Sunday, August 19, 2012

2 Year Anniversery at Shaver Lake

          Living in Fresno County during the summer months can take a Major toll on your psyche. Seeing the dead plants, bugs and streets almost dehydrates you all by itself. Luckily, I found a solution to this problem soon after I inherited an interest for Insects two years ago on August 17, 2012. Just add water!

Sam Wells and I went out looking for bugs last Friday evening through Saturday afternoon at Shaver Lake. This is a great place for swimming, fishing, boating and lots of bug collecting. Buprestidae (Jewel Beetles) are most always an exciting find for Sam and I, and we had Buprestis lyrata already in mind as a target. I had already collected a specimen earlier this week, but by the time I encountered it, I was packing up camp and headed home.

Shaver Lake

After a night of brief light collecting, we hiked around the lake the next morning. Looking under loose bark of Ponderosa Pine (the host for this Buprestid), in the air for a specimen in flight and on or around the actual tree. With no luck, we came upon the exact spot where I collected the previous specimen earlier in the week.

Me standing next to a stressed, yet still standing tall Ponderosa Pine

Sitting down, and running out of time for collecting, we patiantly waited for one to present itself to us. The spot was still haunted by the last specimen I encountered (It's a cool Beetle!!). After only seeing one fly by us, too fast to even attempted a swing of the net, time ran itself out and we headed back to camp. Only this time, in another direction...

Hidden behind a boulder only 20 yards away, there was a massive heap of miscalanious fallen branches. This discovery deserved a second collecting spurt, so we justly sacrificed another twenty minutes. To our appease, we spotted a beautiful specimen flying over the kingdom of branches and landing right on top. Sam cautiously crawled to the top and positioned his net underneath it. Considering risking a picture, he decided against it and knocked it on to the net where he then stuck it in his vial.

Pile of dead branches, including the key tree branch: Ponderosa Pine

Buprestis lyrata Casey

Buprestis species are often referred to as "Common, but uncommonly collected." this saying couldn't be more true. I've been lucky to collect this one and Buprestis viridisuturalis during my time in California, and the more Jewels I find the more fascinated I am with this family.

1 comment:

  1. I found this species only once during my time exploring the Sierra Nevada, but when I did find it (on some windthrown pines) I found a really nice series. Also chopped a nice series of B. viridisuturalis down near Bakersfield from dead cottonwood. Sure wish I had more time in California to collect the jewels out there!