The orchard spider (Leucauge venusta) is a long-jawed orbweaver spider that occurs from southern Canada to Colombia. The web is often oriented horizontally, with the spider hanging down in the center. It is distinctively colored, with leaf-green legs and sides, which can sometimes vary to a dark green or even orange. The underside of its thorax is spotted with yellow and black, the top is silvery with brown and black streaks. The neon yellow, orange or red spots on the rear of the abdomen are variable in size among individuals, and sometimes absent. This species is parasitised by a wasp larva which attaches itself externally at the junction of the cephalothorax and abdomen.
Umbonia crassicornis is a common and widespread member of the family Membracidae, and one of numerous species colloquially referred to as thorn bugs. The body length of the adult is approximately 10 millimetres (0.39 in). This is a variable species as to size, color and structure, particularly the pronotal horn of males, which is more angled posteriorly than the females' and often somewhat expanded apically. This tall, essentially perpendicular thorn-like pronotum discourages birds and other predators from eating it, if only by mistakenly confusing it with a thorn. Typically, the adult is green or yellow with reddish lines and brownish markings. The range of this species is from Northern South America all the way to Mexico and Florida. Three other species in this genus occur elsewhere in the United States. Its preferred hosts are ornamental and fruit trees of subtropical regions.
The great kiskadee (Pitangus sulphuratus) is a passerine bird, and a large tyrant flycatcher. It breeds in open woodland with some tall trees, including cultivation and around human habitation, mainly found in Belize, and from the Lower Rio Grande Valley in southern Texas and northern Mexico south to Uruguay, but also it occurs all over Venezuela, Brazil, Paraguay, central Argentina, the Guyana coastline, and Trinidad.
For the developers at New York start-up Networked Organisms, smartphones are the butterfly nets of the 21st Century. Their tool, Project Noah, lets people upload photos of plants and wildlife around them, creating a map of the natural world and contributing to scientific research in the process.
Bespectacled scientists of yore would carry around hefty field guides, made up of hundreds of pages of text and photos. But these days, smartphone owners have a lighter option: an app called Project Noah, which aims to help people identify plants and animals as well as collect data from "citizen scientists" about where certain species are located.
Project Noah enables us to be part of a more focused online community where we can learn more about wildlife around us and contribute to scientific research. It pulls participants into deeper, more meaningful engagement by enabling people to go on “missions” to collectively map changes based on sightings.
A modern invention that may also hold the key to saving species in the future. Project Noah is a global study that encourages nature lovers to document the wildlife they encounter, using a purpose built phone app and web community. In addition to the virtual "collection" of species, Project Noah encourages citizen science by linking up with existing surveys including the International Spider Survey and the Global Coral Reef Monitoring Network.