Bug: The Realm of the Insect (Part One)
Bug: Realm of the Insect (Part One)
South Seattle Rare Insects and their habitats
In Part One of the series we focus on the beetles and winged insects of the Cheasty Forest
The Cheasty Widlife Refuge or Greenspace, provides an interesting and unique environment to explore local rare insects. Located along South East Beacon Hill the area provides abundant flora, winding trails, a wet land, and a cliffside. Among the different variables of landscape are several insect species that are not found anywhere else in the world. Furthermore these insects have remained unclassified, named, and or collected for further study.
That is until now. Dr. Murray C. Aaron of the Cascadia Entomological Society attempts to document the habitat and behavior of several different rare insects. He combs through leaf litter, digs into dirt piles, and crawls under ivy looking for his specimens. Below are some of his findings. Please note, that due to the rare and future protection status of these insects, it is recommended to not explore Cheasty Greenspace and Wildlife Refuge in a reckless manner and to leave the insects alone.
Though not your typical tick, this one feeds off of the sap of trees that have been damaged from vandals. When a vandal carves through a piece of bark with a knife, saw, or axe blade the sap that seeps out from the wound attracts the tick. These ticks then burrow into the cut and live inside the core of the tree. When they are full of sap they re-emerge from the cut and vomit up sap at the base of the tree, where over time ants and aphids build homes. The Black Bark Tick plays a vital role in this ecosystem.
This rare insect lives in a small hole in the ground. Here it can be seen leaving the hole, the digger bug will often cover up the hole after leaving it.
The Mottled Wood Leaper is a distant relative of the grasshopper. It is inactive during the day and leaps from tree to tree at night in search of food.
This dung beetle is the only one in the world that is white.
The green horned grasshopper was once abundant all over the city of Seattle and was last seen at Volunteer Park in 1917. This is the only known photo of one since then, taken at Cheasty watershed in 2013.
The Queen Lady Bird Beetle is the largest known Ladybug in the world.
The Albino Leaf Hopper could also be called a fungi hopper because it often disguises itself near shelf fungi
The Lichen Hopper is thought to be related to leaf hoppers. This one is well suited to this habitat. One one tree alone I spotted 27 of them nibbling on blue-green lichens.
The Hobo Camp Fly is so-called because it tends to live near abandoned homeless camps. It avoids people, but for some reason is attracted to used candy wrappers, particularly Reese's Peanut Butter Cups.