07 de noviembre de 2021

The Linepithema humile Empire

11/5/21 Starting a more detailed report on this very invasive species. First-order: squash at least 100 daily if possible for 100 days. This would equate to a full-size colony. The Linepithema humile Empire structure is probably quite simple in an urban setting. Most suitable lots will have at least one colony and are interconnected by trails. Therefore, each lot would have to be cleared of its satellite colonies for completion to happen.
11/7/21 From prior excessive removal procedures(sealed crawl holes on one corner), the ants ceased their trail along the bottom of the walls into neighbors' yards. The persimmon tree branches are full of fruit, some are ripened providing food for insects, birds, and mammals. Ants from other neighbors streamed in from branches touching the back wall top. All cut off, allowing access to the persimmon tree from the ground trunk and branches that leaned on the wire fence. The area around the tree trunk has been cleared to allow a view of any trails. 11/8/21 A colony is situated where the concrete patio and sunroom join with a water faucet on the front side(C1). Two eight-foot wood pieces which provided a path from the persimmon tree to C1 are basically free of ants. Sprayed the tree with water. They adjust courses and regroup quickly after a disturbance. Lifting up a stepping stone revealed a local colony, pounded with a maul sledgehammer seems to be at least a temporary solution. A little later, they were digging back their access hole and pounded it with a rubber mallet. Their trail originated from the persimmon tree to a clothesline tied to a butterfly bush. Dense trails on a straight smooth surface pathway provide for easy cleaning. The neighbor ants are still seen on top of the wall, they represent the multiple colony virtually unlimited invasion. 11/9/21 They formed a trail on the bladderpod bush and up the wall to their existing external trail. Branches in contact with the wall were pruned off. Two grass stems about a foot off the ground are still connected to the wall. Tested lightweight perlite filter media on the trail, they went around it. One wood piece(WP2) was placed on the wall where the persimmon branch connected to the wall. Its bottom portion on the ground is about six inches from the persimmon tree base and very close to an existing trail. 11/10/21 The ants found one small branch still connected to the fence. Pruned off. Later in the evening, the trail went down the fence. Squash. A while later two thinned-out trails near the last used the two grass branches connected to the wall. Squash. A while later they found the next bush(B1) and another stream of ants from the persimmon tree formed a trail to the other side of the sunroom(C2). Their scouts search for new paths to follow and must emit a signal of some kind. A very light trail formed on WP2. They stop at ground level and go back up WP2. They were "follow the old trail" ants, not the trailblazers. 11/12/21 4:30 pm All ants disappeared(11/13 found a trail of ants through a crack in the wall) except for a thin trail going to C2. 10 pm The ant trail reappeared at B2. 11/13/21 Ants disappeared except for a newly found trail going through a crack in the wall(shortest path). Examining the whole wall, there are places past earthquakes have been displaced leaving accessibility to the other side. The ability to find paths to their food source is remarkable. Cleared wall area of leaves, branches, and asparagus fern. Any trails will be easier to spot. 6:30 pm They reappeared at B1, C1, and C2. Invertebrate inbreeding(same colony signature, like plants) actually helps species maintain genetic integrity. If natural selection and genetic drift are muted, species can maintain their local apex and continue to thrive. They were first recorded in California in 1907, which is very brief in the evolutionary time frame. In the distant future, many different colonies might form and diversity might look more like their native Parana River habitat rather than a few supercolonies. San Diego Lake Hodges is an example where an Argentine ant colony with a different chemical signature arose. Maybe the 90% of queens that are killed off in May, emit a signature difference at that time. Any possible genetic chemical signature change is immediately killed off. This might be another reason why the supercolony maintains its oneness. 11/15/21 6 pm 80's past week. As darkness descends, ant trails start moving in high gear. 11/20/21 60's past week. Over and through the fence inflow ceased. Underground trails are now being used, maybe leading to the other side of the wall. By cultivating the hard porous soil, passageways are blocked 11/21/21 They were using underground tunnels as a passage to the other side. A trail formed at that recently plugged crack. Sealed off now. 11/22/21 The trails are greatly reduced. 11/25/21 A trail from the ground(wall) to a planter formed. 11/26/21 7:30 am 56 F All trails have disappeared. Late afternoon, one main trail from persimmon tree to c2.
One and a half year note.
5/18/23 No established main exterior ant trails have been observed. A satellite colony under a stepping stone and wooden pallet last year. A new ant colony species appeared for the first time this year. There has been a definite change in population. Supercolony's strength lies in its sheer numbers. The fragmentation strategy is a start. The possibility of genetic drift is now greater.
6/6/23 An ant trail from wall to bladderpod to 8' wood to persimmon tree was observed. On 6/4 the persimmon tree branches along the wall were trimmed. An existing thin trail must have been cut off and made a new trail to the persimmon tree. The leaves start growing fast during spring. This site and others will continue to be invaded be the outside army of ants without the community helping out as well.

Publicado el noviembre 7, 2021 05:25 TARDE por quantron quantron | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario

01 de septiembre de 2021

sodium/potassium pump

Found in all animal cells.

Publicado el septiembre 1, 2021 06:59 MAÑANA por quantron quantron | 1 observación | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario

14 de abril de 2019

Field Notes

A few guides for the naturalist:
Keeping a Naturalist’s Field Journal
A Glimpse Inside Great Explorers’ Notebooks
How to keep a field journal

Photographs of a life form or event might have some historical significance. Asking some questions such as why is this observation happening? How does it work? What are the components and is there a strategy to capture it if the opportunity arises again? Where does this exist? Is this a reoccurring or onetime event? Environment? When do they first appear? Do their numbers increase/decrease?
What life stage appears? Greater detail will fill in more of the blanks. Ask the experts.

8/9/19 Peck Park: Canyon with a creek and filled with a variety of flora and hidden fauna. Lizards heard scurrying through the dried leaves and grass, while ravens were active in the canopy. One common native plant, Encelia californica, nowhere in sight.

8/3/19 Bandini Canyon Park: Parallel horizontal painted panel walls flank the whole corridor park, which still plays host to native species. Not one western fence lizard appeared on this occasion. Mostly flattened dried grass, few native plants and the possibly unclimbable walls may be factors to consider. A well-developed habitat plays an important role in the local area’s biodiversity. Chaparral, nectar sources from various plants, landscape, water source, logs, rocks, and other ground objects are a few ways to allow the food chain to function and flourish.

6/15/19 White Point Nature Preserve: After above-normal winter rainfall, Theba pisana population exploded, found on plants to building walls. I could hear a variety of birds in the golden fields, though not seen.
How do birds learn songs?
How Birds Make Sounds
How and Why Birds Sing

4/21/19 George F. Canyon: Walking down the casual trail, an out of the ordinary bird call and another at a distance, an echo? Mourning cloak and Sara Orangetip butterflies pass by, and a Buteo heard somewhere beyond the trees. Further down the trail, scanning the tall eucalyptus trees from stories past, a big light object on a high branch came into view. Finally, the first sighting of a Great Horned Owl . Ever wonder why birds don't fall over when asleep? After the wonderful surprise sighting one hour into the adventure, a fitting ending, and back down the trail again listening to the mysterious sound. The song of an Indian peafowl.

4/13/19 Delthorne Park: A monarch and swallowtail flying around, the usual fox squirrel, a dry creek runoff, and a lawn dotted with large trees. Though the whole park wasn't examined too closely, one ubiquitous species was missing - the Argentine ant. Ants are usually easy to spot along the concrete, utility covers, wall, ground, or tree areas, none to be found. 8/3/19 Upon visiting once again, Red Harvester, Moorish Sneaking Ant, and another ant sp. Argentine ants seem to thrive where a supply of nectar, fruit, and moisture occur. 11/16/19 Same location: A nest of Dorymyrmex insanus appeared in the fine sand along the concrete walkway

Publicado el abril 14, 2019 05:23 MAÑANA por quantron quantron | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario

25 de octubre de 2018

Symbiosis and Mimicry

Publicado el octubre 25, 2018 03:33 MAÑANA por quantron quantron | 1 observación | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario

15 de septiembre de 2017

Genotype , Epigenetics, and Phenotype

Once in a while, an organism may change coloration, pattern, anatomical/functionality features, or behavior. First-order recessive trait or a change in gene activity and expression, which doesn't impart any new generational genetic composition, may be observed. Wonders of ancestry abound in many different environments. Timeline: The evolution of life(2009). , and a brief view of geological history. Earth formed 4.6 Ga. Super continents: Rodinia(1.1Ba-750 Ma) and Pangea(335 Ma - 177 Ma) = Gondwana(550 Ma- South America, Africa, Antarctica, India, Australia) + Laurasia(North America, Europe, Asia). "In the Early Jurassic, Antarctica was closer to the equator and the world was considerably warmer than today, but the climate was still cool temperate." [1] Jurassic(199.6 to 145.5 Ma) "As the world entered the Cretaceous Period(145.5 Ma - 65.5 Ma), Antarctica was very much situated at or near the South Pole. But at least during a major part of this period, there were no polar ice caps anywhere on Earth. And forests penetrated all the way to the South Pole." [2] Antarctica began separating from Africa 160 Ma, Australia 85 Ma, and ice formed 45.5 Ma . Why does atmospheric CO2 fluctuate up and down?

icroscopic fossils of bacteria-like organisms, single-celled protozoans and algae(~3 Ba) paleontologist Andrew Knoll
Land fungi(1330 Ma):
sponge(890 Ma): Oldest animal

Ctenophores(730 Ma):
Land plants(700 Ma):
Gastropods, bivalves, and cephalopods (585 Ma):
After a local tidepool visit http://www.molluscs.at/gastropoda/terrestrial.html.
Woodlice: http://www.sylvanusservices.com/resources/Woodlice_Info.pdf
Pill bugs: https://www.pbs.org/newshour/science/pill-bugs-emerged-sea-conquer-earth

Fish(530 Ma):

Land Anthropods(430Ma):
Insects(407 Ma): https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Evolution_of_insects
Tetrapods(390 Ma): Panderichthys, Eusthenopteron, Tiktaalik, Acanthostega
Beetles(300 Ma):
Flowering plants(250 -140 Ma);
Flies(250 Ma):
Turtles & Crocodiles(220Ma):
Stylommatophora -Land snails and slugs(150 Ma):
Butterflies & Moths(150 Ma): https://www.learnaboutbutterflies.com/Taxonomy%204.htm
Hymenoptera(150 Ma): https://reader.elsevier.com/reader/sd/pii/S0960982217300593?token=D17D86F045C84BACA397C40B4E04F4E07B5F64E281C7BF8CEC64A4D018AD68EE4A8F05F1ED2128261B653CA93D0D403D
Ants(140 Ma): https://www.nytimes.com/2013/10/17/science/key-to-ants-evolution-may-have-started-with-a-wasp.html
Bees(120 Ma): https://sites.google.com/site/hutchingsbeeservice/evolution-of-bees-from-solitary-wasps
Modern primates(75Ma):

Similar exterior characteristics may not always define a particular grouping at its terminal node, but rather at a higher taxonomic level or further sub-node speciation. DNA analysis is helping better describe systematics.

Publicado el septiembre 15, 2017 01:43 TARDE por quantron quantron | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario

23 de abril de 2017

Treasure Hunt

Every exploration has its own unique path to discovery.

  1. Purpose: Agriculture, Art, Communication, Community, Conservation, Education, History, Inspiration, Pastime, Science.
  2. Experience: A broader view of nature and understanding Who, What, Why, When, Where, How, How Much. Dedicated with big picture visualization understanding and operates extravagant detail while utilizing tools. Depth is clear. There are many experts on INaturalist that may help.
  3. Knowledge: Characteristics of a particular species, and what to look for. Static range observation gold mine. Overlooked in the overwhelming data. Many cases randomly appear and given limited experience though broad knowledge, focus may lag.
  4. Tools: iNaturalist map provides proximity of where species might be located. An observation can range from a permanent resident down to a rare appearance. Seasonality, range, migration, prey, predators, and host plants are a few items to consider.
  5. Quantity: Odds can increase with more observations. If it can be found, someone is bound to find it. "Teamwork is the fuel that allows common people to attain uncommon results." From an undetermined number observations an "AHA" or pattern model might appear.
  6. Quality: Clear photos depicting necessary anatomical features will improve identification accuracy.

  7. Habitat: Well developed micro and macro ecosystems, with certain rural type areas producing the most native species sightings. Two spaced observation days in the same area will undoubtedly look like a Venn diagram with regards to the observed species list.
  8. Preparation: Physically, mentally, intelectually, materially, group or individual coordination, safety, and case itinerary. The Biggest Mistakes Hikers Make When They Get Lost on a Trail (Video)
  9. Strategies: Once in a rare opportunity. You never know what a specific aim and/or general find it search might uncover. There may be a few seconds timeframe to capture an observation, a net or container for insects might work in certain situations. During mornings/evenings and cooler seasons, insects will be more sluggish than in summer day weather. Though fast moving, they like to rest on leaves, stems, or eat/collect flower nectar/pollen once in a while. This is the golden opportunity. If there appears to be no insects around a nectar flower area, insects move from area to area, setup a temporary outpost. Chances missed. Try to get a quick snapshot without bothering with quality. Move the bushes and see if a moth flies out, it will travel a short distance and find another resting location. An ideal site would be a park with a lawn and wall with plants. A moth on a lawn observation is much easier than one that flies into a dense thicket. This is only a start. Persistence, when it seems there is nothing around, continue to search within limits, for a favorable micro-environment may be near. Somewhat inexplicably, there might be one particular plant playing host to a particular species, whereas others around it may be void. While constantly looking for insects 1-2mm in size, larger ones might appear. A panoramic view can spot general moving or distinct objects. Random photos of plants, soil, and objects may later reveal life upon inspection of the observation. For night creatures, an ultraviolet black light will attract some insects, mainly moths, with warmer weather being best. Large scale samplers: vacuum, net, drift fence, and traps (bait, ball, bucket, malaise, Ovitrap pan, pheromone, pitfall, sticky paper, sugar, smoke ...) [various literature]. Terrestrial molluscs usually appear at non-windy night or early morning, when conditions are such that moisture loss is at a minimum. Make a slug hotel by watering under a board on the ground, a researcher might observe moisture movement. Tide pool areas with flat rocky kelp/algae/coral shores provide habitat for a wide variety of species. Low tide appears daily with a changing time each day according to the moon’s position, though lowest low might appear before sunrise.. Be very careful of slippery rocks. Daily observations may yield different species because of variable cyclic appearance by chance.
  10. Patience: Whether following a trail or observing from a lookout post, enjoy nature.
Publicado el abril 23, 2017 05:33 MAÑANA por quantron quantron | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario

31 de marzo de 2017


In 2004, two “silky gold” asclepias curassavica and parsley host plants sprouted. Anise swallowtail caterpillars emerged just afterward, and over four years later, on October 29, 2008, a monarch found the milkweed garden! After two monarch butterflies hatched in January 2009, I learned of Gibbs Butterfly Park in Huntington Beach, CA, and things progressed from there until maturation. Aboard the “Regal Eagle,” 2015 prompted expansion into a greater sphere of nature in which distinct life forms appeared along with an enhanced ecosystem. On November 1, the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County’s yearlong Super Citizen Scientist urban biodiversity research program began. Consistent bimonthly observations, after rainfall data, monthly malaise trap collections, camera trap photos, and bioblitzes yielded new organisms that were beyond normal sight. Many thanks to identifiers, coordinators, developers, supporters, scientists, and observers for helping form a clearer map of our ever-changing constant world.

2015: Climbing the naturalist mountain.
2016: Every exploration has been a new adventure in citizen science.
2017: September to December 2017 UC California Naturalist program
NHMLA SuperProject April 2017 to March 2018 "largest urban biodiversity survey in the world..."
while gaining an in-depth broader view and contributing to community science. Study area: South Los Angeles and Valley areas.
2018: NHMLA SuperProject 3 September 2018 to August 2019. Study area: South Los Angeles
2019: A five-year local exploration completed.
2020: SuperProject 4 March 2020 to February 2021. Study area: Coastal Los Angeles
2021: Return from the naturalist walkway.
2022: Beyond the iNaturalist heliopause
2023 and beyond: Nature's database is a never ending story.

Publicado el marzo 31, 2017 01:19 TARDE por quantron quantron | 1 observación | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario


UV protective clothing UPF 50+.
03/27/15 Lumia 530
12/30/15 Core Prime touch AF
07/01/16 TG-4 4x optical easy to carry around at all times, and take quick photos. 22x super macro "microscope" mode allows close up photos at a distance, reducing the chance of scaring away the insect, however, grainer photos and manually adjusting distance away from object. Focus stacking clears up edge blurriness, and object must be stationary. 5/17/17 TG-5 5/22/19 TG-6 announced.
10/28/16 Coolpix P900 83x optical, 166x Dynamic Fine Zoom, and 332x Digital Zoom
Photos were taken in auto mode(manual zooming) with no special settings 7/10/18 Coolpix P1000 125x no gps optical announced.
2/19/20 Galaxy S7 edge

NOTE: Smudge free lens, filter kit(UV outdoors, CPL remove reflections, ND(2, 4, 8) prevent overexposure, FLD remove indoors fluorescent greenish)

Ideal: DSLR or mirrorless camera for highest quality photos, point & shoot compact for maneuverability with decent images, and bridge camera.
Ant photos examples:
dbowls panasonic DMC-ZS60
psyllidhipster Canon PowerShot SX40 HS

Publicado el marzo 31, 2017 01:18 TARDE por quantron quantron | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario

Identification Zone

iNaturalist - Identifying Observations


Speciation is extraordinary, one species might have variations, or members within a genus might look similar to one another or another genus/family branch. A specific geographical region may designate subspecies. An untrained eye will often assume all these are basically the same, so why bother taking another photo, when looking closer reveals different species. The similar species tab and auto identifier suggestion list help, though many times may not have enough quality observation neurons in its database, likewise, as the number of observations grow identification expertise will probably follow along. Browse through iNaturalist specialized Projects or run locality/taxonomy searches while keeping in mind seasonality and range. https://www.inaturalist.org/projects/biodiversity-of-the-united-states-by-state If there is time available, reading comments, blogs, literature ...can be very enriching.

There are identification keys available on the web that use precise anatomy. Fluent in the language of anatomy http://bugguide.net/node/view/48816, though the exact meaning of acronyms and terms may not be readily available. Just as many disciplines are trying to find and work on the grand unified theory in a particular niche, existing keys may eventually find their way into a virtual reality like way of seeing things to view at all angles that may match a photo observation. A simple example of an Allograpta observation, with identifiable angular views and enough supporting characteristics, makes the key identifier known. We can test a reverse approach for a likely candidate(hypothesis) and if one strong point can dislodge it, then another candidate tested and so down the line until exhaustion and a general level designated. Observations with no organism, only evidence it was present at one time (a hole, crushed vegetation, scent, scat, trail ...) have much value.

Sign up https://bugguide.net/ for expert identifications.


Aphids- Jesse Rorabaugh

http://aphid.aphidnet.org/cauda.php http://aphid.aphidnet.org/index.php
https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/6677395 obs of day

Beetles Order Coleoptera - borisb

Bees and Allied Wasps Superfamily Apoidea - John Ascher

Flies - Even Dankowicz
Fly Guide
Robber Flies - Chris Cohen

General - Cedric Lee

Green blow flies

Leafhoppers - Kyle Kittelberger
solomon hendrix

Mollusks - Saryu Mae
Susan J. Hewitt

Plant Bugs Family Miridae - WonGun Kim

Psyllids - Chris Mallory

When classification that encompasses all possibilities becomes the roadblock on iNaturalist, for additional bug identification: net, aspirator, long tweezers, ruler, collection containers, microscope, an eye for patterns ... www.bioquip.com http://bugguide.net ideally size(mm), plant, clear detailed photos from major angles as well as a non-zoom of an organism with surroundings, environment scenario, and life stages. Dissection to view internal anatomy may be needed if external features are indistinguishable.
The last resort would be to match its DNA barcode if available, and may not be 100% accurate all the time.
Upgrade: A built-in guard to the lowest level of identification possible just by photos alone, unless a definitive known population exists by itself. Example: would be held at the Genus level until further identification procedures are carried out or an already known permanent species population exists. A list of possible species plus characteristic annotations. If your observation is not found on iNaturalist, [For cases like this it would be best to flag the taxon (in this case the genus) for curation. Click on "Curation" under the graphs on the taxon page and select "Flag for curation."] .
Some observations may look blurry and indistinguishable to a 3rd party identifier. however, to the 1st person that was unable to get a clear photo of a known organism, this becomes a disparity. Ideally, 3rd party generalized identifications should not count to a degree that affects the actual observer that knows the organism's identity. It's like taking a picture your pet cat, and someone downgrades it to Genus Felis. If on the other hand, the observer doesn't know the organism's identity, the 3rd party identification holds full weight(see Identification voting).

Bird sounds:
Learn each distinct bird sound to the point of instant recognition.
Bird ID Skills

Plants: photos of leaf shape from just sprouting to maturity with views of back and front, stem, trunk, flower petals, fruit, full view, different seasons, life found on or eating it. Most plants in the urban Los Angeles basin have all been planted or the offspring of planted.

Organism range may change over time, what was observed years ago - still around, all gone or new species.

Identifications based on observations only are made off of high probability for a particular set of supporting photos and currently known facts about the organism. A few identifications/comments can present a gradual modification, deletion, or reversal over time with new information that may be found or generated. Tracking comment changes or deletions is not currently supported. A change in identification may occur when enough support arrives, which prompts another taxonomic level or tree branch.

Identification voting: If your observation was identified in the past as a certain species, then later on it is discovered to be another species and identified appropriately, however, when the past identifiers are not aware of this change and the resulting identification is held at a general level. 1) contact the past identifiers 2) Community Taxon click on “Reject?” the generalized community id and represent it as the identification you have chosen. In the Observation field, search "possible" for possible id and label accordingly.

Publicado el marzo 31, 2017 01:17 TARDE por quantron quantron | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario

13 de marzo de 2017

Further research

As infinity is approached, existence is defined.

Testable hypotheses through a filter to find the one(s) that remains solid.
"In the most basic sense, a scientific fact is an objective and verifiable observation, in contrast with a hypothesis or theory, which is intended to explain or interpret facts." - Wikipedia

An observation might be one in a series of observations over time, which together tell a broader story.
Ambiguity may be found at a general to specific level. What appears to be true based on one observation, may not be true in another, and vice versa(NHM night of ideas). Correlation doesn't automatically imply causation, whereas with causation there is a correlation(TGC). Once the mechanics are in place, things basically run on their own. As knowledge and understanding grow, a varying appearance of past to present consensus may form until its ceiling(Tools = complexity + data/material) is reached.

Each observation can help support, remain neutral, or rule out possibilities, adding to nature's puzzle. Modifications.

How to decrease invasive species and reintroduce a sustainable native diversity. Determine the variables needed to establish this precedence within a given ecosystem.

  1. Argentine ants invasive - Squash their trail, and they will disappear. Established trails will keep reappearing if an unreachable colony exists nearby. Consistent trail squashing will eventually reduce its population. If there is a reachable nesting place, preferably along the concrete, pour water and the many will start scrambling out. Squash and repeat until gone. Simply Green works well on non living material. After a week or two, another batch may form, repeat the process. Ideal situations are not always present. This is where dedication, consistency, and some creativity starts. Is it remotely possible to halt their invasiveness? Information: Linepithema humile
    <44to57 F daily untenable, water is key, eggs laid early spring to late fall(the 1st batch are queens and males). At least 33 days to adulthood, where 74 days is average. Queens don't start laying eggs until the following year. Workers kill 90% of queens before the reproductive season. 50 to 60 eggs per day maximum, and 20 to 30 per day average. Queens may live a couple of years, where as workers only up to 12 months. They are quick to find food.
    10,000 ants per colony
    hypothesis: Squashing 100 ants per day for 100 days would make a difference.
    Linepithema humile wikipedia

Set A was a prologue to set B.

Observation(s) a day = greater variety of species observed along with possible pattern or relationship models.

Scientific Method - flexible
"a method of procedure that has characterized natural science since the 17th century, consisting in systematic observation, measurement, and experiment, and the formulation, testing, and modification of hypotheses."

Journal entries are an on going process and subject to change.

Publicado el marzo 13, 2017 02:45 TARDE por quantron quantron | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario