Sunday, July 10, 2011

Too Damn Hot! For Photos, That is, Not For Insects

I sort of hit the wall today.  I went to Buck Mt. Creek this morning.  I had no problem at all finding insects -- taking photos of them was a totally different matter.  It's hot and humid in central Virginia, though it's supposed to cool down by the end of the week.  So, when I tried to take photos this morning, my face was so hot that my camera viewfinder always steamed up: I couldn't tell if anything was in focus.  Ah the joys of entomological work in the summer!

I found the usual, the same insects I've been seeing for the last 2-3 weeks -- flatheaded mayflies (Maccaffertium, Leucrocuta, and a couple of Epeorus); small minnow mayflies (both Baetis -- in the photo above -- and Acentrella); Netspinners and Fingernet caddis larvae.  I saw a lots of fingernets on the bottoms of rocks today, but I've seen that before in July in this particular set of riffles.  I also found a few small common stoneflies (Acroneuria), and -- as you can see from the photo above -- one "trumpetnet" caddisfly larva (Polycentropodidae).  Note the "freckles" or "muscle scars" on the head.
I also had a spiny crawler  -- but it disappeared by the time I took the few photos I got -- and one tiny, Clubtail dragonfly -- that too disappeared.

Let's hope for better results at the end of the week.  By then, I should be able to get into the Rivanna.

(Below -- a small minnow mayfly, genus Acentrella, tangles with a common netspinner caddis.  Note the "frilly gills" on the abdomen of the caddis.)

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