Monthly Archives: September 2013

Random Insect: Metallic green bee

Metallic green bees (Hymenoptera: Halictidae: Agapostemon spp.) are found only the new world, but they range all the way from British Columbia to Argentina. Although there are over 4,000 known species of sweat bees, this particular subgroup contains only about 44 … Continue reading

Posted in Entomology, Random Insect | Tagged , , , | 3 Comments

Wiggling beech blight aphids

Beech blight aphids (Hemiptera: Aphididae: Grylloprociphilus imbricator) can form dense colonies as they feed on the sap of American beech trees (Fagus grandifolia, Fagaceae). The white fluffy bits aren’t parts of the aphids themselves, but instead are feathery, waxy secretions … Continue reading

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

Plant-Insect Interaction: Locust borer on a goldenrod

Locust borers (Coleoptera: Cerambycidae: Megacyllene robiniae) are common beetles in many parts of the United States. While adults can feed on pollen from a variety of flowers, they have a distinct preference for goldenrods (Solidago spp., Asteraceae). These widespread plants flower … Continue reading

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

Random Arachnid: Banded argiopes at dawn

Spider webs are far more visible when they’re covered with dew, and this morning I saw scores of them filling the low foliage of a local meadow. Although many different spiders build many different kinds of webs (and some don’t … Continue reading

Posted in Entomology, Invertebrate Zoology | Tagged , , | 5 Comments

Yellow-bellied marmot

Of the six marmot species in North America only two have a widespread distribution. Groundhogs (Rodentia: Sciuridae: Marmota monax) are exceedingly common in the east, but yellow-bellied marmots (Rodentia: Sciuridae: Marmota flaviventris) dominate the mountainous west. These ground squirrels inhabit slopes from the … Continue reading

Posted in National Parks, Vertebrate Zoology | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Random Plant: Tall morning glory

Although native to the American tropics, tall morning glory (Ipomoea purpurea, Convolvulaceae) has been spread throughout much of temperate North America by humans. Gardeners favor this plant for its big heart-shaped leaves, beautiful purple flowers, and its attractiveness to butterflies and … Continue reading

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

Random Insect: Common tree cricket

Although not often seen, common tree crickets (Orthoptera: Gryllidae: Oecanthus sp.) can often be heard throughout much of North America in the late summer and autumn. Adult males spend a great deal of time “singing” in an attempt to attract mates. … Continue reading

Posted in Botany, Entomology, Random Insect | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments