You’ll have to follow this link to see this month’s mystery objects, since I emailed the photographer for permission to re-post the photos and he hasn’t responded. His caption reads: “These mounds are in the crawl space of a house. They are very brittle. The openings are about the size of a pencil. The mounds are 3 to 6 inches tall. What made these mounds?” If I didn’t know the context or the size of the openings, I would have said this was an unusually dense group of crayfish chimneys. Take a look at the comments below the photo for other possibilities that have been suggested, and also check out the second photo, which shows a whole subterranean city of these things. These were found in Missouri. Anyone know what they are?
In other news, the mystery desert legume from two posts ago has been identified as rosary babybonnets, Coursetia glandulosa. This is not a known host for any leafminer. Luckily, I have about 20 specimens, which should be sufficient to describe the species… they can get in line behind the 100+ other undescribed North American gracillariid species that Don Davis knows about but hasn’t gotten to yet.