Science Magazine and my thoughts on good journalistic practice

Recently, I clicked on a link to this article in Science Magazine about open data. As I read through it, I was surprised to find my name staring back at me. I was even more surprised to find that not only was my affiliation wrong, but a quote from one of my blog posts had been cherry-picked and stuck smack-dab in the middle of a section arguing that not everyone supports open data.

Let me clarify something that many readers of that article may not realize: I was never contacted for the piece. The author, Eli Kintisch, could easily have shot me an email to check my affiliation, give me a heads up, or even request an interview to find out more about my thoughts on open data. He did none of those things. Had I been asked to sum up my views on open data, I would have responded in support of it, as I have done in other venues. The author took one sentence from a much more nuanced discussion and placed it in a new context that gave a different impression and, I felt, misrepresented my views. (I am not the only quoted source who feels their views were misrepresented.)

All my blog posts are openly licensed. No one has to ask me every time they link to one of them or quotes something I have written. People often do this and I take no issue with it. In fact, I appreciate people sharing my posts. But here’s where this situation differs.

First, after conversations with several other sources quoted in the piece, it became clear that the author had contacted them and given them the opportunity to correct any errors or clarify their views. I would have appreciated being afforded the same opportunity. The detail has not escaped me that every other source besides myself quoted in the piece is male.  If as a journalist, contacting all your male sources and not your female ones doesn’t look like discrimination to you, then you might want to reexamine your definition.

Second, when questioned by Karen Cranston via Twitter on the lack of female representation in his article, the author tweeted this:

eliklint_tweet

In short? “I couldn’t find any women to ask.” Hmm. The author quoted my post, so he obviously knew I existed and where to find me. Yet he never contacted me. I also don’t buy the argument that it’s so hard to find women to interview (see my previous post related to this). The first item retrieved in a Google search of ‘open data, women’ (search conducted July 4, 2014) retrieves this post about the Women in Data group.  That post lists three women who Kintisch could have interviewed or asked for referrals.  Just a few days after the Science article was published, Kristin Briney inquired on Twitter about women advocating for open data and received four names in a matter of hours. See? It’s not that hard, but you do have to make the effort.

I contacted Kintisch personally to discuss my concerns and he got back to me by email the same day (June 20). He offered to correct any factual errors in the piece, such as my affiliation, and to have a phone conversation. A few days later (June 24), we spoke over Skype. To his credit, he did express regret that he had not contacted me and for his tweet about not having any women sources to contact. He said he would try to do better in the future. He also corrected my affiliation (more on this below). While I do appreciate his actions, there are a few things that have left me unsettled and thinking about journalistic practice. I am not a journalist, but I think the following should be considered good practice for anyone reporting or writing on the internet:

1. Do not assume you can tack on an institutional affiliation when  quoting articles people have posted on their blogs.

In correcting my affiliation, I explained to Kintisch that there is none listed on my blog by design. I prefer my writing here to be independent of any institution for which I work. True, anyone can Google me and find out where I work. I have also written for media outlets using my institutional affiliations. However, in those cases, I have made the conscious decision to list that affiliation and have often accompanied it with a disclaimer that the views are my own.  It is very different for me to decide to add that information to something I write than if someone else decides to add it for me. Please understand that you can even get people in trouble if they work for a government or federal institution and you add that affiliation without permission. If in doubt, ask your source.

2. Corrections to a published article should be explicitly noted with the date, time, and reason for which they were made.

I revisited the Science article a few days after talking with Kintisch to check that the correction to my affiliation had been made. It had, but there was no indication on the article of when or why – the old text simply disappeared, replaced by the new information. Although this is perhaps a minor point, I think most people agree that it is not good journalistic practice.

3. Contact diverse sources.

This one largely speaks for itself. Want a richer, well-rounded, representative piece? Reach out to women, people from different countries, diverse ethnic backgrounds, etc. There is no excuse for not finding diverse sources. Look hard. Then, look harder.

4. Contact sources on both sides of the argument. 

This is a no-brainer. If reporting on a controversial issue, talk to people on both sides of the argument and discuss different perspectives. Otherwise, what you’re writing is not news, it’s an opinion piece and it should be labeled as such.

5. If you quote sources that were not contacted, make that explicit.

In the interest of transparency, most news pieces indicate that a source was contacted for comment but did not respond or declined. A similar statement should be added for sources that were never contacted, to indicate that the writing is an independent action by the author and not necessarily endorsed by the person quoted.

And one last recommendation. If you as a journalist have been contacted by sources who felt their views were misrepresented, listen and make amends the best you can. You won’t be able to please everyone, but I think you owe it to people you quote to at least try. Kintisch and his editors were only prepared to correct factual errors (my affiliation). So, the piece stands as is with no indication that at least two people quoted therein feel their views were not properly represented. I see no reason why they couldn’t add a note at the end, simply to indicate that concerns were expressed.

To Science Magazine, I have this to say. Where was the oversight? It seems to me there were several failings here that editors could have caught and corrected prior to publication. But I understand that everyone makes mistakes. I only hope that this situation inspires a review of some of the journalistic practices at their magazine.

OpenCon 2014: Empowering the next generation of researchers to advocate for openness

opencon2014

Access to information is a problem in many parts of the world. A huge portion of the academic literature is locked behind paywalls that many people cannot get past due to restrictive costs. This is what it looks like from the outside:

Credit: John R. McKiernan
Paywalls restrict access to information. Credit: John R. McKiernan

Lack of access to information impedes learning, stifles innovation, and slows scientific progress. It should not be hard for researchers to see why making their work open is so important. But they simply do not do it. Why?  Many researchers have grown up, academically speaking, in environments that do not encourage them to share. They have been told – either implicitly through university evaluation and incentive systems, or explicitly by colleagues and mentors – that being open with their work is incompatible with being successful. We need to quash this idea and usher in a new era of open everything in academia – open access to the literature, open educational resources, open data, open science. And who better to usher in this new era than the next generation of researchers?

This is the idea behind OpenCon 2014, the Student and Early Career Researcher Conference on Open Access, Open Education and Open Data. The conference was officially announced yesterday and will be held November 15-17, 2014 in Washington, D.C. Here are some excerpts from the press release:

…the event will bring together students and early career researchers from across the world to learn about the issues, develop critical skills, and return home ready to catalyze action toward a more open system for sharing the world’s information — from scholarly and scientific research, to educational materials, to digital data.

“From Nigeria to Norway, the next generation is beginning to take ownership of the system of scholarly communication which they will inherit,” said Nick Shockey, founding Director of the Right to Research Coalition. “OpenCon 2014 will support and accelerate this rapidly growing movement of students and early career researchers advocating for openness in research literature, education, and data.”

“To be successful, our community must put the next generation at the core of what we do to promote openness in research outputs,” said Heather Joseph, Executive Director of SPARC (The Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition). “We are eager to partner with others in the community to support and catalyze student and early career researcher involvement across the Open Access, Open Education, and Open Data movements through the OpenCon meeting.”

I am honored and excited to be part of the OpenCon 2014 organizing committee, which includes students and early career researchers from all over the world who are  passionate advocates for all things open. The planning discussions to date have been excellent, and I have no doubt the conference will be too. I know there are other committee members who feel the same way!

I hope you’ll join us in supporting this conference and its mission to empower the next generation of researchers to advocate for openness. Support can come in many forms. First and foremost, please help us spread the word – talk to colleagues at your institutions, contact that student who you think would be a great applicant, reach out to your professional organizations, follow OpenCon on Twitter (@open_con) and share information on dates and deadlines. We want to make this a truly international event, with participants from all over the world bringing unique perspectives and knowledge of the challenges specific to accessing information in their countries. Your contact networks can help us do this. Second, if you are in the position to do so, please help a student or early career researcher by sponsoring their travel. There are also many sponsorship opportunities available for larger groups and organizations to get involved.

Culture change is desperately needed in academia, especially with respect to attitudes on sharing research. I believe that OpenCon 2014 will be a major catalyst in helping us to accomplish this change so that one day, sharing will be the norm.

Cuerna Critters: May 4 to 17, 2014

The rains are becoming more regular and there is beautiful new plant life everywhere!

Observed May 11, 2014.
New plant life. Observed May 11, 2014.

The ground is once again sprouting a green carpet.

May 13, 2014.
May 13, 2014.

Many critters who have been absent for several months have returned. Here are just a few of the ones I’ve observed over the last few weeks.

Araneae:

1. Black widow (Latrodectus sp.):

I found this little guy hanging out on the porch mats.

Lactrodectus sp. (male). Observed May 15, 2014.
Latrodectus sp. (male). Observed May 15, 2014.

Nearby was a large female with gorgeous markings.

Lactrodectus sp. (female). Observed May 15, 2014.
Latrodectus sp. (female). Observed May 15, 2014.

Hemiptera: 

1. Cicadas (Cicadoidea): This season, I have only seen  the exoskeletons. But the characteristic buzzing of the adults up in the trees is amazingly loud!

Cicada exoskeleton. Observed May 14, 2014.
Cicada exoskeleton. Observed May 14, 2014.
Cicada exoskeleton. Observed May 14, 2014.
Cicada exoskeleton. Observed May 14, 2014.

2.  Bordered plant bug (Stenomacra sp.?)

Bordered plant bug. Observed May 14, 2014.
Stenomacra sp.?. Observed May 14, 2014.

3. Scoliid wasp (Scolia nobilitata?):

Observed May 14, 2014.
Scolia sp. Observed May 14, 2014.
Observed May 14, 2014.
Different view of same Scolia sp. as pictured above.

Lepidoptera:

1. Yellow-tipped flasher (Astraptes anaphus annetta):

This butterfly seemed to like the fuzzy pajamas I had hanging on the line.

Astraptes anaphus annetta. Observed May 4, 2014.
Astraptes anaphus annetta. Observed May 4, 2014.
Astraptes anaphus annetta. Observed May 4, 2014.
Astraptes anaphus annetta. Observed May 4, 2014.

2. White-striped longtail (Chioides albofasciatus):

Chioides albofasciatus. Observed May 4, 2014.
Chioides albofasciatus. Observed May 4, 2014.

3. Queen (Danaus gilippus):

This beautiful male sat fanning its wings for a long time and allowed me to get within an inch or two.

Danaus gilippus. Observed May 9, 2014.
Male Danaus gilippus. Observed May 9, 2014.
Danaus gilippus.
Same male pictured above.
Danaus gilippus
Same male pictured above.

4. Zebra longwing (Heliconius charithonia):

These butterflies have evaded me for weeks. I was thrilled to finally get a few shots!

Heliconius charithonia. Observed May 7, 2014.
Heliconius charithonia. Observed May 7, 2014.
Same as picture above.
Same as picture above.

5. Clouded skipper (Lerema accius):

Lerema accius. Observed May 7, 2014.
Lerema accius. Observed May 7, 2014.

6. Victorine swallowtail (Papilio victorinus morelius):

Papilio victorinus morelius. Observed May 15, 2014.
Papilio victorinus morelius. Observed May 15, 2014.

7.  Variable satyr (Pindis squamistriga):

Pindis squamistriga? Observed May 14, 2014.
Pindis squamistriga. Observed May 14, 2014.

8. Tailed orange (Pyrisitia proterpia):

Pyrisitia proterpia. Observed May 4, 2014.
Pyrisitia proterpia. Observed May 4, 2014.

9. Iguala sootywing (Staphylus iguala):

Staphylus iguala. Observed May 11, 2014.
Staphylus iguala. Observed May 11, 2014.
Staphylus iguala. Observed May 11, 2014.
Same as pictured above.

Orthoptera: 

1. Grasshopper, unknown species.

Grasshoppers of all kinds are out in force. Many are very well camouflaged against the dead grass and leaves still littering the ground.

Grasshopper, unknown species. Observed May 4, 2014.
Grasshopper. Observed May 4, 2014.

2. Grasshopper, unknown species:

Grasshopper. Observed May 9, 2014.
Grasshopper. Observed May 9, 2014.

3. Grasshopper, unknown species:

Grasshopper. Observed May 14, 2014.
Grasshopper. Observed May 14, 2014.

Scorpiones:

1. Scorpion, unknown species:

Scorpion. Observed May 5, 2014.
Scorpion. Observed May 5, 2014.

2. Scorpion (Centruroides sp.?):

Scorpion. Observed May 15, 2014.
Scorpion. Observed May 15, 2014.

3. Scorpion, unknown species:

Scorpion. Observed May 15, 2014.
Scorpion. Observed May 15, 2014.

*Thanks to Sean McCann (@Ibycter) and Andy Warren (@AndyBugGuy) for identifying some of these critters.

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Cuerna Critters: April 20 to May 3, 2014

The rains are coming back!

We likely still have a couple more weeks before rain becomes a daily occurrence, but we have had several significant storms and even some hail (albeit tiny).

Hail in Cuernavaca. April 20, 2014.
Hail in Cuernavaca. April 20, 2014.

Much of the ground still looks like this.

Dry conditions. May 3, 2014.
Dry conditions. May 3, 2014.

But there is new plant life and other indications that conditions are changing.  Several butterfly species – Morpho polyphemus, Papilio garamas, and Parides photinus  – have returned after months of absence. It probably helps that one of their favorite areas of refuge is looking greener.

Plant life. May 1, 2014.
Plant life. May 1, 2014.

Here are some of the critters I’ve observed here over the last few weeks.

Diptera:

1. Anastrepha sp.:

Anastrepha sp. Observed April 25, 2014.
Anastrepha sp. Observed April 25, 2014.

Hemiptera:

1. Family Coreidae:

Coreidae. Observed May 1, 2014.
Coreidae, unknown species. Observed May 1, 2014.

Hymenoptera:

1. Ampulex compressa:

Ampulex compressa. Observed May 2, 2014
Ampulex compressa. Observed May 2, 2014

2. Family Chrysididae?

Cucoo wasp? Observed April 20, 2014.
Chrysididae?  Unknown species. Observed April 20, 2014.

Lepidoptera:

1. Anthanassa texana texana:

Anthanassa texana. Observed May 1, 2014.
Anthanassa texana. Observed May 1, 2014.

2. Cabares potrillo:

Cabares potrillo. Observed April 20, 2014.
Cabares potrillo. Observed April 20, 2014.
Same individual pictured above.
Same individual pictured above.

3. Copaeodes minima:

Copaeodes minima. Observed May 3, 2014.
Copaeodes minima. Observed May 3, 2014.

4. Danaus plexippus:

Danaus plexippus larvae. Observed April 20, 2014.
Danaus plexippus larva. Observed April 20, 2014.
Adult Danaus plexippus. Observed April 26, 2014.
Danaus plexippus. Observed April 26, 2014.

5. Eurema daira sidonia:

Eurema daira sidonia. Observed April 20, 2014.
Eurema daira sidonia. Observed April 20, 2014.

6. Leptotes cassius:

Leptotes cassius. Observed April 20, 2014.
Leptotes cassius. Observed April 20, 2014.

7. Parides photinus:

Parides photinus. Observed April 27, 2014.
Parides photinus. Observed April 27, 2014.

8. Polites vibex praeceps:

Male Polites vibex praeceps. Observed April 20, 2014.
Male Polites vibex praeceps. Observed April 20, 2014.
Male Polites vibex praeceps. Observed May 2, 2014.
Male Polites vibex praeceps. Observed May 2, 2014.

9. Pyrgus oileus:

Pyrgus oileus. Observed April 29, 2014.
Pyrgus oileus. Observed April 29, 2014.

Pyrisitia proterpia:

Pyrisitia proterpia. Observed March 3, 2014.
Pyrisitia proterpia. Observed March 3, 2014.

8. Siproeta stelenes biplagiata:

Siproeta stelenes biplagiata. Observed April 20, 2014.
Siproeta stelenes biplagiata. Observed April 20, 2014.

9. Strymon ziba:

Strymon ziba. Observed April 20, 2014.
Strymon ziba. Observed April 20, 2014.

Orthoptera:

1. Grasshopper, unknown:

Grasshopper, unknown species. Observed April 27, 2014.
Grasshopper, unknown species. Observed April 27, 2014.

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Cuerna Critters: Special moth edition

Update April 29, 2014: Several of my original identifications were incorrect or incomplete. A huge thanks to Andy Warren (@AndyBugGuy) for providing corrections and additions! I’ve updated the text and photos below.

Cuernavaca has some spectacular moths! I’d like to share with you a few of the beauties I’ve photographed here over the last year.

Some of the critters below were identified by kind naturalists and entomologists on Twitter –  my thanks to Andy Warren (@AndyBugGuy), Timothy Bonebrake (@bonebraking), and Lee Dingain (@LeeDingain)! Others I have tentatively identified myself, or have marked as ‘unknown’. Please help me give these critters names, if you can!

Velvet Bean Moth, Anticarsia gemmatalis.

Anticarsia gemmatalis. Observed Oct. 15, 2013.
1. Anticarsia gemmatalis. Observed Oct. 15, 2013.

Based on shape and markings, I suspect the following two are also Velvet Bean Moths. There seems to be quite a bit of variation in this species. [Confirmed.]

Possibly Anticarsia gemmatalis? Observed Oct. 1, 2013.
2. Anticarsia gemmatalis. Observed Oct. 1, 2013.
Possibly Anticarsia gemmatalis? Observed Nov. 30, 2013.
3. Anticarsia gemmatalis. Observed Nov. 30, 2013.

Black Witch, Ascalapha odorata:

Ascalapha odorata, male. Observed Oct. 10, 2013.
4. Ascalapha odorata, male. Observed Oct. 10, 2013.
Ascalapha odorata, female. Observed Nov. 16, 2013.
5. Ascalapha odorata, female. Observed Nov. 16, 2013.

Flannel Moths, family Megalopygidae:

Megalophyge? Observed Sept. 29, 2013
6. Megalopyge sp. Observed Sept. 29, 2013
Megalophyge? Pupating. Observed Nov. 1, 2013.
7. Megalopyge sp., prepupal larva. Observed Nov. 1, 2013.

Although observed earlier in the year, this may be the adult form of the immatures pictured above.

Flannel moth. Observed July 19, 2013.
8. Megalopyge sp.. Observed July 19, 2013.

Owlet Moth, family Noctuidae, subfamily Acontiinae:

Unknown. Observed Sept. 20, 2013.
9. . Noctuidae: Acontiinae. Observed Sept. 20, 2013.

Grass Moth / Crambid Snout Moth, Epipagis sp.

Observed Sept. 21, 2013.
10. Epipagis sp.  Observed Sept. 21, 2013.

Owlet Moth, family Noctuidae, subfamily Hypeninae:

Observed Oct. 12, 2013.
11. Noctuidae: Hypeninae. Observed Oct. 12, 2013.
Observed Oct. 12, 2013.
12. Noctuidae: Hypeninae. Observed Oct. 12, 2013.

Small Mocis Moth / Striped Grass Looper, Mocis latipes:

Unknown. Observed Oct. 14, 2013.
13. Mocis latipes. Observed Oct. 14, 2013.
Unknown. Observed Nov. 1, 2013.
14. Mocis latipes. Observed Nov. 1, 2013.

Wasp Moth, Amycles sp.:

Ctenuchinae subfamily. Observed Oct. 26, 2013.
15. Amycles sp.. Observed Oct. 26, 2013.

Sarsina sp.:

Sarsina sp., nr. purpurascens. Observed Oct. 14, 2013.
16. Sarsina sp., nr. purpurascens. Observed Oct. 14, 2013.
Sarsina sp., nr. purpurascens. Observed Oct. 14, 2013.
17. Sarsina sp., nr. purpurascens. Observed Oct. 14, 2013.

Owlet Moth, family Noctuidae, subfamily Noctuinae:

Observed Nov. 22, 2013.
18. Noctuidae: Noctuinae. Observed Nov. 22, 2013.

Sphinx Moth, Enyo ocypete:

Enoyo sp. ? Observed Nov. 15, 2013.
19. Enyo ocypete. Observed Nov. 15, 2013.

Sphinx Moth, Eumorpha typhon:

Eumorpha sp. ? Observed July 12, 2013.
20. Eumorpha typhon. Observed July 12, 2013.
Eumorpha sp. ? Observed July 12, 2013.
21. Eumorpha typhon. Observed July 12, 2013.

Tiger Moth, Eucereon sp.:

Observed July, 2013.
22. Eucereon sp. Observed July, 2013.

Owlet Moth, family Noctuidae, subfamily Hypeninae:

Observed Aug. 27, 2013.
23. Noctuidae: Hypeninae. Observed Aug. 27, 2013.

Tiger Moth, Hypercompe sp.:

Observed Sept. 8, 2013.
24. Hyoercompe sp.  Pictured with eggs. Observed Sept. 8, 2013.

Plume Moth, family Pterophoridae:

Plume moth, unknown species. Observed Sept. 9, 2013.
25. Pterophoridae. Observed Sept. 9, 2013.

Saddleback caterpillar, Acharia stimulea / Sibene stimulea:

Saddleback caterpillar. Observed Sept. 31, 2013.
26. . Acharia stimulea. Observed Sept. 21, 2013.

Geometrid Moth, family Geometridae:

Observed Nov. 18, 2013.
Geometridae. Observed Nov. 18, 2013.

Cyanopepla sp.:

Cyanopepla sp. Observed Feb. 3, 2014.
Cyanopepla sp. Observed Feb. 3, 2014.
DSCF6182 1
Cyanopepla sp. Observed Feb. 3, 2014.

Giant Leopard Moth caterpillar, Hypercompe sp.:

DSCF6613 1
Hypercompe sp. Observed Feb. 18, 2014.

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Cuerna Critters: March 23 to 29, 2014

The ground is covered with fallen Jacaranda flowers.

DSCF7277

We had a brief spell of rain on March 25, but otherwise conditions have been dry and hot.  Daily peak temperatures are above 90 F.

But the critters are hanging on!

Diptera:

1.  Sarcophaga sp.: [Rare]

Sarcophaga sp. Observed March 27, 2014.
Sarcophaga sp. Observed March 27, 2014.

Hemiptera:

1. Bordered plant bugs? I still haven’t identified these to species, but I suspect they are in the family Largidae. [Abundant]

Observed March 26, 2014.
Bordered plant bug? Observed March 26, 2014.

Lepidoptera:

1. Anthanassa t. texana: [Rare]

Observed March 27, 2014.
Observed March 27, 2014.

2. Cabares potrillo: There are at least two individuals still hanging out in the banana plants. [Occasional]

Observed March 27, 2014.
Observed March 27, 2014.

3. Cyllopsis sp.: [Frequent to Occasional]

Observed March 24, 2014.
Observed March 24, 2014.

4. Eurema daira sidonia: This is still  the most frequently observed species at this time. [Abundant]

Observed March 27, 2014.
Eurema daira sidonia. Observed March 27, 2014.
Observed March 24, 2014.
Euremas are often found clustered together. Observed March 24, 2014.

5. Hemiargus ceraunus: [Rare]

Observed March 27, 2014.
Observed March 27, 2014.

6. Siproeta stelenes biplagiata: Two individuals are still hanging around the same tree, though they seem to be moving around more. [Occasional]

Observed March 26, 2014.
Observed March 26, 2014.

7. Urbanus teleus: [Rare]

Observed March 27, 2014.
Urbanus teleus. Observed March 27, 2014.
DSCF7352_1
Profile of the same individual seen above.

8. Moth, unidentified species: [Rare]

Observed March 26, 2014.
Unidentified moth. Observed March 26, 2014.

Mantodea:

1. Mantis, unidentified species: [Rare]

Observed March 26, 2014.
Unidentified mantis. Observed March 26, 2014.
Observed March 26, 2014.
Another view of the same individual as seen above..

Orthoptera:

1. Ground cricket? [Rare]

Ground cricket? Observed March 26, 2014.
Ground cricket? Observed March 26, 2014.

Scorpiones:

1. Scorpion, unidentified species: This critter was not in my observation area – it was in my house! It looks very similar to the one I posted last week. I’m still looking for a species ID. Anyone?

Observed March 28, 2014.
Observed March 28, 2014.

 

This is not an all-inclusive list – they were other species around that I wasn’t able to photograph. Honey bees are abundant right now, and there are several other large bee and wasp species out. I also saw what I think was a species of Bombyliidae (bee flies), as well as a tiny green lacewing. Hopefully I’ll spot these again soon and be able to get some clear shots.

That’s all for this week!

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Cuerna Critters: March 16 to 22, 2014

Still no rain and the temperature is rising. Today, we hit 93 F. I tried to brave it, but didn’t last very long. Even the butterflies seemed to have decided it was too hot to fly around much. The honey bees seem to be thrilled about the weather, though!

The rainy season doesn’t usually start until May, so the critters here have awhile to wait before the plant life recovers.  One of the favorite butterfly hangouts  is looking pretty dry.

Plants have dried out due to lack of rain. Cuernavaca, Mexico. March 21, 2014.
Plants have dried out due to lack of rain. Cuernavaca, Mexico. March 21, 2014.

But it’s not all bad news – the banana plants are still sporting green leaves and there are some spectacular bamboo plants across the creek.

Bamboo plants. March 22, 2014.
Bamboo plants. March 22, 2014.

Here’s what was crawling and flying around this week.

Araneae:

1. Ok, technically this guy (or gal) wasn’t in my observation area. It was under the doormat on my back porch! But I would love to get a species ID. My guess is it may be a Tengellidae. [Rare]

Spider in Tengillidae family? Observed March 16, 2014.
Spider in Tengillidae family? Observed March 16, 2014.

Blatoddea:

1. Cockroach, unidentified species.  [Rare]

Cockroach, unidentified species. Observed March 22, 2014.
Cockroach, unidentified species. Observed March 22, 2014.

Hemiptera:

1. Largidae? These bugs are everywhere! I haven’t identified them to species, but I suspect they are in the family Largidae (Bordered Plant Bugs). I’m not sure if the following represent different development stages (nymphs and adults can differ substantially in coloring), or if they are two different species. [Abundant]

Largidae? Observed March 22, 2014.
Largidae? Observed March 22, 2014.
Largidae? Observed March 22, 2014.
Largidae? Observed March 22, 2014.

Hymenoptera:

1. Apis sp.: Honey bees are suddenly out in force! But they’re far too busy to sit still for a nice portrait. [Abundant]

Apis sp. Observed March 22, 2014.
Apis sp. Observed March 22, 2014.

Lepidoptera: This remains the most frequently observed order at this time.

1. Cabares potrillo: This was my first time observing this species. I saw two adults, who are sticking around the banana plants. [Occasional]

Cabares potrillo. Observed March 20, 2014.
Cabares potrillo. Observed March 20, 2014.
Cabares potrillo, 2nd individual. Observed March 20, 2014.
Cabares potrillo, 2nd individual. Observed March 20, 2014.

2. Calephelis sp.: [Rare]

Calephelis sp. Observed March 19, 2014.
Calephelis sp. Observed March 19, 2014.

3. Eurema daira sidonia: This remains the most frequently observed butterfly species at this time. [Abundant]

Eurema daira sidonia. Observed March 20, 2014.
Eurema daira sidonia. Observed March 20, 2014.

4. Opsiphanes cassina fabricii: [Rare]

Opsiphanes cassina fabricii. Observed March 19, 2014.
Opsiphanes cassina fabricii. Observed March 19, 2014.

5. Skipper: Possibly a Pompeius sp.? [Rare]

Pompeius? Observed March 21, 2014.
Pompeius sp? Observed March 21, 2014.

6. Pyrgus oileus: [Occasional]

Pyrgus oileus. Observed March 20, 2014.
Pyrgus oileus. Observed March 20, 2014.

7. Spiroeta stelenes biplagiata: The same two adults are still hanging out in the same tree. [Frequent to Occasional]

Siproeta stelenes biplagiata. Observed March 20, 2014.
Siproeta stelenes biplagiata. Observed March 20, 2014.

8. Urbanus teleus: This female was missing her tails, poor thing! [Rare]

Urbanus teleus. Observed  March 20, 2014.
Urbanus teleus. Observed March 20, 2014.

9. Vacerra sp: [Rare]

Vacerra sp. Observed March 19, 2014.
Vacerra sp. Observed March 19, 2014.

Other Lepidoptera species observed but not photographed.

  • Cyllopsis sp. [Frequent]
  • Danaus plexippus [Rare]
  • Myscelia sp. [Rare]

Scorpiones:

1. This critter wasn’t in my observation area. (It was under the doormat with the spider!) But I would love to get a species ID, especially since we find these inside the house. [Occasional]

Scorpion, unidentified species. Observed March 16, 2014.
Scorpion, unidentified species. Observed March 16, 2014.

My thanks to Andy Warren (@AndyBugGuy) for identifying some of the butterflies above.  And please help me out with additional species identifications, if you can!

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