Monthly Archives: November 2011

Random Plant: Wild cucumber revisited again

Last October I wrote about some wild cucumbers (Echinocystis lobata, Cucurbitaceae) that I found here in a southeast Michigan floodplain forest.  This past October I found them again in the same place, and took advantage of better lighting to get some better … Continue reading

Posted in Botany, Random Plant | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Plant-Insect Interaction: Parasitoid wasps on goldenrod

This late into autumn most goldenrods (Solidago sp., Asteraceae) have dried up and gone to seed.  Last week, however, I found a few small plants in a meadow that still had handfuls of bright yellow nectar-laden flowers.  Upon closer inspection I realized … Continue reading

Posted in Botany, Ecology, Entomology, Organism Interactions | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

Plant-Insect Interaction: Gall-making insect on giant ironweed

In the summer when giant ironweed (Vernonia gigantea, Asteraceae) is full of healthy nectar-laden blossoms, I’ve found it visited by silver-spotted skippers, cabbage whites, and other pollinating butterflies, bees, and wasps.  Now that we’re well into autumn, the dried, dead … Continue reading

Posted in Botany, Ecology, Entomology, Organism Interactions | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Random Plant: Sulphur cinquefoil

Introduced to North America from Eurasia, sulphur cinquefoil (Potentilla recta, Rosaceae) is an easy-to-identify member of the rose family.  It tends to grow in disturbed places, features palmately-compound leaves of five or (more commonly) seven toothy leaflets, has sulfur-colored flowers … Continue reading

Posted in Botany, Random Plant | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Random Insect: Differential grasshopper revisited

After writing about differential grasshoppers (Orthoptera: Acrididae: Melanoplus differentialis) a few weeks ago, last week I noticed scores of them in a nearby soybean field.  I decided to get a closer look at one of them, and it responded by … Continue reading

Posted in Entomology, Random Insect | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Tiny common garter snake

I often come across common garter snakes (Squamata:  Colubridae:  Thamnophis sirtalis) here in southeast Michigan.  Today I was intrigued, however, by this particularly tiny individual.  I stuck a quarter next to his head for scale, and that seemed to arouse … Continue reading

Posted in Vertebrate Zoology | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

Random Insect: Tarnished plant bug

The plant bugs are the largest family of all the true bugs (Triplehorn and Johnson 2005).  Among the nearly 2000 North American species, one of the most common is the tarnished plant bug (Hemiptera: Miridae: Lygus lineolaris).  Highly successful as … Continue reading

Posted in Botany, Ecology, Entomology, Random Insect | Tagged , , | Leave a comment