Welcome to the first installment of Cuerna Critters! Every week, I’ll post my observations of arthropods in one area of Cuernavaca, Mexico. On each observation day, I survey an area of up to half an acre for at least one hour. All animals are wild and photographed in their natural setting – none are posed. To provide a rough quantification of species abundance, I am using the ACFOR scale (Abundant, Common, Frequent, Occasional, Rare). Ratings relate only to my observations for the given time period, and not necessarily to the overall abundance of a given species in Mexico. Please leave me suggestions or corrections of species identifications in the comments. Thanks!

Araneae:

1. Jumping spider: Unidentified species. [Rare]

Unidentified jumping spider. Observed Feb. 20, 2014.
Unidentified jumping spider. Observed Feb. 20, 2014.

Blattodea:

1. Cockroach: Unidentified species. [Rare]

Unidentified cockroach species preyed on by A. compressa. Observed Feb. 15, 2014.
Unidentified cockroach species being preyed on by A. compressa. Observed Feb. 15, 2014.

Hemiptera:

1. Assassin Bug: Unidentified, but possibly Zelus sp. nymph. [Rare]

Unidentified species of Assassin bug, possibly Zelus sp. nymph. Observed Feb. 19, 2014.
Unidentified species of Assassin bug, possibly Zelus sp. nymph. Observed Feb. 19, 2014.

2. Heteroptera: Unidentified species, possibly Bordered Plant Bugs. Adults and immatures at various stages. [Abundant]

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Unidentified nymphs. Possibly Bordered Plant Bugs. Observed Feb. 18, 2014.

3. Leaf-footed Bug: Unidentified species. I observed an individual on Feb. 18, 2014. I was not able to get a good picture, but the one observed looked similar to this one from a few weeks earlier. [Rare]

Leaf-footed Bug. Unidentified species. Observed Jan. 31, 2014.
Leaf-footed Bug. Unidentified species. Observed Jan. 31, 2014.

Hymenoptera:

1. Ampulex compressa: [Common]

Ampulex compressa. Observed Feb. 20, 2014.
Ampulex compressa. Observed Feb. 20, 2014.

2. Polistes sp.: I was not able to photograph the many individuals I saw during this observation period, but they were similar to the one pictured below. [Common]

Polistes sp. Observed October, 2013.
Polistes sp. Observed October, 2013.

3. Psorthaspis sp.:  I observed individuals on Feb. 10 and 16, 2014. I was not able to photograph them, but they were similar to the one shown below. [Occasional]

Psorthaspis sp.? Observed October, 2013.
Psorthaspis sp.? Observed October, 2013.

4. Wasp: Unidentified species. [Rare]

Unidentified species. Observed Feb. 12, 2014.
Unidentified species. Observed Feb. 12, 2014.

5. Bees: Apis mellifera and other unidentified species, possibly carpenter bees. No photographs. [Occasional]

Lepidoptera – Butterfly species:

1. Achylodes pallida: I observed one individual on Feb. 18, 2014. I was not able to photograph it, but it was similar to the one pictured below.  [Rare]

Achlyodes pallida. Observed October, 2013.
Achlyodes pallida. Observed October, 2013.

2. Ancyloxypha arene and/or Copaedes minima: I have trouble telling these two species apart, especially if it is not possible to take a photograph or otherwise see them up close. To be safe, I have recorded both species as possible observations. [Common]

A. arene or C. minima? Observed Feb. 11, 2014.
A. arene or C. minima? Observed Feb. 11, 2014.

3.  Anthanassa ptolyca amator: [Occasional]

Anthanassa ptolyca amator. Observed Feb. 16, 2014.
Anthanassa ptolyca amator. Observed Feb. 16, 2014.

4. Blues: Based on photographs, I believe I observed at least two species of Blues,  Hemiargus ceraunus gyas and Echinargus isola, both of which remain to be confirmed. [Common]

Hemiargus ceraunus gyas? Observed Feb. 18, 2014.
Hemiargus ceraunus gyas? Observed Feb. 18, 2014.
Echinargus Isola? Observed Feb. 13, 2014.
Echinargus isola? Observed Feb. 13, 2014.

5. Calephelis sp.: [Frequent]

Calephelis sp. Observed Feb. 11, 2014.
Calephelis sp. Observed Feb. 11, 2014.

6. Cyllopsis sp. : [Common]

Cyllopsis sp. Observed Feb. 21, 2014.
Cyllopsis sp. Observed Feb. 21, 2014.

7. Danaus plexippus: Adults and larvae. [Occasional to Rare]

Danaus plexippus. Observed Feb. 10, 2014.
Danaus plexippus. Observed Feb. 10, 2014.
Danaus plexippus larva. Observed Feb. 16, 2014.
Danaus plexippus larva. Observed Feb. 16, 2014.

8. Eurema daira sidonia: Appears to be the most numerous species in the area right now. [Abundant]

Eurema daira sidonia (dry season form). Observed Feb. 21, 2014.
Eurema daira sidonia (dry season form). Observed Feb. 21, 2014.

9. Heliconius charithonia: No photographs to confirm. Observed 1-2 individuals on Feb. 10, 11, 17, 18, and 20. [Frequent to Occasional]

10. Junonia sp.: [Rare]

Junonia sp. Observed Feb.  18, 2014.
Junonia sp. Observed Feb. 18, 2014.

11. Myscelia cyananthe: I observed one individual on Feb. 19, 2014. I did not get a  photograph, but it was similar to this one photographed ten days earlier. [Rare]

Female Myscelia c. cyananthe. Observed Feb. 9, 2014.
Female Myscelia c. cyananthe. Observed Feb. 9, 2014.

12. Nathalis iole iole: [Occasional]

Nathalis iole iole. Observed Feb. 11, 2014.
Nathalis iole iole. Observed Feb. 11, 2014.

13. Opsiphanes cassina fabricii: These were common a few weeks ago, but I saw very few during this observation period. [Occasional to Rare]

Opsiphanes cassina fabricii. Observed Feb. 15, 2014.
Opsiphanes cassina fabricii. Observed Feb. 15, 2014.

14. Phyciodes pallescens: [Common]

Phyciodes pallescens. Observed Feb. 17, 2014.
Phyciodes pallescens. Observed Feb. 17, 2014.

15. Pieris rapae: Needs to be confirmed. [Occasional to Rare]

Pierid rapae? Observed Feb. 19, 2014.
Pierid rapae? Observed Feb. 19, 2014.

16. Polites vibex praeceps: [Occasional]

Male Polites vibex praeceps. Observed Feb. 21, 2014.
Male Polites vibex praeceps. Observed Feb. 21, 2014.

17. Pyrgus oileus: [Frequent]

Pyrgus oileus. Observed Feb. 11, 2014.
Pyrgus oileus. Observed Feb. 11, 2014.

18. Siproeta stelenes biplagiata: [Occasional to Rare]

Siproeta stelenes biplagiata. Observed Feb. 19, 2014.
Siproeta stelenes biplagiata. Observed Feb. 19, 2014.

19. Strymon ziba: [Rare]

Strymon ziba. Observed Feb. 16, 2014.
Strymon ziba. Observed Feb. 16, 2014.

20. Urbanus sp.: [Occasional]

Urbanus sp. (dorantes?). Observed Feb. 15, 2014.
Urbanus sp. (dorantes?). Observed Feb. 15, 2014.

21. Zerene cesonia cesonia: [Rare]

Female Zerene cesonia cesonia. Observed Feb. 10, 2014.
Female Zerene cesonia cesonia. Observed Feb. 10, 2014.

22. Orange longwing: Unidentified species, possibly a Gulf Fritillary. [Occasional]

Unidentified species of orange longwing, possibly Gulf Fritillary? Observed Feb. 15, 2014.
Unidentified species of orange longwing, possibly Gulf Fritillary? Observed Feb. 15, 2014.

Lepidoptera – Moth species:

1. Blosyris sp.: Wing remnant only. [Rare]

Wing of Blosyris species. Observed Feb. 13, 2014.
Wing of Blosyris sp. Observed Feb. 13, 2014.
Other side of wing of Blosyris sp. Observed Feb. 13, 2014.
Other side of wing of Blosyris sp. Observed Feb. 13, 2014.

2. Hypercompe scribonia: Larva only. [Rare]

Hypercompe scribonia larva. Observed Feb. 18, 2014.
Hypercompe scribonia larva. Observed Feb. 18, 2014.

Odonata:

1. Damsel flies: Unidentified species, multiple colors. [Common.]

2. Dragonfly: Unidentified species. [Rare]

Unidentified species. Observed Feb. 20, 2014.
Unidentified species. Observed Feb. 20, 2014.

Orthoptera:

1. Angle-wing Katydid: Unidentified species. I observed an individual on Feb. 20, 2014. I was unable to photograph it, but it looked similar to the one below. [Rare]

Angle-wing Katydid. Unidentified species, possibly Microcentrum sp. Observed April, 2013.
Angle-wing Katydid. Unidentified species, possibly Microcentrum sp. Observed April, 2013.

2. Hopper nymphs: Unidentified species. [Occasional]

Unidentified species of hopper nymph. Observed Feb. 20, 2014.
Unidentified species of hopper nymph. Observed Feb. 20, 2014.

My thanks to Derek Hennen (@derekhennen) and Andy Warren (@AndyBugGuy) for identifying some of the above critters. Please tune in for the next edition of Cuerna Critters!

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