The cap of Psathyrella piluliformis is 2-4cm across and initially hemispherical, becoming bell-shaped and eventually almost flat. White veil fragments adhere to and overhang the rim, they get smaller as the fruitbody ages, eventually becoming blackened by spores. The fragile caps crowd together in clumps, some of the caps getting broken as others expand beside them. Initially caps are dark red-brown, fading through date-brown to yellow-brown. Mature specimens are noticeably hygrophanous meaning they change colour depending on whether the surface is moist or dry, becoming pale tan or beige from the edge of the cap in dry weather. The narrow gills of Psathyrella piluliformis are adnate and quite closely spaced. Initially pinkish beige, they gradually turn dark brown and eventually almost black. The gills of this mushroom are very brittle. Stems are typically 4 to 8 mm in diameter and grow to 8 cm long, straight or slightly curved and often lined with silky fibres. The partial veil that covers the young gills soon tears as the cap expands, leaving white fragments attached to the cap rim and little or no evidence on the stem, which has a matt, floury surface near the apex and is much smoother towards the base. As the fruit bodies mature, falling spores darken the stems, most noticeably towards the base.
The first picture is a male and the second is a female. Painted Buntings are known for their vibrant fusion of blue, green, yellow, and red. Summer is the best time to catch these birds in San Marcos when they fly into the area to breed during the hot summer months.
Yasser, thank you so much! I was so excited to find this beauty! I saw several males throughout Mothapalooza, but this was the lone female, and she sure was beautiful! Thanks again for your wonderful comments and Spotting of the Day recognition!
António, thank you for the very kind words! It is one of the most beautiful moths, and I was elated to see one!
Ashley, thank you so much! You picked a good favorite moth. ;)
Thank you very much Bhagya, Daniele, Chamalka, Adarsha, Dilan, and sofias1!
Sofias1, this is actually a moth in the Saturniidae family which has many intricately patterned moths that can be mistaken for butterflies!
Thanks again for the honor, Yasser!
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.