Microscope confirmations

Yesterday I brought home several specimens. When you are in the field with others, they stop and look at different things. So I needed to use the dissecting and the compound microscopes to just to see what we had and to confirm. Thank you prairie friends for your observations!

This guy is only about 3.5mm long. It is a nymph of the Flatid Planthopper family! Can you see the etsy bitsy wings forming?

Here is a bottom view. You can see the antennas that sit below the eyes.

It had a pointy snout with another part that extended out further. Besides the pointy snout part which maybe the beak, there was something else that extended further. We saw these critters on Multiflora Rosa (Rosa multiflora) in a waxy glob. I was going to ignore it, but Jeanne looked closer. And they were moving. It was hard to catch because it hopped as it would go in the opposite direction away from my container. Humans succeeded.

This fern looked different according to my fern person Jeanne. So we needed to investigate!

Closer view of the frond.

Pressed for study.

Looking under the dissecting scope you can see the sori (the brown parts) easier. This is where the spores are stored on ferns.

Under the compound scope I measured the spores. They fit the parameter for Common Woodsia (Woodsia obtusa). Never hurts to check eh! I also found that the W. obtusa subsp occidentalis which this one would fit, does not seem to be recognized anymore as a subspecies that I could find.


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Keep looking!


  1. Thanks for the fern id – maybe they look different due to location on the creek.
    Fuzzy larva are really cure!

    1. I guess it seemed tiny to me since it took just the right angle to see the wings. But yes my pic makes them look bigger.

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