Four Years of Bug Tracking

It was four years ago today that I started this blog, which has now amassed 456 subscribers (only two of whom are my parents!). I thought it would be interesting to take a look at what some of my most popular posts have been to date (in terms of the number of views for each post according to the WordPress stats page).

Although I wrote it when the blog was still young, my brief eulogy for Lynn Margulis still has received more than twice as many views as the runner-up. This is certainly more a testament to Lynn’s influence than to the quality of my writing.

It’s always interesting to see what search engine terms are leading people to my blog, and since I very often see something pop up to the effect of “what is this lump on my dog?”, it wasn’t surprising to learn that this is my second most viewed post. I always wonder if people are sorry they asked, when they discover that the answer might involve this black-fanged creature:

In my third most viewed post, I rambled on about this strange structure that Troy Alexander had photographed in the Peruvian Amazon:


I was right about it being a spider egg sac, incidentally. You can see what the spiderlings look like here.

Number four is my post about woolly aphids. I’m not really sure why so many people end up seeing that one; I guess at certain times of year there are a lot of these little fuzzballs floating around, and people wonder what they are.

I did attempt to explain aphid life cycles and the associated terminology, which I still can’t keep straight, so I’m glad to have reminded myself just now that I can re-read that post next time I need a refresher.

Number five takes us back to the pet theme of number two. In this case, people are asking “what is the part that a cat leaves behind when it eats a mouse?”

Number six has been getting a lot of visits lately, as people in the southern US have been asking, “what are these grubs raining down from my pine tree?”


It will be several more weeks before the wave of raining grubs makes it up here to New England.

And so on. This is apparently my 239th post, and for those of you who haven’t been with me from the beginning, you can easily access my older posts by scrolling down to the monthly archives in the right sidebar, or by clicking on the various tags and links and such. Thanks everybody for reading!

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.
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4 Responses to Four Years of Bug Tracking

  1. Love your blog Charley thanks for sharing all your knowledge!

  2. this is great! as a bug tracks newbie this is a perfect intro for me and will be keeping me reading all week ! and isn’t it an interesting look at what interests others?

  3. Carol Senske says:

    I joined your journey late, so this step back in time was a delight. The subjects are so interesting.

    We caught one mouse years ago – looking healthy except for many bumps – that was host to no less than 7 bot fly larvae. I didn’t know what was going on and put the mouse in alcohol to take to my Dad for some insight. The larva began popping out as the alcohol took effect.

    Spiders – WOW, the Amazonian beauty was a stunning example of what we don’t know! I’m sorry my Dad didn’t live to read this because he would be thrilled.

    The cecum question was an eye-opener. Our household always has cats and ti always has these little leftovers to clean p. I just thought it was the stomach.

    Woolly Alder Aphids are common here – they gather in big groups on the alder branches looking like cotton batten.

    Your blog is AWESOME! Thank you for the time you spend bringing your readers fascinating and fun information.

    Carol Senske

  4. Kathie Fiveash says:

    Thank you Charlie. I read them all, and just love your blog.

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