Terrestrial Arthropods of San Diego County's Journal

July 10, 2024

July 26: Free Moth Week Event at the San Diego NAT!

July 26! Discover the magic of the night with a free one-of-a-kind pop-up Mothing experience in honor of Moth Week 2024! Join the San Diego Natural History Museum’s Entomology Department and photographer-naturalist Hector Valtierra (@biohexx1) from 8-10PM for an enchanting evening under the stars! Gather at the Fig Tree Lawn, north of the building, to participate in “light-sheeting” for moths, view exquisite specimens from our collection, and take a peek into the world of nighttime pollinators. Tag a moth enthusiast in the comment!

Posted on July 10, 2024 02:22 AM by patsimpson2000 patsimpson2000 | 2 comments | Leave a comment

June 13, 2024

Native Bees and the Plants they Love

Want to learn more about our native bees? Catch the nest NatTalk at the San Diego Natural History Museum next Thursday, June 20th at 7pm. Tickets at SDNAT.ORG.

Posted on June 13, 2024 08:06 PM by patsimpson2000 patsimpson2000 | 0 comments | Leave a comment

June 22, 2021

Gorgeous Cat!

Check out this gorgeous Ceanothus Silk Moth caterpillar that @sgcacc found at the Elfin Forest Reserve!


What's your favorite moth cat? Browse the project Moths of San Diego County and let us know in the comments :)

Posted on June 22, 2021 08:39 PM by patsimpson2000 patsimpson2000 | 0 comments | Leave a comment

California Sedgesitter

Exciting find of San Diego Fly

A very rare California species, Platycheirus russatus, was photographed in Pine Valley (Pine Creek Road).

This is possibly the first photograph of a living specimen for this species.

The only other photo known is of a specimen found in Sonoma County in 2020:

If you visit the area, make sure you keep your eyes open for this little treasure.


Posted on June 22, 2021 02:36 PM by patsimpson2000 patsimpson2000 | 4 comments | Leave a comment

April 28, 2021

Are you ready??

Are you ready for the 2021 San Diego City Nature Challenge?
It starts at 12am Friday morning and ends Monday night at 12pm. Any observation within SD County made during that time counts.
Cities across the world will be competing for the most observations, the most observers and most species. Let's find the critters in your own backyard.
Put down a couple of boards on dirt patches and see what likes to hides underneath. Explore all the critters that enrich your compost bin. Look under leaves and flowers. Lift up an old flower pot. Pull up a chair in front of a patch of flowers and see what flies by. See what critters your porch light attracts. "Who" else uses your bathtub ;), ...
Get your better half, your kids, your parents, your cousins, your friends to join iNaturalist and contribute at least 10 observations of wild animal or wild plants during the weekend (they'll get hooked :)
Between May 4th and May 9th, you can explore the project and see if you can help identify any critter that was found: it's a great way to virtually visit the County.
To know more about the project,

Posted on April 28, 2021 03:14 PM by patsimpson2000 patsimpson2000 | 0 comments | Leave a comment

April 19, 2021

Spotlight on... Wedged-shaped Beetle

Ripiphorus Species (possibly R. rex).
by @merav

San Diego County only has two observations of these unique looking beetles, both in the month of May at Anza Borrego State Park.
These beetles have very short elytra that leave their wings exposed. They are often active on Sweetbush, though our observation is a very popular bachelor hangout (possibly near a patch of sweetbush?). Can anyone identify the plant?

Ripiphorus species have a fascinating life cycle. The female will lay eggs in flower buds and the larva will emerge at the same time the bloom matures. The larva will then hitch a ride on a bee and end in a bee nest cell, where it will parasitize a bee larva. Adults only live one to two days so the race is on to mate and lay eggs again!

The preferred bee species hosts are unknown.

Our two observations were in the month of May but Desert Insects & Kin (Lynn & Gene Monroe) describe an encounter in mid-March so both the Border Bioblitz 2021 and the City Nature Challenge should offer opportunity for some sightings if you find yourself in the desert region.

Who's up for the challenge?? I know these are now on my "bugket list" :)

Note: There is some controversy about the spelling of this genus, sometimes with an 'h' after the first 'R'. I stopped fighting the autocorrect which did not want to accept the more recent spelling iNat is using.

Posted on April 19, 2021 10:21 PM by patsimpson2000 patsimpson2000 | 0 comments | Leave a comment

April 12, 2021


Dr. King-Lou James Hung will be giving a lecture through Cabrillo National Monument. 6:30pm.
RSVP at this link: https://cnmf.org/events/
And Cabrillo National Monument is bringing the focus on our little friends this year with the POLLINATORPALOOZA, a bioblitz aiming to identify plants and pollinators from March to September 2021!
So come visit the park and start "the hunt" with your cameras! The park will feature one observation every week on its social media platforms. It could be yours!
Bioblitz info here: https://www.inaturalist.org/projects/2021-pollinatorpalooza-at-cabrillo-national-monument

Posted on April 12, 2021 08:38 PM by patsimpson2000 patsimpson2000 | 0 comments | Leave a comment

March 22, 2021

April 12, 6:30pm


Dr. Keng-Lou James Hung will be giving a virtual talk through Cabrillo National Monument:
“Diversity, natural history, and conservation of San Diego’s native bees”
Reserve your spot here: https://cnmf.org/events/

Posted on March 22, 2021 05:24 PM by patsimpson2000 patsimpson2000 | 0 comments | Leave a comment

December 06, 2020

Molting Action

Check out this cool observation from @sgcacc, who witnessed a molting grasshopper in OB!

For more news on Terrestrial Arthropods of San Diego County, please join the project and any other collection projects of interest.

Posted on December 06, 2020 05:53 PM by patsimpson2000 patsimpson2000 | 0 comments | Leave a comment

November 13, 2020

One of the weirdest!

Everyone, welcome to Terrestrial Arthropods of San Diego County (TASDC)!

While browsing through the Neuroptera of San Diego County project, I found this amazing observation by @jrebman!
This has to be one of the weirdest insects out there. And of course, in good entomology fashion, the name does anything but give away the true identity of the beast.
It's more yellow than brown, it's not a wasp, it's not a mantis or a fly!! But it is in the Mantidfly family (Neuroptera).
It feeds on other insects including it's own kind and the larva is a parasite feeding on spiders and their egg sacs.
Jon Rebman's observation is the only photo of this insect in the county on iNaturalist!
Can you find more?

Another mantidfly (genus Plega) seems to be a little more common in San Diego.
Check out this observation from @silversea_starsong:
Beautiful photo James!

Enjoy exploring the different projects in TASDC!

Posted on November 13, 2020 05:46 PM by patsimpson2000 patsimpson2000 | 4 comments | Leave a comment