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.

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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Chickweed Moth

I’m interrupting this barrage of Arizona oak galls to bring you a moth from my front yard. Julia spotted it this morning as it dove into the lawn just a few feet from our front door. It’s pretty tattered, but a … Continue reading

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Arizona Oak Galls, Part 5

Here is yet another gall from Arizona white oak. It is another “oak apple,” superficially similar to these, which I now know to be Atrusca aggregata (thanks to Jim Zimmerman, who has studied southwestern cynipid galls for many years and … Continue reading

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Arizona Oak Galls, Part 4

Here is yet another type of gall found on the underside of oak leaves in Madera Canyon. Seven weeks after I collected these, two parasitoids emerged. The one above is another male Torymus (Torymidae), which may or may not be the same … Continue reading

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