Category Archives: Unsolved Mysteries

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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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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Fringed Loosestrife Fauna

Fringed loosestrife (Primulaceae: Lysimachia ciliata) is a common plant of moist areas that, I realize now that I’m starting to write this post, I’ve never bothered to photograph. But it has yellow flowers and is related to garden loosestrife; it … Continue reading

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The Yard List(s), Part 11

Now that I’ve declared my intention to find as many sawfly larvae as possible, they’re starting to show up everywhere I look. Today Julia and I made a rare trip away from home, lured by the news from my mother … Continue reading

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Rhubarb Riddle

To make up for some of my recent extra-long posts, here’s one that’s short and sweet… If something involving rhubarb can be called sweet. The vast majority of email queries I receive are along the lines of, “here’s something I … Continue reading

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Ten Years Later

Since we have ten fingers and ten toes, I suppose it’s worth mentioning that it was ten years ago today that Tracks & Sign of Insects and Other Invertebrates was first published. People are often surprised when I tell them that … Continue reading

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In Search of the Lost Sawfly

Greetings to everyone who subscribed to this blog after my recent post about the inhabitants of a clump of sod in my front lawn! This one will take us a little farther afield. As most of you know, I’ve been … Continue reading

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In Search of Spring Beauties

Although spring is technically already half over, it only really got started around here in the past week or so. Yesterday I saw my first spring beauties (Montiaceae: Claytonia caroliniana): These little wildflowers are only around for a few weeks before … Continue reading

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Another Day, Another Mothy Mystery

Yesterday Cheryl Harleston of Yelapa, Mexico showed me these photos she had recently taken, and asked if I had any thoughts about them. She called the subject a “corral made of grains of sand.” My immediate reaction was “I’ve never seen … Continue reading

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