2012 International Rock Flipping Day

September 10th, 2012 - 10:33 PM | Filed under Featured Photos | 3 Comments

Yesterday was International Rock Flipping Day. I’ve read about it in the past, but this is the first year I’m participating.

I don’t really need an excuse to flip a rock and explore what’s beneath, but the whole event certainly motivated me to get my blog posts going again. I have been busy outside of blogging, so there’s plenty of good stuff coming up, so don’t give up on me.

Yesterday was beautiful here in my area, so I already had plans to go bug hunting. Knowing I’d be looking for a rock to flip, I chose a nearby park where I knew there were lots of good candidates. Here’s the rock I settled on after being distracted by lots of other interesting critters along the way.

A stone lies on the sun-dappled floor of an eastern deciduous forest, begging to be flipped.

I carefully turned over the rock, hoping for something blogworthy. On the ground beneath, a centipede uncoiled, drawing my initial interest. Scanning the scene, I also saw a millipede and a few ants. Then, movement on the underside of the rock itself drew my attention. A harvestman in the family Cosmetidae betrayed its presence.

~5mm body | September 9, 2012 | Roswell, GA, USA

I’ve seen this type of harvestman before, and a photo of that one submitted to BugGuide has since been identified as belonging to the genus Vonones.

Here are some of my favorite shots of this harvestman, the only thing from that rock that I chose to photograph for the 2012 International Rock Flipping Day.

Coming over a ridge in the rock and exposing some interesting anatomy.

The harvestman shows its butt.

Having made its way around to the top of the rock, the harvestman continues its evasive maneuvers.

Tiring now from the constant corralling of the photographer, it attempts a stare-down.

The photographer having tired of the chase, the harvestman finally escapes.

 

3 Responses to “2012 International Rock Flipping Day”

  1. [...] Nature Closeups Alex Wild, Scientific American Rebecca in the Woods Also check her comments. Fertanish Chatter poikiloblastic Growing with Science Blog Wild About Ants Powell River Books Blog Walking with Henslow Roundrock Journal Mainly Mongoose Random Hearts Wanderin’ Weeta Rock, Paper, Lizard. (The Interpreter) Beasts in a Populous City Lilac Gate Outside my Window comment on Skepchick [...]

  2. Judy says:

    Pretty spider! I have never heard of a harvestman before. Maybe they don’t live this far north…

    • Troy Bartlett says:

      Hi, Judy. A harvestman is actually not a spider, but a relative. Both spiders and harvestmen are arachnids (class arachnida), but they belong to different orders (araneae and opiliones, respectively). It can be confusing though, since there are both spiders and harvestman commonly referred to as daddy long legs.

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