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Friday, July 17, 2009

Cross Jellies and Beach Bugs

This morning when I looked into the water between the houseboat and the dock there were clusters of clear jellyfish. Usually this time of year we're seeing moon jellies, but these are actually cross jellies (Mitrocoma cellularia), a species I haven't ever noticed here before. The white stalks are giant plumose annemonies, there's some seaweed floating on the surface, and the photographer was accidentally captured, too:

In turns out there were hundreds and hundreds of cross jellies just about everywhere today, floating along with the currents. I wonder where they all came from?

This afternoon while taking a walk down at South Beach with some friends and family, we came across this bizarre looking insect. I've never seen anything like it, but it was distinct enough that it wasn't too hard to use the field guide to identify it as a banded alder borer (Rosalia funebris), a round-necked longhorn beetle:

They're found from Alaska to California and are mostly a coastal insect. This one was very cooperative as multiple cameras came in for some macro shots, just crawling slowly along a piece of driftwood. How often is it you get the specimen and the field guide in the same shot?!

My dad then found another insect that he immediately named a "gray sandhopper". Gullible as always, I thought he actually knew what it was, but he was just giving it an appropriate name off the top of his head. I'm not able to narrow this down any more than a member of Orthoptera (grasshoppers, crickets, katydids). Any thoughts?


Bhavesh Chhatbar said...

Beautiful creatures!

Bedse Caves

Warren Baker said...

Hmmmmmmm.......I think it's a Gray sandhopper. ;-)

Rainsong said...

Your Dad and Warren beat me to it.

Actually he looks like he escaped Disney before the magic neon paint machine got a hold of her.

I would consider a frame and a wall for you and the jellies, I love that shot, the longer I look, the more I see. Kinda like looking into water... oh, wait.

Monika said...

Thanks Bhavesh!

And thanks for the ID help Warren... ;)

Rainsong - I hadn't really noticed how cool that first shot is until you pointed it out. I thought it was too jumbled but I like the thought that the more you look the more you see.