Monthly Archives: May 2011

Random Plant: Ostrich fern

Since I wrote about a relatively uncommon bladder fern the other day, I thought it would be prudent to back up and cover the common ostrich fern (Matteuccia struthiopteris, Dryopteridaceae).  Every year I find these ferns in a large congregation … Continue reading

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Random Insect: A shy bumble bee

Yesterday I saw a bee’s behind (a bee-hind?) sticking out from under the edge of a common mullein leaf (Verbascum thapsus, Scrophulariaceae).  I thought this bumble bee (Bombus sp., Apidae) seemed shy, but it was probably just engrossed in some … Continue reading

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Random Plant: Stinking chamomile

A common weed in disturbed areas, stinking chamomile (Anthemis cotula, Asteraceae) lives up to its name.  When the leaves are crushed they give off a pungent odor.  Personally I don’t find the smell to be too repulsive, but I could … Continue reading

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Plant-Insect Interaction: Eastern carpenter bees on common marigolds

Similar in size and appearance to bumble bees (Bombus sp., Apidae), the bee shown here is actually an eastern carpenter bee (Xylocopa virginica, Apidae).  You can tell them apart by looking at the top of their abdomens.  Bumble bees have … Continue reading

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Plant-Insect Interaction: Leaf mining larva on an American elm

While out along the River Raisin I came across an American elm leaf (Ulmus americana, Ulmaceae) showing characteristic leaf miner wounds.  Leaf mining insects have larvae that feed within leaves, eating the soft tissues while remaining relatively safe from predators. … Continue reading

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Random Insect: Leaf mining hispine beetle

I came across this beetle a few weeks ago in a floodplain forest in southeast Michigan.  The poor thing doesn’t seem to have a common name, so I’ll just generically refer to it as a leaf mining hispine beetle (Sumitrosis … Continue reading

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Random Plant: Bladder fern

According to Michigan State University there are a number of ferns that are present in Michigan floodplain forests.  They include the ostrich fern (Matteuccia struthiopteris, Dryopteridaceae), sensitive fern (Onoclea sensibilis, Dryopteridaceae), royal fern (Osmunda regalis, Osmundaceae), New York fern (Thelypteris … Continue reading

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