Wayne's Trivia Notes #5
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Wayne's Trivia Note #162 (23 July 2014)

Finally cut down two carrotwood trees near the front of my house. The invasive roots have cracked my walkway, driveway and ... . The previous owners made two poor landscaping decisions! This tree is banned in Florida and I would not plant one near a home in southern California, regardless of what your landscaper says!


Wayne's Trivia Note #163 (25 July 2014)

Invasive plants can exert tremendous forces on inanimate objects, including concrete sewer pipes. More Information On Concrete-Splitting Power Of Plants.


Wayne's Trivia Note #164 (29 July 2014)

My "little yellow ant" image, one of the world's smallest ants, has been on exhibit at The Science Museum of Paris (Palais de la Decouverte) for the past year. It is now going on tour: Espace des Sciences in Rennes (2015) and Museum of Nantes (2016). When I photographed this tiny ant in Maui several years ago, I never thought it would get such wide circulation!


Wayne's Trivia Note #165 (30 July 2014)

Schmidt Sting Pain Index

Elaine & the bullet ant on her recent trip to Costa Rica. This ant merits a warning sign because it has the highest rating on the Schmidt Sting Pain Index for insects. Its sting is absolutely excruciating. More Photos & Information


Wayne's Trivia Note #165 (31 July 2014)

It is the last day of July (Summer 2014): Owens Peak was extremely hot & dry with very little animal activity. I paused in a grassy area with this harmless, friendly guy. His main concerns are where to get food and find a mate, destruction of his habitat (mostly by land developers), getting kidnapped and placed in a terrrarium prison, and the ever-present threat of tarantula hawk wasps. More Tarantula Photos


Wayne's Trivia Note #167 (2 August 2014)

Fastest jaw in the west. Another ant from Elaine's Costa Rica trip: According to UC Berkeley's Department of Integrative Biology (2006), the jaws of this species close in 0.13 milliseconds (2,300 times faster than the blink of an eye), and up to 145 mph! The peak force exerted is 100,000 times the force of gravity or 300 times the ant's body weight. This action can stun or kill its insect prey. Imagine if this ant were the size of a crocodile. More Information About Trap-Jaw Ants


Wayne's Trivia Note #168 (4 August 2014)

The 2015 Wayne's Word Calendars now available from CafePress at base price:
Regular 12 Month   Oversized 12 Month   One Page Poster
Be Sure To Select The Correct Start Month From Pull Down Menu Under Calendar Price
More Images & Moon Information:  Hunter Moon   Solar Eclipse   Blood Moon   Phases


Wayne's Trivia Note #169 (11 August 2014)

Wood chips from my two carrotwood trees. I finally see where these invasive trees get their common name.


Wayne's Trivia Note #170 (15 August 2014)

Millions of Argentine ants live inside my walls and under my house. They form a supercolony from San Diego to San Francisco. They accept each other as one gigantic "family" because they all have the same recognition chemical in their outer cuticle. Numerous smaller colonies in Argentina are mortal enemies. They have different cuticular hydrocarbons and smell differently to each other. See Wayne's Ant Introduction.


Wayne's Trivia Note #171 (16 August 2014)

My starfish flower (Stapelia gigantea) is in full bloom. This furry, flesh-colored blossom emits the stench of a decaying dead rat and attracts blow flies for pollination. It is not recommended for a corsage if you want to make a positive impression on your date. See Wayne's Stinking Flowers Article.


Wayne's Trivia Note #172 (20 August 2014)

Has your job got you down? Think about the dung beetle who spends its days rolling around a ball of dung: Please watch the following video to cheer yourself up: Dung Beetle Video.


Wayne's Trivia Note #173 (21 August 2014)

Although I prefer the Pacific Northwest or Montana, San Diego has the marvelous Zoo and Safari Park with phenomenal exhibits, such as the hippo (my favorite animal & Wayne's Word logo). Based on DNA evidence, its closest living relatives are whales! According to Zoo authorities, this territorial creature is too dangerous for outside ponds at the Safari Park. Weird History Of Hippos & Wayne's Word.


Wayne's Trivia Note #174 (28 August 2014)

The mystery of Death Valley's moving rocks on Racetrack Playa has finally been solved. After numerous proposed hypotheses, an observable, verifiable explanation has been published. See Wayne's Word Evolution Page


Wayne's Trivia Note #175 (29 August 2014)

As the Devil's Racetrack lakebed dries, the mud shrinks & cracks into a mosaic of interlocking polygons.


Wayne's Trivia Note #176 (30 August 2014)
Controversial hypotheses about aerial mosaic pattern in coastal sage scrub & grassland of Santa Ynez Valley: Is this caused by growth inhibitors from shrubs or simply populations of hungry mice and kangaroo rats?


Wayne's Trivia Note #177 (2 September 2014)

Spotted knapweed (Centaurea maculosa) is one of the worst weeds in the western U.S. & Canada. After mowing fields of it in Montana, this clever plant simply produces a new crop of seed-bearing flower heads at ground level below the cutting blades of the mower! See Allelopathy In The Spotted Knapweed


Wayne's Trivia Note #178 (3 September 2014)

These Arizona ants (Aphaenogaster cockerelli) use precision teamwork and coordination to steal a chunk of Nature Valley Granola from a nest of harvester ants (red Xs). They rotate clockwise as they run with the granola and are used in robotics research at ASU. Research Lab Video.

Wayne's Trivia Note #178b (3 September 2014)

Aphaenogaster cockerelli: My favorite Arizona ants are used in the Robotics Research Lab at ASU. Click on Pratt Lab Video Link to see these remarkable ants using precision teamwork and coordination to move a large, complex object. On my laptop this works better on Firefox: Pratt Lab Video.


Wayne's Trivia Note #179 (7 September 2014)

View of the streetlight and fiery sunset from my home yesterday at dusk (7 September 2014).


Wayne's Trivia Note #180 (12 September 2014)

For some reason, lovely Gulf Fritillary butterflies (Agraulis vanillae) have descended on my backyard in Twin Oaks Valley during August and September 2014. More Butterflies & Moths.


Wayne's Trivia Note #181 (17 September 2014)

Another view of yesterday's cumulonimbus clouds from my front yard. These swirling masses of minute water droplets brought high humidity and downpours across coastal San Diego County. Although a digital thermometer placed on my concrete sidewalk said 112 deg F, it was not hot enough to adequately fry an egg. I decided to use my stove instead!


Wayne's Trivia Note #182 (1 October 2014)

Greetings from a boulder of porphyritic andesite in the Superstition Mtns of Arizona. My reptilian friend is a collared lizard (Crotaphytus collaris).


Wayne's Trivia Note #183 (3 October 2014)

A large "horse lubber grasshopper" (Taeniopoda eques) in my bathtub in Wilcox, Arizona. It appeared to enjoy the bubble bath, and is undoubtedly the cleanest grasshopper in Arizona!


Wayne's Trivia Note #184 (4 October 2014)

I am staying at a guest ranch in the Chiricahua Mtns of SE Arizona. Today I encounterd a herd of 17 javelinas surrounding the ranch house. The large boar in photo raised his hair & grunted when I got too close. I explained to him that I was only looking for ants, but he wasn't impressed.


Wayne's Trivia Note #184 (4 October 2014)

Just outside my room at the guest ranch in the Chiricahua Mtns of SE Arizona, I felt something licking my leg.To my astonishment it was a friendly coatimundi. This place is truly a wildlife paradise. I have already taken more than a thousand images.


Wayne's Trivia Note #186 (8 October 2014)

Cave Creek Canyon in the Chiricahua Mtns of SE Arizona, the ant capitol of the U.S. I came here looking for ants, but I was overwhelmed by the scenic beauty and all the mammals. By the way, this is the area where the BBC documentary "Empire of the Desert Ants" was filmed.


Wayne's Trivia Note #187 (10 October 2014)

It is difficult to leave this beautiful place in the SE corner of Arizona. Four major wildlife regions converge here, including the Sonoran & Chihuhuan Deserts, Sierra Madre of Mexico, and the Rocky Mountains. It is one of the most diverse biological areas in N. America. The Portal-Cave Creek area alone has over 130 species of ants!


Wayne's Trivia Note #188 (12 October 2014)

Autumn and golden aspens has reached the quaint little town of Greer high in the White Mtns of Arizona.


Wayne's Trivia Note #189 (14 October 2014)

Aspen & Engelmann spruce at 7,000 ft. elev. in the White Mtns of Arizona (Apache National Forest).


Wayne's Trivia Note #190 (14 October 2014)

Holbrook, Arizona: Great place to photograph freight trains and the home of one of my favorite honeypot ants (cf. Myrmecocystus mexicana). It is also near the Painted Desert & Petrified Forest National Park: Petrified Forest 1 and Petrified Forest 2.


Wayne's Trivia Note #191 (17 October 2014)

Big-headed ants (Pheidole) in Wilcox, Ariz. Major workers (soldiers) have extra large heads that make them top heavy. They sometimes do somersaults when walking on unstable plant debris. Some species have "Super Soldiers" with really big heads. See Pheidole Super Soldiers!


Wayne's Trivia Note #192 (20 October 2014)

Sahuaro sunset in the Superstition Mtns after a lightning storm. This has been a truly beautiful Arizona road trip.


Wayne's Trivia Note #193 (26 October 2014)

A note to all motorists on scenic U.S. Hwy 191 in eastern Arizona, particularly if you are near the Morenci Open Pit Copper Mine. The monstrous 4,000 HP Caterpillar Mining Trucks have the right-of-way crossing Hwy 191 even though their top speed is only 40 mph. Their tires alone tower over ordinary vehicles!


Wayne's Trivia Note #194 (2 October 2014)

My official Wayne's Word Retirement Clock: Sometimes I don't bother to set it back or forward. If I need accurate time I use my cell phone! BTW the mushroom is a delicious King Bolete (Boletus edulis) from Oregon. See my King Bolete feast: King Bolete


Wayne's Trivia Note #195 (5 November 2014)

Dorymyrmex insanus: My 15th ant species found on Owens Peak near Palomar College. No other North American ant has confused ant-lovers as much as this species. Whether it has actually driven any ant taxonomist insane is debatable!


Wayne's Trivia Note #196 (7 November 2014)

Insect royalty visited my kitchen this morning: A queen Argentine ant. The royal family resides behind my electrical outlet wall plate.


Wayne's Trivia Note #197 (8 November 2014)

Jumping beans recently set off a bomb scare in Carlsbad resulting in the evacuation of a city block. Apparently a postal carrier heard a suspicious ticking sound in her delivery truck. The sheriff's bomb squad then blasted the package open with a robotic water cannon. One news source said the package contained battery-operated jumping beans. True jumping beans are powered by moth larvae. I'm glad no one reported the ticking sound in my pocket from the jumping beans I bought at Old Town last Friday! See Wayne's Word Jumping Bean Article


Note: I will no longer upload all of my image files under Facebook's current policy: By posting your pictures and videos, you grant Facebook "a non-exclusive, transferable, sub-licensable, royalty-free, worldwide license to to use any (IP) content that you post on or in connection with Facebook." In other words, Facebook can use your images any way they want for free and without your permission. They can give them away or sell them to other persons or websites! As a published author and photographer this policy is not acceptable.