Monthly Archives: January 2013

Jujube Tubes

I often get emails with requests for identifications of strange objects, and usually these are things that can be identified using my book.  Every once in a while, though, I’m treated to bizarre little mysteries from the other side of … Continue reading

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Spider vs. Spider, part 2

There’s something I find compelling about an image of a spider eating another spider, so here’s another one.  I found this little scene on a lady fern frond while taking the compost out late last July.  The spider doing the … Continue reading

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Adapting to New Menu Options

Exotic plants–those that have been introduced to new habitats by humans in recent history–tend to be conspicuously free of signs of feeding by insects.  Most plant-feeding insects are highly host-specific, and the lack of insect herbivores keeping them in check … Continue reading

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Brand New Leafminer

This discolored patch discreetly tucked between the veins of a basswood (Tilia americana) leaf is the leaf mine of Phyllonorycter lucetiella (Gracillariidae), a moth. This is one of the first leafminers I ever raised to adulthood, from a leaf I collected in … Continue reading

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Baby Bagworms

Here’s something you don’t see every day: Well, it’s possible that you see the main object in this photo pretty regularly; it’s the portable case of the bagworm Psyche casta (Psychidae), a European species that appeared in Boston in 1931 and … Continue reading

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Life in an Old Phoebe Nest

Thanks for all the suggestions of places to go in the Southeast! I’ve got some good leads and a number of generous offers from people I’ve never met. Meanwhile, I’ve made it to the end of last May in my … Continue reading

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Where to go?

I’ve just finished gleaning information about leafminers from a nice, descriptive paper by Harrison G. Dyar,* describing the moths and caterpillars he found in Lake Worth, Florida in mid-winter, and it removed any doubts I had about there being plenty … Continue reading

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Monthly Mystery #2: Oak Skeletonizers

Well, a month has passed, and so far the only suggestion I’ve received about those pine needle bananas is that they might go well with lemon juice and cocktail sauce.  This month’s mystery begins with a photo taken earlier the same … Continue reading

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