Wayne's Trivia Notes #34
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 Wayne's Trivia Notes #34   © W.P. Armstrong    All Facebook Notes & Images   
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Wayne's Trivia Note #745 (30 June 2021)

In spite of the hot June at Wayne's Word, my 'Verte' fig has the most fruit I have ever seen, and my bigeneric hybrid between Catalpa & Desert Willow has the most beautiful flowers. It looks like I will need a dehydrator for the bumper crop of figs. This is a very nourishing fruit that people survived on thousands of years ago while crossing vast desert regions in Middle East

Wayne's Trivia Note #746 (1 July 2021)

Apiomerus flaviventris at Tuzigoot National Monument.
I was recently asked to ID a "wheel bug" (Arilus cristatus) in Maryland, a beneficial assassin bug and one of the largest terrestrial true bugs in North America. This reminded me of a colorful assassin bug (Apiomerus flaviventris) in Arizona. A hungry whiptail lizard approached this bug for a meal, but suddenly stopped and turned away. Apparently, the bright coloration and defense posture of this bug discouraged the larger reptilian predator.

Wayne's Trivia Note #747 (2 July 2021)

I tried an ultrasonic rodent repeller for one month that I purchased on-line from Amazon. Poisons are not an option because I have nesting Cooper's Hawks. I can honestly say that this device does NOT work on ground squirrels, so I must relocate them to a nearby riparian preserve.

Wayne's Trivia Note #748 (5 July 2021)

Last night I watched an Amazon documentary about the incredibly beautiful country of Colombia. It reminded me of Wolffia columbiana, my 1st species in this amazing aquatic plant genus that was originally named from a collection in Santa Marta, Colombia. Wolffias were one of my 1st passions in my career and the origin of my Internet name of "Mr. Wolffia." Although not shown in documentary, this is truly a tiny "jewel" of the botanical world. See more images (originally at Oregon State University):

  The Wayne's Word Official Duckweed Home Page  
Wolffias In Lake Hodges & San Dieguito River

Wayne's Trivia Note #749 (7 July 2021)

Rain forest documentaries often show remarkable leaf-cutter ants. They belong to a unique tribe of "fungus-farming ants" native to tropical America & Arizona's Sonoran Desert. I was surprised to find a minute species of fungus-farming ant in Twin Oaks Valley near my home!

Wayne's Trivia Note #750 (9 July 2021)

Cooper's Hawk hunting in coastal sage scrub bordering Twin Oaks Valley. See link to a few summer wildflowers from my Palomar College coastal sage scrub survey:

  Comet Fire Images 8: Coastal Sage Scrub Survey Spring-Summer 2021  

Wayne's Trivia Note #751 (21 July 2021)

I don't think this Cooper's Hawk is interested in my Costco premium bird seed mix!

Wayne's Trivia Note #752 (22 July 2021)

Photographers go to scenic Lower Salt River, Arizona for wild horses. I was there photographing ant nests, and curious wild horses came to me!

Wayne's Trivia Note #753 (28 July 2021)

The Bug That Laid The Golden Eggs! I just identified this "Golden Egg Bug" sent to me from Spain by dear Stephanie. It also appears on a postage stamp in Hungary.

Wayne's Trivia Note #754 (17 August 2021)

In my recent post-burn survey of the Comet Fire near Palomar College I found a charred pistol replica of a Colt .45. To satisfy my latest photographic obsession, I decided to compare look-alike butterflies (mimicry) with look-alike pistols: BB gun replica and Colt .45.

Wayne's Trivia Note #755 (20 August 2021)

This Monarch butterfly came from my insect collection in Cal State Univ., LA entomology class over 50 years ago! Click following link to see more images, including Viceroy look-alike, a good example of Mullerian mimicry.

  Monarch & Viceroy Co-Mimics On Butterfly Page  

Wayne's Trivia Note #756 (25 August 2021)

Zoomed view of last Sunday night's bright moonrise behind Wayne's Word headquarters and the planets Jupiter & Saturn. In general, each season has 3 full moons. But summer 2021, which began June 20 and ends Sept. 22, has 4 full moons (June 24, July 23, Aug. 22 & Sept. 20). Last Sunday night's "blue moon" is the name for the 3rd full moon in a season that has 4 full moons, instead of 3. It is not the color blue. Just as I tweaked this image with Photoshop, many moon images on the Internet with a distinct blue color were probably taken with a filter or enhanced with an imaging program!

Wayne's Trivia Note #757 (30 August 2021)

Fig harvest at Wayne's Word. The delicious var. 'Verte' was pollinated by resident fig wasps. The dark-skinned figs in foreground are from cross between green-skinned 'Verte' female tree and dark-skinned male (caprifig) tree. Seedling figs appear in my yard due to pollination & fertilization by fig wasps living in caprifig tree.

  Wayne's Word Sex Life Of Figs  

Wayne's Trivia Note #758 (9 September 2021)

Latest ant discovery at my home in Twin Oaks Valley: Originally described in Germany, intercepted during quarantine inspection of orchids originating from Veracruz, Mexico. Discovered by Elaine in her succulent garden, undoubtedly introduced from nearby nurseries. Verified by Dr. Phil Ward at UC Davis, these minute ants will go into University of California ant collection.

  Minute Tropical Pheidole In Twin Oaks Valley  

Wayne's Trivia Note #759 (27 September 2021)

Early morning in Twin Oaks Valley: The tips of holly leaves are projecting from dew-covered web of funnel weaver spider. This spider belongs to the family Agelinidae along with the grass spider. Another spider I have yet to find actually mimics dew drops. BTW, highly venomous Australian funnel-web spiders belong to the suborder Mygalomorphae along with tarantulas.

  The Minute Dewdrop Spider  
Fangs Of Mygalomorphae

Wayne's Trivia Note #760 (29 September 2021)

Another resident mantid at Wayne's Word hunting yellowjackets & honey bees on my hummingbird feeder. The mantids have discovered the feeders attract more than hummingbirds!

Wayne's Trivia Note #761 (4 October 2021)

This male mantid appeared interested in the female on hummingbird feeder. If so, he was in grave danger of committing sexual suicide. He is considerably smaller than her, and mantids are cannibalistic. Stay tuned for my next Facebook Trivia Note #762:

  Wayne's Word Article On Sexual Suicide  

Wayne's Trivia Note #762 (5 October 2021)

Copulation between male & female mantid near my hummingbird feeder. They remained united throughout the afternoon and evening, although the female climbed higher in the pineapple guava tree. At 9:00 P.M. I placed them (still united) into a terrarium for observations. Stay tuned for my next Facebook Trivia Note #763:

Wayne's Trivia Note #763 (7 October 2021)

The mantid couple remained in their copulatory position (see above image) all afternoon and evening. Then, suddenly they changed positions and she quickly devoured her smaller, amorous mate! Her eyes darkened because they were in the dark, not because she was eating her mate.