Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Getting back to business

As many of you may know, it's been a busy month for my wife and I - We had our first child May 27th, and moved into a new house two weeks later. So collecting has taken a bit of a back seat. However, I'm very excited to explore the wooded areas around our new place. The back yard's about an acre of fairly mature woodland, not far from several large tributaries of Lake Hartwell. I've got high hopes for some easy local beetling.

Last night, after several days of unpacking, I decided it was time for the first glimpse of the local fauna (or maybe it would be better to call it the first 'official' glimpse, because the fireflies are very abundant in the yard in early evening). So I pulled out the mercury vapor lamp. It is so nice to run this where there are real electrical outlets rather than off a loud generator!
It was a warm, humid night, and the bugs did not disappoint. I couldn't resist spending the time this morning seeing what was there.
Not a bad haul, for a couple of evening hours. Most of this came to the light, but there's also a nice woodpile left in the back from the previous owners having taken out a number of trees. The wood pile produced most of the cerambycids, three synchroids (my first), Alobates, and a few scolytines. It will be fun to keep an eye on this as the season progresses.

I'm not going to go into great detail on this catch, but would like to preview some images from my new imaging system (Visionary Digital's Passport). From here on I expect I'll be posting more of a mix of field and studio photos, since so many tiny things can't be field-photographed very easily. I'm still dialing in the settings, but here's a sampling.

Chelonarium lecontei (Chelonariidae).
Lichenophanes sp. (Bostrichidae).
An as yet unidentified limnichid (this specimen's about 2.5 mm long, near the limit of what my system can handle without modification).
And at the upper size limit for the 1-5x macro lens, a robust Phyllophaga.
Now to get back out into the field!

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