Author Archives: Charley Eiseman

About Charley Eiseman

I am a freelance naturalist, endlessly fascinated by the interconnections of all the living and nonliving things around me. I am the lead author of Tracks & Sign of Insects and Other Invertebrates (Stackpole Books, 2010), and continue to collect photographs and information on this subject. These days I am especially drawn to galls, leaf mines, and other plant-insect interactions.

Virginia Creeper Miners

A year ago today, I was finishing up several weeks of fighting my way through horrible thickets of sweet pepperbush and greenbrier in southeastern Massachusetts, where I was visiting pre-established plots to identify plants for the UMass CAPS project. I … Continue reading

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Monthly Mystery #21: Double Cocoons

On pages 219-220 of Tracks & Sign of Insects, I described the cocoon of Neurobathra strigifinitella (Gracillariidae) according to the account of Heinrich and DeGryse (1915)*. I then included a photo of a mysterious cocoon found on the underside of a sugar … Continue reading

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Nantucket Moths

As you have probably guessed, my lack of posts lately has been due not to my having run out of things to write about (I don’t think this could ever happen to someone who spends any time observing insects), but … Continue reading

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Monthly Mystery #20: Mudball on a String

Two weeks ago, as I began exploring the first of seven properties where I am conducting natural resource inventories this year for the Maine Coast Heritage Trust, I noticed a little ball of mud hanging from a goldenrod leaf. I … Continue reading

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Another Mystery Solved, Sort Of

At the beginning of this month, I reported having found these tied leaves on smooth aster (Symphyotrichum laeve) plants in my backyard. On May 27, I had put three samples in jars on my desk to see what might emerge.  On … Continue reading

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Another Mystery Host Plant

Last week Owen Lonsdale gave me a first batch of identifications from the big box of agromyzid fly specimens I sent him a few months ago. Unfortunately, of the ten species represented, he was only able to put species names … Continue reading

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Microhabitats

It was a nice surprise yesterday morning, when I stepped out into my front yard, to see the first wild turkeys since my neighbor shot the beautiful tom that was displaying there earlier this spring. And it was great to see … Continue reading

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Mullein Weevils

As anticipated, Julia and I have been filling our front yard with fruit trees and a vegetable garden, and letting most of the remaining lawn grow into a meadow–not out of laziness but from a desire to turn this sterile mini-landscape into habitat … Continue reading

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Monthly Mystery #19: Aster Leaf Tubes

As I mentioned here, I normally can’t be bothered with leafrollers, leaftiers, etc.  Not so much because the thousands of leafminers (not to mention gallmakers) in North America are enough to keep me busy for a while as because what … Continue reading

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Neighbors

Here’s a view of a bald-faced hornet I don’t get to see very often: I took these photos a few minutes ago through the sliding glass door that leads from our kitchen to our deck. When we moved in last … Continue reading

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