Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Three more things at Brazoria

with 15 comments

Here are three more finds from the Brazoria National Wildlife Refuge on October 6th.
The first is the egg case of a Carolina mantis, Stagmomantis carolina.

Next you have the flower head of a camphor daisy, Rayjacksonia phyllocephala. It’s unusual for a genus to be created from someone’s first and last name, in this case Ray + Jackson (for Dr. Raymond C. Jackson). I assume that happened because Jacksonia was already in use for something else.

And finally you have the remains of a crayfish (a.k.a. crawfish or crawdad):

After 10 posts with 21 pictures from Brazoria, we’ll finally move on in the next post.

© 2019 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

November 9, 2019 at 4:40 PM

15 Responses

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  1. You had very productive trip – it was great to see the alligators in a previous post, quite a variety of wildlife. And you still have flowers! We had our first hard frost up here, I’ll have to head to a greenhouse for a flower until April, unless I visit a warmer place…


    November 9, 2019 at 5:37 PM

    • That was a month ago already—and yes, quite a productive trip—but there have still been wildflowers in Austin since then. I’ll be showing more of them in upcoming posts. Rather than a greenhouse, I do hope you’ll head for warmer places.

      Steve Schwartzman

      November 9, 2019 at 8:49 PM

  2. Very nice run at Brazoria. That mantis egg case is a nice find.

    Steve Gingold

    November 10, 2019 at 2:46 AM

    • Linda found the egg case and I found the crawfish. All in all, it was a nice run indeed at Brazoria, and earlier that day on the Gulf Coast itself. That productivity is why I’m so far behind in showing more-recent pictures (except for the one post I inserted about the deer in my neighborhood).

      Steve Schwartzman

      November 10, 2019 at 7:17 AM

  3. At last! I knew you’d get the egg case identified, even though I didn’t have a clue at the time that it was an egg case. Those are the sorts of little treasures that make every trip to the refuge worthwhile. There’s always something new or unusual to see. I looked for it the next time I went there, but didn’t find it, although it could well have been there. I did wonder how long it took them to hatch, and found this fascinating bit of information:

    “When hatching, the young crawl from between tiny flaps in the cases and hang from silken threads about 2″ below the case. After drying out, the long-legged young disperse into the vegetation leaving no evidence of their appearance. This happens within an hour or two, and it’s very difficult to know hatching has occurred unless the elusive, well camouflaged young are found. The egg case does not change appearance in any way.”

    So it seems the case may have been protecting eggs, or not.

    I was surprised to learn that there are 31 species of crawfish in Texas (or 36, depending on the source), living in a variety of habitats. There’s no question that Brazoria is crawfish rich, or that a good number of other creatures enjoy eating them — including grackles. I have proof, to be shared eventually.


    November 10, 2019 at 7:12 AM

    • Gallivanta’s opening words in her comment on the alligator post opened the door to one song, and now your opening words open the door to another.

      Credit for identifying the egg case goes to bugguide.net. It’s good that you could follow up with more information. It’d be fun to see a bunch of newly hatched mantises hanging from silken threads.

      The most I’ve known about crawfishes is that the word itself comes from French écrevisse, the last part of which English speakers turned into fish by folk etymology.

      Steve Schwartzman

      November 10, 2019 at 8:57 AM

  4. This past summer, I finally obtained a few photos of a Praying Mantis, but I have never seen the associated egg case. What a cool construct!


    November 10, 2019 at 6:32 PM

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