Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Late Night at the Ketelsen's...

We've not seen much activity regarding the monsoonal storms in our part of town, just a couple sprinkles, but some parts have gotten damaging winds and flooding - that is the norm for our summer storms.  It might be pouring at the U of Arizona and dry at home a few miles to the north...  But one thing I've noticed is that our front entry light is attracting more insect visitors these days. A couple weeks back I posted about the Palo Verde Boring Beetle, tonight we've got new ones!

The last couple nights we've had a couple
cicadas attracted to the light.  This is a Cacama valvata, common in the Southwest - different from Magicicada Brood II winding down in the Eastern U.S. I've posted about these before, daytime views, but they seem rarer this year.  I love zooming in with the macro (Canon 100mm F/2.8) to reveal the lil' creature's alien details you can't pick out by eye.  Visible in both the above views are the 2 main bug eyes, and 3 little jewel-looking eye spots high on their forehead, not far from their little whiskers of antennae.  Notice also that they climb the vertical surface of our security door not with little suction cups, but have little claws that grasp the edges of the perforated holes in the screen - so cool!

The other documented visitor of note is your standard "June Bug", genus Phyllophaga.  Again, the details revealed with the macro are interesting  - they are much hairier than I would have thought, and like the boring beetle post referenced above, show some jagged armor on their front legs.  Also their antennae appear to have little leaves sprouting out the ends.  And also like the cicada above, use little claws at the end of their leg to grip the edges of the perforations on our screen door.

While the above are far from rare, I love seeing the tiny details, so always look for our night time visitors when I leave the outside light on - stay tuned!

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