Monthly Archives: December 2011

Name That Organ

I just came across this month-old question from Kathie Hodge on Facebook, and after 20+ comments, she seems no closer to getting an answer: Dear cat people, For years I’ve been wanting to know the answer to this one question: what … Continue reading

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A Winter Visitor

Just now, I noticed something other than (well, in addition to) the usual fruit fly buzzing around the lamp by my desk.  It turned out to be some sort of moth in the family Gracillariidae: This 7-mm moth has a … Continue reading

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The Tiniest Moths

I first mentioned the moth family Nepticulidae a couple of months ago when musing about the feathery wings of the tiniest insects.  I included this photo, which shows the first adult nepticulid I ever encountered–this past July, on my bedroom … Continue reading

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Wasp Hotels

Last spring (2010) I got to watch a mason wasp, Ancistrocerus waldenii, building a mud nest by my parents’ back door.  I was standing there with my nieces one morning, while the nest was still in construction, when one of them spotted … Continue reading

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A Serendipitous Discovery

This spring, as I was exploring the woods of Nashville, Tennessee amid the overbearing din of periodical cicadas (the thirteen-year varieties), I found some striking caterpillars feeding under webbing on a plant that was new to me, but seemed vaguely … Continue reading

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Ovipositors

In one of my first posts, I wrote about some goldenrod rosette galls I collected and the things that were emerging from them.  I pointed out how this female torymid wasp could be recognized by her long ovipositor, which allows her to insert … Continue reading

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