Monthly Archives: September 2012

Random Arachnid: Banded argiope

While walking through a meadow near Clayton, Michigan the other day I came across this impressive banded argiope (Araneae: Araneidae: Argiope trifasciata). Also known as banded garden orbweavers, these large and brightly-colored spiders are widespread throughout the United States. At about … Continue reading

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Random Plant: White turtlehead

White turtlehead (Chelone glabra, Scrophulariaceae) is a native plant found in wet areas throughout eastern North America (Brandenburg 2010). I came across this individual last week in the wetlands of Pinckney State Recreation Area near Chelsea, Michigan. This plant features … Continue reading

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Random Insect: Mourning cloak butterfly

Mourning cloaks (Lepidoptera: Nymphalidae: Nymphalis antiopa) are among the first butterflies to be seen in the spring in North America. Although some individuals migrate south, most overwinter as adults and emerge when temperatures rise. I found this individual on the Greenstone … Continue reading

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This is why it’s called “touch-me-not”

The other day I wrote about orange jewelweed, also known as spotted touch-me-not (Impatiens capensis, Balsaminaceae). In that post I mentioned it gets the name “touch-me-not” because the seed capsules explode and ballistically eject the seeds when disturbed. I revisited … Continue reading

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Insect Love: European snout beetles

After emerging from winter and their pupal cases as adults, european snout beetles (Coleoptera: Curculionidae: Phyllobius oblongus) waste no time getting to work on the next generation. In the spring they mate and feed on the foliage of sugar maples and … Continue reading

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Plant-Insect Interaction: Jagged ambush bugs on goldenrod

A few weeks ago the goldenrod (Solidago sp., Asteraceae) started to bloom here in southeast Michigan. Goldenrod is insect-pollinated not wind-pollinated, and therefore not an allergen as many people think. This is evidenced by the sheer number of insects these … Continue reading

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Random Plant: Orange jewelweed

Orange jewelweed (Impatiens capensis, Balsaminaceae) can be found throughout much of North America. Most common in wet areas with rich organic soil, this plant can reach five feet in height under ideal growing conditions. The leggy stems branch occasionally and … Continue reading

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