I am including some Scarab members on this to introduce them to the email address to the NWspineless email list, an new insect list I think might be of interest. The Scarab group meets at the Burke Museum on the 4th Monday of the month. I'd love to see some of the Scarab group on this list adding their sightings and expertise. (Hey Allyn, maybe post a general instructions for signing on again, then I will save it and forward it as appropriate and see if I can get it in the Scarab newsletter as well) I got to watch the robber flies (Asilidae) in action yesterday. This family has large eyes and the top of the head is sort of scooped out looking, plus they have lots of hairs on their front legs and face and a nasty piercing mouthpiece. GAD I wish I had a better resource for keying these out. Anybody know a good fly website or resource? I think what I was seeing was the genus Efferia, but I have little confidence in this ID. Anyway, they were doing the classic robber fly perch high, fly and snatch, then return to perch and eat. There were 5-6 of them on a early blooming and fragrant Viburnum in my yard. They were after little green midge-looking bugs which I did not catch. Also the Hover Flies (Syrphus) were out in force, with maybe three species?, there was one quite larger and darker than the others and another much smaller. And of course, GIANT bombus's, bumbling about in the spring sunshine. You could hear them coming, loudly buzzying from quite a distance away. They would crash land onto the flowers, causing the other insects to startle. There was a attractive moth about, white with black zigzag markings on the forewings, and that same tiny metallic beetle I have seen in the Indian Plum. I also collected a longish dark insect which I can't even figure it to order yet, but I suspect is a horntail lacking a tail? Sigh.....The trials of an amateur naturalist lacking good keys to local bugs......My microscope has 8 specimens waiting in line and of course, today is another bug day. Rob Sandelin Sky Valley Environments <http://www.nonprofitpages.com/nica/SVE.htm> Field skills training for student naturalists Floriferous@msn.com
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