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Spiranthes romanzoffiana

Discussion in 'Orchid Species' started by naoki, Jul 31, 2020.

  1. naoki

    naoki Well-Known Member

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    We went to blueberry picking last weekend. My son managed to find an orchid, he is usually the one who find cool plants or creatures. Well there were lots of them once we developed the search image. Then I noticed a hover fly on one of them. It wasn't moving much even if I went really close, and it was positioned in an unnatural way. I assumed that it was really focused on foraging (I'm not sure if they make nectar or any rewards, though). When I was processing the photos at home, I found out why it wasn't moving much! I miss the days of no presbyopia, but it was so well camouflaged. Later, my son also found a cool grasshopper (link to my observation in iNaturalist); the ID needs to be confirmed by experts, but it looks like the first Alaskan iNaturalist record of the species. Here are a couple photos of Goldenrod Crab Spider (Misumena vatia) eating a hover fly on Spiranthes romanzoffiana. The hover fly might be Black-legged Flower Fly (Syrphus vitripennis), which was suggested by an iNat user, but the ID of this group is tough for me. Someone may correct the ID in the future in this iNat link.


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  2. sam1147

    sam1147 sam1147

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    Really amazing
     
  3. Chuck-NH

    Chuck-NH Well-Known Member

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    Is that Vaccinium vitas-idaea growing underneath and a dwarf Betula or Salic behind? A boggy tundra area?
     
  4. Marni

    Marni Well-Known Member Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Wonderful post!
     
  5. naoki

    naoki Well-Known Member

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    Thank you, Marni!
    Chuck, yes, the ones underneath are V. vitas-idaea (Lingonberry). That's called low-bush cranberries around here. They aren't ready to get picked. It is best to wait for the first freeze, but people seem to pick them before the prime time. The ones behind are probably V. uliginosum (Bog Bilberry, but we call them blueberries). Here is a bigger plant from the same area. We were mainly collecting these.
    [​IMG]

    Yes, the area is a sphagnum bog. Interior Alaska is mostly Taiga, but if you go up to a mountain a little, it becomes Tundra, and we were at a low elevation.

    Sphagnum mosses are beautiful plants. Some are bright red and others are nice vivid green. I've heard that acidity of the micro-habitat influences the color, and when I grow them, the color does change (red ones become green). I occasionally used live sphagnum moss from this area for cooler growing orchids and carnivorous plants. Eventually, I would like to learn about the identification of sphagnum, but I haven't put enough time into it yet.
     
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  6. KellyW

    KellyW Orchid wonk Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Great post, Naoki. Thank you.
    Makes me want to take a trip there.
     
  7. Chuck-NH

    Chuck-NH Well-Known Member

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    Brings back fond memories Naoki, I used to do some environmental work for a government site in the Copper River Basin and used that as my base to explore the flora (and avoid the fauna) as much as possible. Time seemed to slow in the Summer and the mosquitoes never really bothered me...I probably should have stayed. I never did have thoughts about identifying Sphagnum moss though .
     
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  8. xmpraedicta

    xmpraedicta Prairie angraecoid nut Supporting Member

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    Wonderful post and photos. Reminds me that I need to make my way up to the northern boreal forests again soon..
     
  9. naoki

    naoki Well-Known Member

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    That must have been a wonderful job, Chuck. We went to Denali Hwy fishing/camping, but didn't go down Copper river areas this year (Covid-19 is still low in AK, but starting to increase). My son is very disappointed since he was hoping to go dip-netting at Chitna and red-salmon rod fishing around Klutina River.

    Kelly and Calvin, it would be great to see you if you ever come to AK!
     
  10. W. Malewa

    W. Malewa Member

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    The real stuff, fantastic!