Wayne's Trivia Notes #36
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 Wayne's Trivia Notes #36   © W.P. Armstrong    All Facebook Notes & Images   
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Wayne's Trivia Note #783 (9 December 2021)

Another baby praying mantid escapee in my house. This morning I spotted one on the floor while tying my shoe laces. The U.S. Penny is 19 mm in diameter.

  Size Relationships Used On Wayne's Word  

Wayne's Trivia Note #784 (16 December 2021)

Another thief ant in my house. I have also found a couple of queens during the past few years, so I suspect that they may have a nearby nest. They are minute & difficult to spot. They are known to enter other ant's nests and steal their food & larvae. In fact, they might be stealing food from the Argentine ants living in my walls!

  Size Relationships Used On Wayne's Word  

Wayne's Trivia Note #785 (24 December 2021)

Palomar College has 2 remarkable Citrus species from the Far East & Australian rainforest. They produce unusual fruits during the holiday season!

  More Images Of Remarkable Citrus At Palomar College  

Wayne's Trivia Note #786 (27 December 2021)

I was once asked: Of all the famous scientists, which two would I like to meet. I answered Charles Darwin and Carl Sagan. I need to add another: E.O. Wilson, famous naturalist & evolutionary biologist from Harvard University. Edward Wilson passed yesterday 26 Dec. 2021. He was truly an inspiration to me, although I never met him. He wrote many books, including Pheidole in the New World, one of my favorite ant genera. He dedicated his life to saving all the marvelous species on our beautiful planet. He will be missed but never forgotten.

  E.O. Wilson Biodiversity Foundation  

Wayne's Trivia Note #787 (1 January 2022: Day 7671 of the 3rd Millennium)

Remembering Jan 2021: Unlike the rainy new year of Jan 2022, the local hills were very dry a year ago at this time. Then suddenly, the coastal sage scrub east of Palomar College burst into flames. I spent my 80th spring photographing all the species that appeared after last January's fire.

  Highlights Of Comet Fire Jan. 2021  

Wayne's Trivia Note #788 (11 January 2022)

Alula (Brighamia insignis) is a rare endemic to vertical cliffs on the island of Kauai. Its natural pollinator moth is presumably extinct so people descend the cliffs on ropes to hand pollinate it. In the Polynesian Garden at Palomar College it produces seeds by unknown pollinator. In fact, these baby alulas are growing in my living room!

  Viable Seeds On Alula In Palomar Polynesian Garden!  

Wayne's Trivia Note #789 (20 January 2022)

Covid 19 Mask Quiz: Which Mask Is An N-95? (1) Mask A; (2) Mask B; (3) Both Masks; (4) Neither Mask; (5) All Of The Above Choices. Hint: Color has nothing to do with correct choice. I chose colored masks for better contrast on my Amazon styrofoam head.

  For Help On Quiz: Click On Couplet Dichotomous Key  

  For More Information Go To Wayne's Word Covid 19 Page  

Wayne's Trivia Note #790 (22 January 2022)

Recent issue of Nature (Vol. 601, Jan. 2022) has article about ostrich eggshell beads & 50,000-year-old social network in Africa. Beads in photo are only about 50 years old. They came from brilliant ichthyologist neighbor & world authority on beads. My astute observation, based on my photo image, is that they greatly resemble miniature cheerios!

  See Nature Article  

Wayne's Trivia Note #791 (31 January 2022)

Just thinking about the significance of the structure of DNA and how Rosalin Franklin's X-ray diffraction patterns were so important to Watson & Crick's discovery in the 1950s!

Wayne's Trivia Note #792 (19 February 2022)

Scarlet Locoweed (Astragalus coccineus)
Near Mountain Springs, San Diego County, CA
Image taken with Nikon SLR & Kodachrome Film.

As of February 2022 I have 14,000 images on Wayne's Word. My hand-coded website occupies 2.26 GB on a 4 GB SD card, with plenty of room to spare. I must say that some of my best wildflower images were taken decades ago with my old Nikon SLR & Kodachrome film!

Wayne's Trivia Note #793 (23 February 2022)

Another Kodachrome transparency image taken in 1980 with Nikon film camera: Desert Beauty (Linanthus bellus). On dirt road near Boulevard, S.E. San Diego County. This species is definitely on my top 10 wildflower list for San Diego County!

Wayne's Trivia Note #794 (26 February 2022)

The quest for power & territory by some irrational, dictators resembles the behavior of ants. Ants definitely attack other colonies & species for food & territory; however, they exhibit swarm intelligence. They are not led by an "evil" queen. Workers & soldiers are sterile females without a permanent leader. The recognition cues for enemy ants are genetically-based odors on the surface of ant bodies called cuticular hydrocarbons. Army ants form temporary camps (bivouacs) instead of permanent nests as they move across the desert in massive raids. To counter this, some species have evolved "soldiers" (major workers) with enlarged heads & mandibles to defend their colonies. I have documented this behavior throughout our southwest desert region.

Wayne's Trivia Note #795 (5 March 2022)

Lichens in Palomar College Arboretum. In 1867, Swiss botanist Simon Schwendener described the symbiotic relationship between algae & fungi in lichens. Beatrix Potter, an excellent naturalist, writer & scientific illustrator, wrote a paper on lichens in 1896. It included meticulous drawings of her microscopic observations of fungal filaments intertwined with algal cells. Her paper was read at a meeting of the Linnaean Society on April 1, 1897. [Historical Note: Women were not admitted as Fellows (or members) of the Society until 1905.] Later, she turned her attention to writing the "Tales of Peter Rabbit" and numerous other stories--much to the delight of children everywhere.

  Lichens In Palomar College Arboretum  

Wayne's Trivia Note #796 (13 March 2022)

Worker ants of these 3 species were only one mm (1/25th of an inch) in length. They are at the limit of my SLR with 3 extension rings. Smaller than this ideally requires a dissection microscope and/or a stacking program that assembles multiple images for optimal depth of field.

Minute thief ant from bottlewort trail in Palomar College Arboretum. Photographed through B & L dissecting microscope with Sony W-300 digital camera.

Wayne's Trivia Note #797 (17 March 2022)

3 important quantitative field measurements in plant ecology are dominance, density and frequency. One year after the Palomar College Comet Fire of January 2021 there is a shrub that has the highest values by far in all 3 measurements: Bush Mallow (Malacothamnus fasiculatus). Since last year, this prolific, native fire-follower has spread by seeds and underground stems (rhizomes) into thickets of pink flowers.

  Comet Fire Images From Jan. 2021  
Quantitative Vegetation Definitions

Wayne's Trivia Note #798 (19 March 2022)

Thanks to campus horticulturist Tony Rangel, the variety of fascinating plants at Palomar College never ceases to amaze me. Here is another remarkable tree that I recently photographed! In my biology career, I must say that the coevolution of more than 800 species of figs, each with their symbiotic wasps, is the most amazing story of all my plant lectures. It is difficult to summarize because of its complexity. In fact, oversimplification by authors often contributes to errors in their publications.

  Palomar College Campus Botanical Garden & Arboretum  
Wayne's Word Fig Page: Coevolution Of Tree & Minute Wasp

Wayne's Trivia Note #799 (24 March 2022)

Agave Weevil (Scyphophorus acupunctatus) with detailed ornamentation on its exoskeleton. Unfortunately, it is a serious invasive beetle. Its larvae feed on native & cultivated century plants throughout our planet, especially the genera Agave, Furcraea & Yucca (all planted at Wayne's word & Palomar College).

Wayne's Trivia Note #800 (31 March 2022)

Moreton Bay Fig (Ficus macrophylla) on upper slope of Palomar College Arboretum. It is quickly developing the stature of century-old Moreton Bay Figs in Balboa Park. Even more remarkable, its symbiotic fig wasp has found this tree!

Wayne's Trivia Note #801 (21 April 2022)

I never cease to be amazed at the fascinating insects in the hills near Palomar College. My latest discovery is a female beetle larva called the Calif. Glowworm (Microphotus angustus). Her life history is just as remarkable as insects featured on nature programs from exotic lands. Unlike most of the 350,000 beetle species on our planet, she retains her wingless larval body form through adulthood. Then her terminal abdominal segments glow to attract winged males. Unless you are hiking in the local hills after dark, you would never see this phenomenon.

Wayne's Trivia Note #802 (10 April 2022)

Fine mesh garden netting for plants is a hazard for snakes. We spent this Sunday morning rescueing a large gopher snake hopelessly caught in the meshwork. The more it struggled, the more entangled and constricted it became. By the time we cut it lose it was exhausted.