Thursday, December 5, 2013

Summary for 2013 and looking ahead to next year

While the year isn't over, it's been a little over three years since I started writing this blog.  So, I thought I would comment on this year's achievements.

A: Statistics.  I continue to find it surprising -- but satisfying -- that there are so many people in so many countries, that share my enthusiasm for this kind of study.   Here are the statistics on that as of this morning.

1. Total number of page views: 106,615
  Top 5 countries
     U.S., 67,293
     Canada, 3829
     U.K., 2928
     Russia, 2371
     France, 1713

2. Number of countries in which people are viewing the blog: 152

3. Months with largest number of page views: October, 2013; 6563: November, 2013: 6139

B: Main focuses of the blog.  While I continue to try to record the first time each season that I see one of our regular taxa and continue to give "stream reports" on what I'm finding in local streams,  I find myself primarily focussing now on three different things.

1. I want to compile the most complete EPT list that I can for the streams in this part of Virginia.  I have no pretensions that my list will ever be exhaustive, but I'll keep working away on this project as long as my enthusiasm continues and I can still bend over!  The original EPT list was posted on 9/8/12, but I've continued to keep that list up-to-date.

2. I love finding new taxa -- and working out the ID.  It's the most exciting part of this hobby.

3. And I continue to try to get the best photos I possibly can of all of our taxa -- the regular and the new.

C. Findings this year.  I have to admit that I'm partial to stoneflies -- the Perlodids in particular, especially the genus Isoperla.  And I found three new ones this year.

1. Isoperla davisi: Buck Mt. Creek

2. Isoperla orata:  Rapidan River

3. And Isoperla nr. orata:  Upper Doyles River, Rapidan River, and Buck Mt. Creek

The designation "Isoperla nr. orata" is my own -- nothing official about it.  Still, the resemblance to I. orata is clear, and they have strikingly similar laciniae.

I. orata

 I. nr. orata

Other new taxa this year (not a complete list):

1. The common stonefly, Paragnetina fumosa (Buck Mt. Creek)

2. Common stonefly, Agnetina flavescens (Rapidan River)

3. Giant stonefly, Pteronarcys dorsata (North Fork of the Rivanna, Buck Mt. Creek, Rivanna -- main stem)

4. Flatheaded mayfly, Epeorus fragilis (South River, Greene County)

5. Small minnow mayfly, Labiobaetis propinquus (Rivanna River at Crofton)

6. Freeliving caddisfly larva, Rhyacophila fenestra/ledra (Doyles River, Lynch River)

7.  And the humpless casemaker just found by my friend in Sugar Hollow, Adicrophleps hitchcocki -- an "imperiled" insect in the state of Virginia

After three years, it's still a whole lot of fun.

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