as a rock, log or amongst vegetation. Members of some other genera live in tree holes.
Diversity: 9 Species in 18 genera in America north of Mexico.
Similar Taxa: In California, Dobsonflies (Megaloptera: Corydalus); and Owlflies (Neuoptera: Ascalaphidae).

Grasshoppers, Crickets and Katydids
Order Orthoptera Short-horned Grasshoppers (Family Acrididae)

Photo Date/Time: August 2, 2008
Location: Joaquin Miller Park
Photograph By: Eddie Dunbar

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Spur-throated Grasshopper
Melanoplinae ( Scudder 1897 )

Development: North of Mexico (with a few exceptions) there is one annual generation, overwintering occurs as eggs laid in the ground or in some relatively solid substrate (such as wood or dung), hatching sometime in spring or early summer, with adults found sometime from spring to frost. A very few species overwinter in other stages or have more than one generation per year.
Habitat: Widely varied, but a majority occur associated with vegetation near the ground in sunny open areas. There are many exceptions though (some in barren rocky areas; some in trees; some in shade on the ground or in undergrowth of forests; etc.).
Diversity: The Melanoplinae is one of the largest subfamilies of grasshoppers. America, north of Mexico: 6 (or 7) recognized tribes. About 100 genera, with a majority being Neotropical or primarily so. The status and limits of many genera and even the tribes are difficult to define, are debated, and are still being resolved. Worldwide: 1 Tribe Podismini represented in Eurasia.

Barklice, Booklice and Parasitic Lice
Order Psocodea Narrow Barklice (Family Stenopsocidae)

Photo Date/Time: January 29, 2012
Location: Joaquin Miller Park
Photograph By: Eddie Dunbar

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Narrow Barklouse
Graphopsocus cruciatus ( Linnaeus 1768 )

Description: Wings are pale brown with dark brown checkering.
Biology: Adults overwinter.
Food: Microflora on tree leaves.
Distribution: Introduced from Asia or Europe in 1930 to the North America, now occurs in western and eastern states, spreading inland.

Thrips
Order Thysanoptera

Photo Date/Time: June 27, 2009
Location: Joaquin Miller Park
Photograph By: Eddie Dunbar

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Thrips
Thysanoptera ( Haliday 1836 )

Description: Wings: Generally, narrow with fringed long hairs and few or no veins. Some are wingless. Mouthparts: Asymmetrical, with no right mandible. Adapted for piercing and sucking. Antennae: Relatively short with 4-9-segments. Legs: Tarsi are 1-2-segmented, with 1-2 claws and a bladder-like feature (arolium) with a sticky surface that allows thrips to adhere to substrates.
Body Length: North America: Typically 1-2 mm, but always under 5 mm. Worldwide: 0.5-14 mm.
Importance: Feeding by thrips damages agricultural crops and ornamentals. Thrips feed by puncturing the outer layer of host plants and sucking out cell contents. Damage appears as stippling, discolored flecking, or silvering of the leaf surface. Feeding is usually accompanied by black flecks of excrement. Many species feed on fungal spores and pollen and go unnoticed. Some are beneficial predators, feeding on other insects and mites. There are many introduced pest species. Although they are very tiny, they can give a slightly painful bite.
Development: Metamorphosis is intermediate. Eggs are laid either in plant tissue, in crevices or under bark. Larvae develop through two actively feeding stages and two nonfeeding stages. Late-instars include a prepupa stage that does not feed, and drops to the earth to complete pupation. Thrips have from 3-8 generations a year. In warm weather the life cycle from egg to adult may be completed in as short as 2 weeks.
Habitat: Plant-feeding thrips live on the surfaces of living plants, including on leaves and in flowers. The larval stages of some may be spent on soil. Fungus-feeding forms (making up about 50% of known species) may be present in leaf litter or on dead branches.
Distribution: Worldwide
Diversity: America, north of Mexico: About 700 species (with about 200 undescribed) in about 140 genera and 5 families. California: About 240 species. Worldwide: About 6,000 described species in almost 800 genera and 9 families.

Spiders
Order Araneae Hacklemesh Weavers (Family Amaurobiidae)

Photo Date/Time: June 27, 2009
Location: Joaquin Miller Park
Photograph By: Eddie Dunbar

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Hacklemesh Weaver
Amaurobiidae ( Thorell 1870 )

Description: The Amaurobiidae are difficult to distinguish from some Agelenidae, Desidae and Amphinectidae, which are also cribellate. The Amaurobiidae can be either cribellate or ecribellate. Frequently encountered varieties are pale brown, brown or reddish brown, often with symmetrical light patch patterns on the upper abdomen.
Body Length: 1.3-20 mm.
Biology: The Amaurobiidae are both ecribellate (without a cribellum) or cribellate. The cribellum is a meshed plate ventrally anterior of the spinnerets that produce a kind of web so wooly it does not need to be sticky to trap prey.
Habitat: These spiders occur in forest floor habitats, sheltered among decomposing logs, leaf litter, and stones. They may also be seen in woodland and riparian habitats and are not uncommon in tree bark cavities, caves and buildings.
Distribution: All of America and throughout most of the world.
Diversity: 97 Species in 10 genera in North America.
Similar Taxa: Agelenidaee, Desidae, and Amphinectidae, also all are cribellate.

Spiders
Order Araneae Hacklemesh Weavers (Family Amaurobiidae)

Photo Date/Time: August 26, 2017
Location: Joaquin Miller Park
Photograph By: Eddie Dunbar

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Hacklemesh Weaver
Callobius sp. ( Chamberlin 1937 )

Description: In Callobius one really wants an in-focus ventral view of the metatarsus (next to last segment) of the first or second leg. Rod Crawford 7/10/12

Spiders
Order Araneae Orb Weavers (Family Araneidae)

Photo Date/Time: August 26, 2017
Location: Joaquin Miller Park
Photograph By: Eddie Dunbar

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Diadem Spider or Cross Orbweaver
Araneus diadematus ( Clerck 1757 )

Description: A. diadematus has a dorsal, white cross on the abdomen which distinguishes it from the similar spiders. It is mostly orange, especially the abdomen. The head is silvery gray. Legs are banded.
Body Length: Male: 6-13 mm. Female: 6-20 mm.
Development: Males mature long before females, seek out females, even remaining with immature females until they mature. During copulation, the male embraces the female's abdomen. Sperm is transferred by the insertion of one of the male's palps. The gravid female falls back to her retreat to spin an egg sac where she remains with until dying. Spiderlings emerge in spring and remain in one or more dense clusters until their first molt, then disperse on air currents that pick up strands of silk released by the spiderlings.
Nesting: This spider spins a large, complex orb-web, which measures up to 40 about half a meter in diameter and is used to capture insect prey. Individuals spend much of their time at the center of their web and legs detect the vibrations of struggling insects caught in the web. Prey items are covered in silk before the spider consumes them. When threatened this spider will shake itself rapidly, causing the web to vibrate, or the may drop to the ground on a silk thread. The web may be rebuilt every day, and the old web is consumed. Proteins in the used web are conserved and re-used. From spring through summer they are tiny and well-hidden - but in the Fall they grow very quickly.
Habitat: These spiders appears in vegetated areas. Spiderlings are active in the spring but the spiders are not often noticed until the fall after a growth spurt made possible by the abundance and larger size of insects the spider fed upon during warm months.
Range: The spider was introduced to the United States from Western and Northern Europe. In North America they range from southern Canada through the northern 1/3 of the USA (now including northern California). Uncommon in the Great Plains area.
Similar Taxa: The spider is similar to the Pumpkin Spider (Araneus trifolium) and to Gem-shaped Orbweaver (A. gemma). However, A. diadematus has a dorsal, white cross on the abdomen. All three spiders have overlapping ranges in California.

Spiders
Order Araneae Orb Weavers (Family Araneidae)

Photo Date/Time: January 29, 2012
Location: Joaquin Miller Park
Photograph By: Eddie Dunbar

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Trashline Orb Weaver
Cyclosa conica ( Pallas 1772 )

Description: This orb weaver has overlapping ranges with C. turbinata. Both are dark, but C. conica may be orangish in color; C. turbinata will not. C. conica also lacks the pair of dorsal abdominal protuberances that are characteristic of C. turbinata and has one tubercle (hump) at the rear of the abdomen.
Colors: Dark, but may be orangish.
Body Length: (F) 5.3-7.5 mm; (M) 3.6-4 mm.
Development: Young mature from mid-May to summer. Egg sac is round and golden yellow.
Nesting: This spider has the unusual habit of lining its web with its own feces and the dead bodies of insects it has eaten. Its webs are orb-shaped, about a foot in diameter and ""trash"" is lined on the vertical line of web (stabilimentum) at the web's center. The spider sits amongst its trash and is camouflaged.
Range: Widespread in America north of Mexico, but uncommon in the southeastern U.S. and the southern half of the Great Plains.
Similar Taxa: Cyclosa turbinata

Spiders
Order Araneae Orb Weavers (Family Araneidae)

Photo Date/Time: March 8, 2014
Location: Joaquin Miller Park
Photograph By: Michelle Sawyers-Harris

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Trashline Orb Weaver
Cyclosa conica ( Pallas 1772 )

Description: This orb weaver has overlapping ranges with C. turbinata. Both are dark, but C. conica may be orangish in color; C. turbinata will not. C. conica also lacks the pair of dorsal abdominal protuberances that are characteristic of C. turbinata and has one tubercle (hump) at the rear of the abdomen.
Colors: Dark, but may be orangish.
Body Length: (F) 5.3-7.5 mm; (M) 3.6-4 mm.
Development: Young mature from mid-May to summer. Egg sac is round and golden yellow.
Nesting: This spider has the unusual habit of lining its web with its own feces and the dead bodies of insects it has eaten. Its webs are orb-shaped, about a foot in diameter and ""trash"" is lined on the vertical line of web (stabilimentum) at the web's center. The spider sits amongst its trash and is camouflaged.
Range: Widespread in America north of Mexico, but uncommon in the southeastern U.S. and the southern half of the Great Plains.
Similar Taxa: Cyclosa turbinata

Spiders
Order Araneae Orb Weavers (Family Araneidae)

Photo Date/Time: April 30, 2016
Location: Joaquin Miller Park
Photograph By: Leslie Flint

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Trashline Orb Weaver
Cyclosa conica ( Pallas 1772 )

Description: This orb weaver has overlapping ranges with C. turbinata. Both are dark, but C. conica may be orangish in color; C. turbinata will not. C. conica also lacks the pair of dorsal abdominal protuberances that are characteristic of C. turbinata and has one tubercle (hump) at the rear of the abdomen.
Colors: Dark, but may be orangish.
Body Length: (F) 5.3-7.5 mm; (M) 3.6-4 mm.
Development: Young mature from mid-May to summer. Egg sac is round and golden yellow.
Nesting: This spider has the unusual habit of lining its web with its own feces and the dead bodies of insects it has eaten. Its webs are orb-shaped, about a foot in diameter and ""trash"" is lined on the vertical line of web (stabilimentum) at the web's center. The spider sits amongst its trash and is camouflaged.
Range: Widespread in America north of Mexico, but uncommon in the southeastern U.S. and the southern half of the Great Plains.
Similar Taxa: Cyclosa turbinata

Spiders
Order Araneae Dwarf & Sheetweb Spiders (Family Linyphiidae)

Photo Date/Time: January 29, 2012
Location: Joaquin Miller Park
Photograph By: Eddie Dunbar

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Dwarf and Sheetweb Spider
Linyphiidae ( Blackwall 1859 )

Description: Legs: Long and thin with macrosetae (tiny hairs); on males this is somewhat reduced. The first 3-4 legs bear long sensory hairs. Abdomen: Usually oval or elongate. In the Theriidae the first legs are usually longest and the third pair are the shortest, and legs lack thick setae.
Similar Taxa: Similar to the family Theriidae.

Spiders
Order Araneae Dwarf & Sheetweb Spiders (Family Linyphiidae)

Photo Date/Time: January 29, 2012
Location: Joaquin Miller Park
Photograph By: Brad Smith

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Dwarf and Sheetweb Spider
Linyphiidae ( Blackwall 1859 )

Description: Legs: Long and thin with macrosetae (tiny hairs); on males this is somewhat reduced. The first 3-4 legs bear long sensory hairs. Abdomen: Usually oval or elongate. In the Theriidae the first legs are usually longest and the third pair are the shortest, and legs lack thick setae.
Similar Taxa: Similar to the family Theriidae.

Spiders
Order Araneae Dwarf & Sheetweb Spiders (Family Linyphiidae)

Photo Date/Time: January 29, 2012
Location: Joaquin Miller Park
Photograph By: Brad Smith

600.Arachnida.ARA.Araneae.Linyphiidae.Linyphiidae[(ARA01405)(01100147)(2012-01-29-14-43-33)].jpg

Dwarf and Sheetweb Spider
Linyphiidae ( Blackwall 1859 )

Description: Legs: Long and thin with macrosetae (tiny hairs); on males this is somewhat reduced. The first 3-4 legs bear long sensory hairs. Abdomen: Usually oval or elongate. In the Theriidae the first legs are usually longest and the third pair are the shortest, and legs lack thick setae.
Similar Taxa: Similar to the family Theriidae.

Harvestmen
Order Opiliones

Photo Date/Time: July 29, 2008
Location: Joaquin Miller Park
Photograph By: Eddie Dunbar

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Harvestman
Opiliones ( )

Description: Easily separated from spiders by the broad fusion of the two body segments, so that the body appears to be composed of a singular segment. Also, as they do not possess silk glands, harvestmen can't form webs. Uniquely among the arachnids fertilization is direct: males possess a penis (also referred to in the literature as pene, aedagus or intromittent organ).
Body Length: Variable; body sizes range from a few millimeters to a few centimeters. Legs are several times the size of the body in the more familiar daddy-long-legs forms of the Phalangioidea.
Biology: In some cases, in dry climates, they gather in large numbers during the day, probably to avoid dessication, and wander about in search of food after the sun goes down.
Development: Egg, juvenile, adult. Some reproduce sexually (direct fertilization, males possess a penis); others, parthenogenetically (i.e., without males).
Active Period: Season: Not likely to be found in winter months in northern/montane regions, except as overwintering populations in refugia (e.g., caves).
Habitat: All habitats (except possibly deserts) in Canada & the US: forests, grasslands, wetlands, mountains, caves, chaparral, and anthropogenic habitats.
Range: Global, except Antarctica
Diversity: More than, 6,500 species worldwide arranged into 46 families of 4 suborders (of which Laniatores is by far the largest, with more than 4,100 species.
Similar Taxa: Although often mistaken for spiders, these arachnids are more closely related to scorpions

Bark Centipedes
Order Scolopendromorpha Tropical Centipedes (Family Scolopocryptopidae)

Photo Date/Time: July 29, 2008
Location: Joaquin Miller Park
Photograph By: Eddie Dunbar

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Bark Centipede
Scolopocryptops spinicaudus ( Wood 1862 )

Description: The family Scolopocryptopidae, to which S. spinicaudus belongs, is characterized by having 23 pairs of legs, compared with 21 pairs of legs in other families.
Colors: Head and first a segments dark yellowish red; remaining segments darker.
Importance: They can bite and also pinch with their last pair of legs. Bites may cause intense pain, swelling, discoloration, numbness, and necrosis, and require medical assistance, although there are no really dangerous, deadly centipedes, and no confirmed human fatalities.
Range: Pacific Coast north to southernmost Alaska.

Round-backed Millipedes
Order Spirobolida Spirobolid Millipedes (Family Spirobolidae)

Photo Date/Time: January 29, 2012
Location: Joaquin Miller Park
Photograph By: Eddie Dunbar

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Tylobolus Millipede
Tylobolus sp. ( Cook 1904 )

Description: Relatively large, cylindrical millipedes with 40-54 body rings. The body rings are mostly smooth or with a very fine texture. The two eyes, each composed of 27-50 ocelli in a patch or ""ocular field"", are widely separated, with more than twice the width of a patch between them. Females are larger than males. Male gonopods are normally concealed within a pouch.
Colors: Blackish to dull reddish brown, sometimes with bright red and yellow bands.
Body Length: 36-92 mm.
Importance: Millipedes are relatively harmless. To avoid being eaten they coil into a protective spiral or may emit a foul-smelling, poisonous fluid which is irritating to the eyes. Poisons of some millipedes contain cyanide.
Development: As millipedes molt they add segments and legs. Each leg-bearing body segment has 2 pairs of legs, except for the first 3 body segments, which have just one.
Habitat: Millipedes live under rocks, rotting logs and other ground debris.
Food: Decaying plant matter.
Range: T. castaneus (Chamberlin, 1918). Range: The San Francisco Bay Area to Santa Cruz County, California, east to the western slopes of the Sierra Nevada. T. deses (Cook, 1904). Range: Sonoma County to Sacramento County, South to Santa Cruz and Merced County.
Diversity: 7 Species in western North America.
Similar Taxa: Range overlaps with Hiltonius from Kern County, CA to Baja. Tylobolus differs from Hiltonius by having more ocelli per eye (27-50), a larger and hooked process on the coxa of the third legs in males, and sharper corners of the mandibular stipes. May be mistaken in photos for Narceus, a species complex widespread in eastern North America, but the two genera do not overlap.

Round-backed Millipedes
Order Spirobolida Spirobolid Millipedes (Family Spirobolidae)

Photo Date/Time: January 29, 2012
Location: Joaquin Miller Park
Photograph By: Eddie Dunbar

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Tylobolus Millipede
Tylobolus sp. ( Cook 1904 )

Description: Relatively large, cylindrical millipedes with 40-54 body rings. The body rings are mostly smooth or with a very fine texture. The two eyes, each composed of 27-50 ocelli in a patch or ""ocular field"", are widely separated, with more than twice the width of a patch between them. Females are larger than males. Male gonopods are normally concealed within a pouch.
Colors: Blackish to dull reddish brown, sometimes with bright red and yellow bands.
Body Length: 36-92 mm.
Importance: Millipedes are relatively harmless. To avoid being eaten they coil into a protective spiral or may emit a foul-smelling, poisonous fluid which is irritating to the eyes. Poisons of some millipedes contain cyanide.
Development: As millipedes molt they add segments and legs. Each leg-bearing body segment has 2 pairs of legs, except for the first 3 body segments, which have just one.
Habitat: Millipedes live under rocks, rotting logs and other ground debris.
Food: Decaying plant matter.
Range: T. castaneus (Chamberlin, 1918). Range: The San Francisco Bay Area to Santa Cruz County, California, east to the western slopes of the Sierra Nevada. T. deses (Cook, 1904). Range: Sonoma County to Sacramento County, South to Santa Cruz and Merced County.
Diversity: 7 Species in western North America.
Similar Taxa: Range overlaps with Hiltonius from Kern County, CA to Baja. Tylobolus differs from Hiltonius by having more ocelli per eye (27-50), a larger and hooked process on the coxa of the third legs in males, and sharper corners of the mandibular stipes. May be mistaken in photos for Narceus, a species complex widespread in eastern North America, but the two genera do not overlap.

Flat-backed Millipedes
Order Polydesmida Flat-backed Millipedes (Family Xystodesmidae)

Photo Date/Time: December 18, 2016
Location: Joaquin Miller Park
Photograph By: Eddie Dunbar

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Flat-backed Millipede
Xystocheir dissecta dissecta ( Wood 1867 )

Description: This millipede fluoresces under UV light. Body: Usually, 20, but from 18-22 body rings. Eyes: Absent. Legs: 1st pair of legs on the 7th ring are gonopods in males.
Colors: In contrast with other millipedes, X. dissecta coloring is not aposematic. It does not use coloration to warn predators that it is toxic. Colors are translucent to dark gray. Darker varieties may have the tergite laterums red. Translucent varieties vary from translucent, to white to very pale yellow. Legs in both color varieties are translucent to white.
Body Length: Up to 30mm.
Active Period: In the Fall and Winter these millipedes can be seen foraging at night.
Habitat: Loose dirt, decaying logs, leaf litter (especially oak) and under rocks including in dirt around houses in the Bay Area. Particularly abundant in deciduous broadleaf forests.
Range: They are common in a along the coast of California and about 60 miles eastward to the Sierra Foothills in Mendocino, Amador, Stanislaus and northern Monterey counties.
Diversity: Because of the complexity of the Xystodesmidae, it is necessary to divide the family into smaller units or tribes. There are 10 total tribes, 4 of which occur at least partly in California: Xystocheirini - California from Mendocino & Placer cos. to Tulare Co. & Santa Monica Mts. of Los Angeles Co. Sigmocheirini - Sierra Nevada of California from ca. Placer to Tulare cos. Chonaphini - US from Washington & Montana to Shasta Co., CA; southern Minnesota to Shenandoah Nat. Pk., VA; eastern China. Xystodesmini - along the Pacific Coast from southern Alaska and coastal BC to Big Sur, California; southeastern Washington, northeastern Oregon, & adjacent Idaho; Japan, Korea, & Riu Kiu Islands.