People eat jellyfish, and therefore people fish for jellyfish. They call the practice jellyballing — because if you get a chance to name something, you should name it something cool. Unfortunately, far more jellyfish are caught each year than previously assumed. We currently have no idea what effect this is having on the jellyfish population, or what effect overfishing jellyfish will have on the marine ecology. Considering we’re overfishing pretty much everything in the ocean, I imagine it’s not going to be good. Hakai has a short piece on this, well worth the read.
At the end of March we stayed at Escobilla where Karla had a workshop. One night we were paddled through the lagoon to the beach where the turltes leave the sea, ever so briefly, to lay eggs. It’s not turtle egg-laying season, but it’s a nice trip. It was dusk and I have a crappy camera, but here are a couple of photos of lagoon birds.
These plants were identified at la REBE on July 30th, 2014. They were not planted by people, but grew wild. This is in Cuernavaca, Mexico, at an altitude of 1893 m.
Estas plantas fueron identificadas en la REBE el 30 de julio de 2014. No fueron plantadas, crecieron silvestres.
A bunch of these butterflies were flitting around our garden today – I saw four together, so at least that many. They’re quite common here. Crimson Patch, Chlosyne janais, ranges from Southern Texas to Colombia, and we’re right in the middle of that. I haven’t seen the caterpillar about, probably because we don’t have the food plant. These photos were taken in Cuernavaca at an altitude of 1580 metres, on February 28th, 2016.
This is pretty cool, because we have almost the entire cycle (I just don’t have photos of the eggs). It’s a White-rayed Patch butterfly, Chlosyne ehrenbergii, and caterpillar, and chrysalis, all in Cuernavaca Mexico at an altitude of 1580 meters, in October 2014. They even picked the plant as Buddleja cordata, the genus of which is called Butterfly Bush. In Spanish the name is “Mariposa parche negra”. It grew out of a drain, and I tried to kill it for a few years fearing it would block the drain but I failed. So it grew to a few meters in diameter and these butterflies were over it for years, until a particularly heavy load of caterpillars ate enough of it that it didn’t recover.
This caterpillar was spotted crawling across our steps, a fair distance from any plant. It looks like it’s a moth in the genus Automeris, but I haven’t been able to narrow it down to a particular species. The photo was taken on November 11, 2013, in Cuernavaca Mexico, at an altitude of 1580 metres.
This seems to be a caterpillar of a Coenonympha tullia, or Common Ringlet, based on a similarity to the photo on this page. There are some obvious differences – the head is white, the tail prongs are far longer, and the caterpillar in my photo has orange horns…but there are a great deal of sub-species and I can’t find any other caterpillars with similar body shape and colouringOpsiphanes cassina, identified by Keith Wolfe on the Insectos en Mexico page. The photo was taken on November 11, 2013 in Cuernavaca, at an altitude of 1580 metres.
This photo was taken on October 23rd 2015 in Cuernavaca, at an altitude of 1580 metres. I’m going to go ahead and call it a 14-Spotted Lady Beetle, Propylea quatuordecimpunctata. I’m almost completely certain the ladybug in the picture is the same species as the larvae gathered near it. There were lots more around the tree, but this was the best shot I could get. It also looks remarkable like Coccinula quatuordecimpustulata, which is a page in Swedish, and I don’t know if they’re different species that look similar or whether there’s taxonomic confusion/rivalry going on. Apparently they’re invasive in North America.
The photo below was taken on May 15, 2015, in Cuernavaca at an altitude of 1893 metres. It could be the same species with the yellow dots joined up. It’s on a castor plant.