Monthly Archives: July 2010

Plant-Insect Interaction: Hackberry nipplegall maker

Every summer the hackberry tree (Celtis occidentalis, Ulmaceae) in my yard becomes infested with hackberry nipplegall makers (Pachypsylla celtidismamma, Psyllidae).  Adult insects lay their eggs on new hackberry leaves in the spring.  The eggs hatch into nymphs, which start to … Continue reading

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Random Plant: Common chicory

Common chicory (Cichorium intybus, Asteraceae) exists throughout North America.  You can consider it a weed or a wildflower, depending on your perspective.  I think it’s rather attractive, but it tends to pop up in my yard where I’d prefer not … Continue reading

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Plant-Insect Interaction: Purslane leaf miner

Common purslane (Portulaca oleracea, Portulacaceae), also known as little hogweed, is a common weed throughout North America.  I frequently remove it from my garden (where these photos were taken), and I see it everywhere on the family farm. The other … Continue reading

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When dew is not dew

Sometimes when you head outside in the morning, you can see drops of what appear to be dew on the leaves of some plants.  While dew commonly forms on plants as atmospheric water vapor condenses, what you see isn’t always … Continue reading

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Random Plant: Common mullein

Common mullein (Verbascum thapsus, Scrophulariaceae) occurs throughout North America as a biennial invasive weed.  Up to one-third of the approximately 2-meter (about 6 feet) mature height is comprised of a cluster of flowers known as an inflorescence.  In late summer … Continue reading

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Plant-Insect Interaction: Sawfly larvae feeding on an elm

The interesting thing about these caterpillar-like larvae is that they don’t end up as butterflies or moths as adults, but rather as wasp-like argid sawflies in the order hymenoptera.

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Lessons From the Field #1: Snakes like warm rocks

Last summer my wife and I went down to southern Ohio for a few days to, among other things, poke around for fossils.  Southern Ohio has a large number of exposures of fossil-bearing sedimentary rocks spanning almost 200 million years … Continue reading

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