Cryptopod: I Spy With my Little Eyespot

Almost five years ago, Lockwood, Cujo, and I were kicking around Table Rock, described in Oregon Geology as

two overlapping tuff rings, one filled with rubble and the other capped with basalt. Several dikes exposed on the flanks between the two fed the flows. The large tuff cone was the first to erupt during a deep-water interval in contrast to the second surge when the magma encountered groundwater.

It was pretty explosive in the Christmas Lake Valley area during the Pleistocene, is what they’re saying.

Anyway, Lockwood and I abandoned poor Cujo at a somewhat shady spot and went hiking up the flanks of the tuff ring, encountering all sorts of delightful volcanic and sedimentary features. But we were not alone! We had help in our geologic explorations.

Image shows a portion of Lockwood's brown hiking boot. Beside it, there is a brown butterfly with its wings closed.
Cryptopod I

It had a particular fondness for Lockwood’s boot.

Image shows the heel of Lockwood's boot. The butterfly is hanging out on it. The eyespot on its wing is now visible. It is a pale tan circle outlining a black spot with a white dot in the center.
Cryptopod II

In the background there, you can see some of the rugged basalt making up the Table Rock complex. The stuff’s a huge big mess – basalt erupting through groundwater and shallow lakes tends to get really frisky and fragmented.

Image shows the butterfly now hanging out on a small slab of grayish-brown rock. It's filled with dark gray bits of basalt.
Cryptopod III

Lockwood has a very good explanation of what that rock is here. So there you are – a little geology with your cryptopod! And you can have a look at Table Rock here. Meanwhile, we’ll zoom in to give you a closer look at our mystery butterfly.

Image is a zoom of the previous, showing the butterfly and the rock in greater detail.
Cryptopod IV

Such a sweet little brown thing, innit? A very nice compliment to some quite excellent geology.

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Cryptopod: I Spy With my Little Eyespot

4 thoughts on “Cryptopod: I Spy With my Little Eyespot

  1. 3

    I believe Onamission5 has it, not just to genus but also to species. There aren’t that many wood nymphs in this area. If the guesses I made about Lockwood’s boot are even ballpark right, its wings are a little more than an inch long, which would be too big to be anything but C. pegala. (It also looks like one, which definitely helps the ID.)

  2. 4

    Too far out of my Aussie jurisdiction I’m afraid and I am not an entomologist (IANAE?) anyhow (although bugs are neat!) but in interesting recent butterfly news :

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-03-09/butterfly-holds-record-number-of-vision-cells/7229824?section=science

    The team, reporting today in the journal Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution, said a butterfly known as the common bluebottle (Graphium sarpendon), has no less than 15 classes of these vision cells, known as photoreceptors.

    “To date, the highest number of photoreceptor classes in any one insect was nine,” said Professor Kentaro Arikawa of Sokendai (the Graduate University of Advanced Studies) in Hayama, Japan, who is an expert in the neuroscience behind insect vision.

    Amazed find and got to wonder how the world looks to this species and what it see’s that we can’t with its amazing vision. Also surprised there’s a bluebottle butterfly – I’ve previously always thought “bluebottle” was a common name used just for jellyfish! (A.k.a. the “Portugese Man of War”?)

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