Todays insect survey: Tonga Ridge to Mt. Sawyer

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Went bug hunting, Nov 3 up Tonga Ridge to Mt Sawyer, 4080 ft to 5495. Sunny
and clear, great mountain views, temperature at the trailhead at 8am was 25
degrees, temperature at the top of Mt. Sawyer at 1pm was 56 degrees. A
surprising amount of insect activity at this elevation considering it has
been below freezing for the past several nights.

Collected Hover flies, crane flies, Sircidae (horntail wasp). Saw 4 spp. of
moths (collected to look at and then released) Saw Hallid wasps in 3
different locations, and found a thatch ant mound at 4300 ft (no ants
sited).

At one point I stood at the edge of a sunny meadow and counted 34 flying
insects in view (mostly crane flies and midges). I was not expecting this
many bugs this late, this high.

Love to know of other high elevation sightings of thatch  ant mounds, and
especially interested in vegetation surrounding thatch ants. Today's mound,
like many others I have found was in a bracken fern dominant meadow.

Rob Sandelin, Naturalist, Writer, teacher
floriferous@msn.com
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