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.

Carrot Stem Dwellers

Carrot (Apiaceae: Daucus carota) is native to Europe but widely cultivated and has become a ubiquitous weed in North America (also known as Queen Anne’s lace), so you’d think we’d have a pretty good handle on what bugs eat it … Continue reading

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Through the Looking-Glass

Well, the mystery presented in my previous post was solved within an hour of my posting it, but before I get to that, let me back up and chronicle the adventures Julia and I have had in moth dissection so … Continue reading

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Down the Rabbit Hole

I’ve managed to study insects intensively for over a decade, writing two books and publishing over 50 scientific papers that included the descriptions of 76 new species and one new genus, without ever learning to dissect anything. I have relied … Continue reading

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Acorn Plum Galls (and friends)

Hey, this blog now has over 1000 subscribers! Thanks everyone for your continued interest in my esoteric natural history investigations. I’m still slowly working my way through the photos I took last summer, during which one of my several jobs … Continue reading

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Life in a Wingstem Stem

On May 8 last year, Julia and I visited her family’s land in Hocking County, Ohio (which we’ll be doing again today, as it happens), and for whatever reason, a little clump of dead wingstem (Asteraceae: Verbesina alternifolia) stems from … Continue reading

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How Many New Species? 2021 Update

Someone asked me the other day how many new species I’ve found, and I realized that in addition to not being able to give a straight answer for the reasons discussed below, I’d lost track of how many species I’ve … Continue reading

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Pine Needle Bananas – Mystery Solved!

Nine years ago this month, I published the first in a series of “monthly mystery” posts in which I wrote about nagging natural history mysteries with the hope that someone out there might have some answers, or at least suggest … Continue reading

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Another Sawfly Surprise

I’m finally getting back to working on my guide to sawfly larvae, after a very busy field season followed by several weeks of focusing on writing papers—some of which have involved documenting new host records and previously undescribed sawfly larvae, … Continue reading

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An Underexplored Microhabitat

Although most of what used to be my lawn is now an untamed meadow interspersed with gardens, fruit trees, and berry bushes, once a month or so I do break out the ol’ battery-powered lawnmower to maintain a network of … Continue reading

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Oak Shotholes

At the moment there are 648 observations on iNaturalist purporting to show the “oak shothole leafminer” (Agromyzidae: Japanagromyza viridula). Apparently I have personally verified 93 of them, in almost all cases based on the presence of leaf mines. Virtually all … Continue reading

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