Readers’ wildlife photographs

Reader Kurt Andreas contributed photos of both flora and fauna; his notes are indented:

Flower Longhorn (Strangalia cf. luteicornis); New Paltz, NY (June 30, 2013). The Strangalia longhorns larva (roundhead borers) feed on rotting wood, and the adults visit flowers in late spring and summer, consuming nectar and pollen.

Garden Star-of-Bethlehem/Nap-at-Noon (Ornithogalum umbellatum). Glendale, NY (April 12, 2016)
A toxic, drought-tolerant beauty native to Europe, Asia and Africa, and introduced into NA.


Podabrus flavicollis, New Paltz, NY (May 23, 2014). One of the soldier beetles (Cantharidae), a poorly studied group that consume soft-bodied insects like aphids as well as pollen, nectar and honeydew.

Tenodera sp. nymphs. New Paltz, NY (May 12, 2014). I took these photos just after they hatched from their ootheca., an egg mass with a foamy protein protective coating. Tenodera comprises Narrow-winged mantis and Chinese mantis, but I didn’t get a picture of the spot between their raptorial legs, which is yellow for the Chinese mantis and orange for the Narrow-winged.



And biologist/photographer Piotr Naskrecki, who’s also in Poland now, kindly allowed me to reproduce this photo he posted on Facebook. Try to identify it before you see his notes below.

I had waited all my life to meet this amazing, ancient creature, and finally saw it last week in Poland, near my parents’ house. The modern tadpole shrimp (Triops cancriformis) is virtually indistinguishable morphologically from its Carboniferous ancestors and it is possible that animals just like this one coexisted with, and were hunted by, the trilobites.

Piotr Naxkrecki


  1. GBJames
    Posted August 2, 2016 at 7:33 am | Permalink

    Wow. I didn’t know there were such things as tadpole shrimp. But then there’s a lot I don’t know.

  2. Posted August 2, 2016 at 7:39 am | Permalink

    Wow! I’ve never thought of or seen anything like the tadpole shrimp (great photo!) I see from this Wikipedia link: “This species is considered to be one of the oldest living species on the planet at around 200 million years old.”

    I’m in awe. What a cool and unexpected thing to learn and wrap my mind around before even getting out of bed today!

  3. Christopher
    Posted August 2, 2016 at 8:46 am | Permalink

    Lovely photos. Longhorn beetles are some of my favorites, especially since they include some of the biggest species in my neck of the woods.

    And need I say anything about how wonderful Piotr Naskrecki’s photos are? Anyone who hasn’t picked up one of his books, the Smaller Majority or Relics, is really missing out!

    and for those of you who need new pets, tadpole shrimp eggs are easily acquired online, the species Triops longicaudatus, which I hope are ethically sourced, and are fairly easy to raise, or so i’m told, and cost only a few quid. I doubt they’ll ever replace cats as the favorite non-human on this site, but they are pretty cool.

    • Peter N
      Posted August 2, 2016 at 8:59 am | Permalink

      “tadpole shrimp eggs are easily acquired online” — no kidding! Five bucks for 50 eggs on Amazon!

      You might guess these beasties are tiny from Piotr’s beautiful photo, but no — according to Wikipedia, they grow to 2 to 10 cm long!

  4. Mark Sturtevant
    Posted August 2, 2016 at 8:49 am | Permalink

    Very good pictures! Thank you.

    Many years ago we were vacationing in Utah. There, on a hike thru sandstone formations, we would come across water pools that had the tadpole shrimp. It was like a scene from ancient times, or another world.

  5. Posted August 2, 2016 at 12:44 pm | Permalink

    Very nice photos! Thanks!

    But I am disappointed — I can’t find the cat in any of them! 😦

  6. rickflick
    Posted August 2, 2016 at 3:16 pm | Permalink

    Lovely shots – all.

  7. Richard Portman
    Posted August 2, 2016 at 10:41 pm | Permalink

    I’m happy you finally got to see Tadpole Shrimp! They are so cool and interesting.
    I live in southern Utah and now that the summer rains have started it is the time
    to see them in the potholes & tinajas.
    Along with fairy shrimp, ostracods, horsehair
    worms and lots of other ephemera.
    One time i bought some eggs and raised
    them in a goldfish bowl. It was fun and easy,
    and gave the room mates something to talk

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