Monthly Archives: October 2011

Random Plant: Hairy vetch

After several freezes here in southeast Michigan, today I was surprised to find a plant that was not only still very green, but still flowering.  Its cold tolerance has earned it the name winter vetch, but it’s more commonly known … Continue reading

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This is why they’re called “signal flies”

Signal flies (Diptera:  Platystomatidae) get their common name from the fact that their wings are in almost constant motion, as if signaling.  One of the few times they stop this behavior is when they’re mating.  This individual was recorded on … Continue reading

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Random Plant: Swamp milkweed revisited

I first wrote about swamp milkweeds (Asclepias incarnata, Asclepiadaceae) a couple of months ago when they were flowering.  Since that time these plants have endured attacks from insects (2, 3, 4, 5, 6) that are adapted to feed on their … Continue reading

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Random Insect: Green stink bug

The other day I found this big green stink bug (Hemiptera: Pentatomidae: Chinavia hilaris) crawling on a swamp milkweed (Asclepias incarnata, Asclepiadaceae) in a southeast Michigan floodplain forest.  It may have been feeding on the milkweed, but I didn’t observe … Continue reading

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Plant-Insect Interaction: Oleander aphids on a swamp milkweed

Yesterday I visited a floodplain forest here in southeast Michigan to see what was still alive and kicking after our first freeze.  In the warm afternoon sun I found many of these oleander aphids (Hemiptera: Aphididae: Aphis nerii) covering the … Continue reading

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Mule deer

While white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus, Cervidae) are abundant across much of North America, there are regions of the American west where they are largely absent.  Here their ecological role is filled by mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus, Cervidae), a similar species … Continue reading

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Random Plant: American white water-lily

When I visited the Beaver Marsh at Cuyahoga Valley National Park a few weeks ago, two aquatic plants were abundant.  The first was yellow pond-lily (Nuphar lutea, Nymphaeaceae) which I wrote about recently.  The other was American white water-lily (Nymphaea … Continue reading

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