Monthly Archives: September 2010

Random Insect: Boxelder bug revisited

Although I wrote about eastern boxelder bugs (Boisea trivittata, Rhopalidae) a couple of weeks ago, I was too proud of the clarity of this picture to not share it.  This specimen was climbing around an American red raspberry (Rubus ideaus, … Continue reading

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Random Insect: Praying mantis

Among all the insects in southern Michigan, few grow to an impressive size.  Of these, perhaps the most recognized is the praying mantis (family Mantidae).  Even though they’re fairly common it’s still really cool to find an especially large adult.  … Continue reading

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Random Plant: Multiflora rose

I recently discovered dense clusters of these “berries” in an old field near Clayton Michigan.  I didn’t know what they were at first and had to do some research.  It turns out these aren’t berries, they’re rose hips.  Specifically, they’re … Continue reading

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Random Plant: Eastern juniper

While this conifer is usually referred to as eastern redcedar, it’s more accurate to call it eastern juniper (Juniperus virginiana, Cupressaceae).  True cedars are in a different genus (Cedrus) within an entirely different family (Pinaceae).  Junipers are a pioneer species, … Continue reading

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Random Insect: Dirt-colored seed bug

This little bugger initially confused me with its raptorial front legs.  “Raptorial” refers to enlarged femurs that are typically used to capture insect prey.  Praying mantises and assassin bugs are perhaps the best known examples.  My initial thought was that … Continue reading

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Random Plant: Spotted knapweed

While I know this plant is spotted knapweed (Centaurea stoebe ssp. micranthos, Asteraceae), there seems to be some confusion about the specific taxonomy.  Most authorities seem to list it as C. stoebe ssp. micranthos but others call it C. maculosa.  … Continue reading

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Random Insect: Crane fly taking a break

I found this crane fly (family Tipulidae, possibly of the genus Nephrotoma) resting on an American red raspberry leaf (Rubus ideaus, Rosaceae) in my garden.  If this insect looks like a giant mosquito, that’s unsurprising:  they’re both in the suborder … Continue reading

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