Το Ημερολόγιο του Biota of the Claremont Hills Wilderness Park

Μάιος 19, 2022

The results of the City Nature Challenge CHWP BioBlitz are in!

The City Nature Challenge official identification period is now over, and we are excited to report our results from the April 30 Claremont Hills Wilderness Park BioBlitz. (Although if you have observations you haven’t posted yet from the BioBlitz, don’t worry, they will still be counted.)


@moonlightrunner and @diego4nature explaining the BioBlitz to Park Vistors.

Overall results

Eight observers made 197 observations of 95 different species during the BioBlitz. Eighty percent of the observations reached “Research Grade”. You can see all the results here.

Most observed species

Not surprisingly – since it’s at its showy peak right now – the most observed species was Southern Bush Monkeyflower (Diplacus longiflorus).

Southern Bush Monkeyflower (Diplacus longiflorus). Observation by @moonlightrunner.

New species observed

Most exciting to us was the addition of 14 new taxa to our Biota of the Claremont Hills Wilderness Park project. They included:

Four plant species:

  • Southern California Clematis (Clematis pauciflora)
    This means we have two Clematis species in the Park
  • Pineapple-weed (Matricaria discoidea)
  • San Luis Blazingstar (Mentzelia micrantha)
  • Perennial Ryegrass (Lolium perenne)
    We’re not so excited about this non-native invasive grass, but it’s good to know it’s there


San Luis Blazingstar (Mentzelia micrantha. Observation by @carolblaney.

Nine insect taxa (1 bug, 4 beetles, a wasp, and 3 flies):

  • Aoplonema – a plant bug
  • Judolia sexspilota – a flower longhorn beetle
  • Ornate Checkered Beetle (Trichodes ornatus)
  • Apsena – a darkling beetle
  • Dichelonyx– a May beetle or Junebug
  • Euodynerus – a potter wasp
  • White-headed Bee Fly (Bombylius albicapillus)
  • Chrysopilus – a snipe fly
  • Western Aphideater (Eupeodes fumipennis)


Western Aphideater (Eupeodes fumipennis). Observation by @carolblaney.

One bird species:

  • Hutton's Vireo (Vireo huttoni)

Coolest observation

Vegetarian bugs go rogue and try to make a meal of blister beetles!

“Coolest” is, of course, subjective, but our pick is @carolblaney’s observation of a pair of mirid plant bugs (Aoplonema sp.) attacking two mating Red-eared Blister Beetles (Lytta auriculata). As she describes the encounter, “The Aoplonema pair advanced on the mating Lyttas. One mirid repeatedly probed the tarsal claws of the female, which she twisted away to avoid, as best she could while mating. The other probed the underside of the male Lytta, as shown in this photo:

What made this encounter strange is that the attacking bugs were mirids = plant bugs. Aren’t they supposed to eat plants? What were they doing going after blister beetles? A tip from identifier @kschnei pointed us to the answer.

It turns out that some mirids are predatory and eat other insects, and that Aoplonema are particularly attracted to blister beetles. These aptly named beetles secrete a compound, cantharidin, which causes severe blistering on the skin and is poisonous when ingested. Cantharidin is generally a defense against predators, and blister beetles coat their eggs with it to deter predators. Paradoxically, cantharidin is an attractant to Aoplonema. They use it to home in on blister beetles and then proceed to insect their mouth parts membranous regions between segments of the blister beetles’ hard exoskeletons to suck out their hemolymph. Yikes! It truly is a dog-eat-dog – or in this case a bug-eat-beetle – world out there!

The link to the observation with all the fascinating comments is: https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/114324027.

Many thanks to:

Αναρτήθηκε στις Μάιος 19, 2022 1253 ΠΜ από nvhamlett nvhamlett | 0σχόλια | Αφήστε ένα σχόλιο

Απρίλιος 26, 2022

BioBlitz in the Wilderness Park, this Saturday, April 30!

Please join the Friends of the Claremont Hills Wilderness Park on Saturday, April 30, for a Wilderness Park BioBlitz in conjunction with the City Nature Challenge!

We are hoping that some project members will:

  • make lots of observations!
  • staff our booth at the Park for an hour or two to answer questions and help participants with iNaturalist
  • help with identification (May 3 – 8)

If you can help out with any of these, please register here with our Google Form.

You can still make observations without registering, but if you register, we'll send you updates and a report on the results of the BioBlitz.

All the observations made during the BioBlitz will be added both to this project and to the Los Angeles County 2022 City Nature Challenge.

Αναρτήθηκε στις Απρίλιος 26, 2022 0548 ΜΜ από nvhamlett nvhamlett | 0σχόλια | Αφήστε ένα σχόλιο

Απρίλιος 01, 2022

Rare species in the Wilderness Park

One of our goals for identifying species in the Wilderness Park is to detect rare species that might require special management consideration. For instance, invasive species removal might be targeted to protect rare plants species, or new trails might be routed to avoid sensitive species.

But in order to protect endangered, threatened, and rare species, iNaturalist automatically obscures their exact location, showing the location only as 0.2° x 0.2° rectangular cell (an area of about 400 km2) that encompasses the hidden true coordinates. Consequently, iNaturalist observations of rare species in the Wilderness Park will generally not show up in the project.

So how can we use this project to detect rare species?

The answer, is that you, dear project members, can adjust your member settings so that the Project Administrators (and you) can see that your observations are in included in the project, but other iNat users cannot.

Here's how to do it:

On the project home home page, click on "Your Membership" in the "About" section of the header:

Then in your membership options, just check "Yes" for "Trust this project with hidden coordinates?":

When you check the "Yes" button, the locations of rare species you observe and their association with the project will only be visible to the Project Administrators and to you. When other people look, they will only see the obscured location, and they won't see any association with the project. (If you want to check this out, search for Berberis nevinii or Bombus crotchii in the project observations. They're there, but you won't be able to see them.)

Here are some of the rare species we've found so far in the Park:

Left to right: Crotch's Bumble Bee (Bombus crotchii), Nevin's Barberry (Berberis nevinii), Plummer's Mariposa Lily (Calochortus plummerae), and Fragrant Pitcher Sage (Lepechinia fragrans).

What others might we find?

Αναρτήθηκε στις Απρίλιος 01, 2022 1213 ΠΜ από nvhamlett nvhamlett | 0σχόλια | Αφήστε ένα σχόλιο

Νοέμβριος 17, 2021

Claremont Hills Wilderness Park boundary now defined by "official unofficial" KML file

We are very pleased to announce that the City of Claremont has kindly provided a KML file of the Wilderness Park boundary, and we have replaced the previous hand-drawn boundary of the associated Place (https://www.inaturalist.org/places/claremont-hills-wilderness-park-official-boundary) with the KML file. The Place now includes the official Wilderness Park boundary, as well as some additional parcels donated to Claremont that are planned to be added to the Park in future. Some of these parcels are outside the City limit and need to be annexed to the City before the map is truly "official". So this is really the "official unofficial" boundary. :-)

The Place map does not currently include Evey Canyon, which has also been donated to the City with the plan that it would be added to the Wilderness Park at some point in the future. We will update the Place map when Evey Canyon is added to the City map. In the meantime, we will see if we can obtain a KML file and create a separate place for Evey Canyon.

Αναρτήθηκε στις Νοέμβριος 17, 2021 0847 ΜΜ από nvhamlett nvhamlett | 0σχόλια | Αφήστε ένα σχόλιο

Σεπτέμβριος 26, 2021

Results from 2021 California Biodiversity Day in the Park

Well, not a huge a huge number of observations were made in the Wilderness Park on California Biodiversity Day – only seventeen. (Actually, it should be "Days", as California counted observations made from September 4 – September 12.)

Among the seventeen observations were 14 different taxa, of which 11 could be identified to species. You can check them all out here. None of the taxa were new this year.

You can also see photos of Friends at the Park on the Friends' blog.

Because the Park was closed on California Biodiversity Day 2020, our only previous Biodiversity event in the Park was in 2019. That year, when the event only lasted for two days, forty-eight new observations were reported to our iNaturalist project, and thirty-seven different species were reported, including 13 species not previously reported to iNaturalist for the Park.

This year's results seem a little disappointing compared to 2019, but I think several factors contributed to the lower numbers this year. One is that the COVID-19 pandemic is still having an effect. At least one person articulated a hesitancy to participate in a potentially crowded situation with people of unknown vaccination status, and at least two of our scheduled volunteers could not attend because they were in quarantine due to a potential COVID-19 exposure. Another factor was the weather. On the weekends, when most people come to the Park, the average high temperature was 87°F in 2019 but 99°F this year. Whew! In addition, access to Evey Canyon, where most of the new species were observed in 2019, is more difficult this year with the closure of the parking lot at the entrance. Lastly, it's not surprising that we are seeing fewer new species, as a lot of species have been filled in during the intervening two years. As our species list becomes more complete, observations of new species will naturally become rarer.

If you have observations from Sept. 4 – 12 that you haven't posted yet, don't worry. We will keep collecting them indefinitely. And all Observations made in California on those days (including the ones from the Wilderness Park) are also collected on the statewide California Biodiversity Day project run by the California Department of Natural Resources.

Our next planned iNat event in the Wilderness Park will be for the City Nature Challenge on April 29 -May 2, 2022. Observations made in the Park will count for LA County, which enters as a "City". We also plan to have an event in the Wilderness Park again next year for California Biodiversity Day. Although the official dates have not yet been announced, we expect it will be September 3 – September 11, 2022. Mark these dates on your calendar now!

Αναρτήθηκε στις Σεπτέμβριος 26, 2021 0347 ΠΜ από nvhamlett nvhamlett | 0σχόλια | Αφήστε ένα σχόλιο

Σεπτέμβριος 04, 2021

Celebrate Calfiornia Biodiversity Day in the Wilderness Park on September 11

September 7, 2021 marks the third official celebration of California Biodiversity Day, an annual event created in 2018 to celebrate the state’s exceptional biodiversity and encourage actions to protect it. This year organizations throughout the state are hosting California Biodiversity Day events from September 4 to September 12, 2021, and the City of Claremont Park Rangers together with the Friends of the Wilderness Park be celebrating in the Claremont Hills Wilderness Park on the morning of Saturday, September 11.

If you're in the area, please join us on Saturday morning, September 11th, starting at 7:00 AM. Make observations, help others learn to use iNaturalist, and answer questions about Park flora and fauna! Just look for the canopy near the North Mills entrance for more information! All iNaturalist observations made in California from September 4 – September 12 will automatically be added to the California Biodiversity Day 2021 project, and, of course, any observations made in the Park will be added to our project.

The weather is supposed to cool off a little bit by next Saturday (predicted high of 87°F), so it should be a nice morning in the Park.

If you would be willing to work a shift at the booth, please message me!

Αναρτήθηκε στις Σεπτέμβριος 04, 2021 1137 ΜΜ από nvhamlett nvhamlett | 0σχόλια | Αφήστε ένα σχόλιο

Ιούλιος 23, 2021

Milkweed and Monarchs in the Wilderness Park

The Johnson's Pasture area of the Claremont Hills Wilderness Park supports two species of milkweed – Asclepias fascicularis (Narrowleaf Milkweed) and Asclepias eriocarpa (Woollypod Milkweed), and as you can see from our observations, these species are visited by Monarchs as well as other critters, including Crotch's Bumble Bee, tarantula hawks, milkweed longhorn beetles, and milkweed bugs – both big and little.

The Friends of the Wilderness Park have been discussing with the City of Claremont and the California Botanic Garden, the possibility of seeking funding to improve the habitat in Johnson's Pasture for the milkweeds and the pollinators who love them.

To help establish a baseline, we are trying to accumulate as much data as we can about the location and abundance of the two milkweed species as well as many observations as possible of Monarchs of any stage, as well as other pollinators. We are also interested in learning what other flowering plants in the park Monarchs might use for nectar sources.

If you'd like to help, you can:

  • Keep an eye out for monarchs and milkweed, and make observations! You can always, of course, report them on iNaturalist, but it would be great if you could also report monarch and milkweed observations on the Western Monarch Milkweed Mapper, especially from July 23 – August 1, which is the 5th International Monarch Monitoring Blitz.
  • Look for any other insects on the milkweed, and report them to iNaturalist. We are especially interested in any observations of Crotch's Bumble Bee, which is a California Endangered Species Candidate.
  • Participate in systematic mapping of milkweed (for which we will be using Calfora ) and helping to set up and implement the Integrated Monarch Monitoring Protocols. If you are interested, please message me @nvhamlett.

Have fun looking at monarchs and milkweed!

Αναρτήθηκε στις Ιούλιος 23, 2021 0334 ΠΜ από nvhamlett nvhamlett | 0σχόλια | Αφήστε ένα σχόλιο

Σεπτέμβριος 10, 2020

Alas, no celebration of California Biodiversity Day in the Claremont Hills Wilderness Park this year

The Park closure has been extended through Sunday, September 13. According to the notice from the City of Claremont, "This closure is in response to the close proximity of the Bobcat Fire and fire conditions."

The closest edge of the Bobcat fire is about 10 miles west of the Wilderness Park. The smoke is heavy, ash is falling, the air quality is bad, and the danger of new fires still persists.

We'll hope for better luck for next year's California Biodiversity Day.

Αναρτήθηκε στις Σεπτέμβριος 10, 2020 1048 ΜΜ από nvhamlett nvhamlett | 0σχόλια | Αφήστε ένα σχόλιο

Σεπτέμβριος 05, 2020

Contribute to California Biodiversity “Day” in the Claremont Hills Wilderness Park, September 11–13!

California Biodiversity Day is September 7, but this year (which is not exactly a normal year), events – most of them virtual – are happening from September 5 to September 13. Since the Wilderness Park is closed from September 4–10 because of excessive heat and elevated fire danger, the Friends of the Wilderness Park will be "celebrating" California Biodiversity Day 2020 in the Park from September 11–13, and we hope that all of you who can will "join" us.

As a COVID-19 precaution, group activities are currently not permitted in the Park, so the Friends will not have a tent, handouts, or helpers in the Park, like we did last year, but you are encouraged to go out and celebrate on your own or with members of your household. Just don’t forget to wear your mask and maintain social distancing. (For more information on current Park regulations, check the City website.)

All observations you make in the Park on September 11–13 (even if you post them later) will be added both to the state-wide California Biodiversity Day 2020 BioBlitz and to the Biota of the Claremont Hills Wilderness Park.

California Biodiversity Day was established in 2018 to mark the launch of the California Biodiversity Initiative. This annual event, which normally occurs on September 7, celebrates our state’s exceptional biodiversity, while also encouraging actions to protect it. September 7, 2019, was the first California Biodiversity Day, and 50 observations were made in the Wilderness Park, comprising 40 species – sixteen of which were new to our project. Let's see if we can top that this year!

I know that some project members will not be able to make observations in the Park, but I hope you'll be able to help with IDs, as well as being there in spirit!

Αναρτήθηκε στις Σεπτέμβριος 05, 2020 0127 ΠΜ από nvhamlett nvhamlett | 0σχόλια | Αφήστε ένα σχόλιο

Σεπτέμβριος 19, 2019

Results (so far) from California Biodiversity Day in the Wilderness Park

Well, we didn't have a huge turnout of observers, but we have so far logged fifty observations made in the Wilderness Park on California Biodiversity Day. (Actually, it should be "Days", as California counted observations made on both Sept. 7 and Sept. 8.)

Among the fifty observations, were 40 different species, including 16 species that were new to this project, which is great! You can check them all out here.

You can also see photos of Friends at the Park on the Friends' blog.

If you have observations from Sept. 7 and 8 that you haven't posted yet, don't worry. We will keep collecting them indefinitely. And all Observations made in California on those days (including the ones from the Wilderness Park) are also collected on the statewide California Biodiversity Day project run by the California Department of Natural Resources.

We plan on having an event in the Wilderness Park for next year's California Biodiversity Day. For 2020, September 7 falls on Labor Day, which is a Monday, and I am assuming the state will count Sunday, Sept. 6, and maybe Saturday, September 5, as well. We also plan to have an event in the Wilderness Park for the City Nature Challenge on April 24-27. Observations made in the Park will count for LA County, which enters as a "City". Mark these dates on your calendar now!

Αναρτήθηκε στις Σεπτέμβριος 19, 2019 1051 ΜΜ από nvhamlett nvhamlett | 0σχόλια | Αφήστε ένα σχόλιο