Census: New Species

Posted: November 6th, 2009 under Activities, photography, Wildlife.
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Our on the land with visitors yesterday, I spotted a new fly (new to me):


That spotted abdomen was very obvious with the naked eye.   It’s a similar pattern to a spotted jumping spider we have (also white spots on black) and until I saw it fly I was thinking  “There’s another P. audax, never saw one on heath aster before.”   The “face” and antennae are the same golden color as the wings.

Shipped that image off to BugGuide.net this morning  for ID, and dug into their Diptera (fly) section, where I found a very similar fly listed in the genus Ptilodexia. Whatever it is, it’s new to me, and thus to the land, and will be listed–I hope to hear back in a few days that it is (or isn’t) a Ptilodexia so I can put it on the land list.

Finding new stuff comes under the heading of Census as one of the seven required activities.


  • Comment by elizabeth — November 8, 2009 @ 9:19 am


    Despite the severe drought of the past two years, we still racked up eleven new species (new to us on this place’s species list) this year. Two “new” birds, and the other nine were all invertebrates.

    Birds seen on or over the place: 155 species
    Non-bird vertebrates seen on the place: 60 species
    Invertebrates seen on the place: 282

    This brings our total “identified wildlife” count to 497.

  • Comment by Kip Colegrove — November 9, 2009 @ 9:32 pm


    A very impressive fly. I can see why it might look like a Phidippus when it first catches the eye.

    I’ve had a thing for jumping spiders for years. Spiders in general, in fact. Lived a long time in Virginia, which is one of the best states in the East for spotting interesting spiders.

    When I lived in central Texas I was just turning the corner of puberty; several years were yet to pass before I would become interested in appreciating local flora and fauna in detail, so a great deal of what you mention and illustrate is new to me. One finds P. audax all over, of course…I’ve had a few staring matches with them as they perched on the walls of houses, both exterior and interior.

  • Comment by elizabeth — November 9, 2009 @ 11:51 pm


    I love those blue-green fangs–so cinematic.

    Somewhere I have picture of one on a twig between gorgeous soft pink flowers (Mexican buckeye, I think it was.)

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