Category Archives: Unsolved Mysteries

Holey Leaves

In S.W. Frost’s excellent 1959 book, Insect Life and Insect Natural History, there is a drawing of a clover leaf with a radially symmetrical pattern that gives the impression of a bite having been taken out of each side of … Continue reading

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Bunchberry Squiggler Unmasked!

You may recall that back in September, I wrote about some mysterious squiggles radiating from the bases of bunchberry leaves: I rambled on about how I thought they must be caused by a species of Antispila (Heliozelidae), but not A. freemani, the … Continue reading

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A Hidden Gem in My Vials of Moldy Old Leaves

Last year Erik van Nieukerken and Camiel Doorenweerd put out a request for specimens of leaf-mining moths in the family Gracillariidae, for Camiel’s PhD project entitled “Evolution and diversification of leafmining Lepidoptera and northern hardwood forest trees.” They are doing DNA work … Continue reading

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Monthly Mystery #24: Magnolia Fuzz Harvester

Last week I was sent a puzzling series of photos by Matt Bertone, who works at the North Carolina State University Plant Disease and Insect Clinic (and also takes fantastic photos of insects and other things). They show some leaves … Continue reading

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Monthly Mystery #21: Double Cocoons

On pages 219-220 of Tracks & Sign of Insects, I described the cocoon of Neurobathra strigifinitella (Gracillariidae) according to the account of Heinrich and DeGryse (1915)*. I then included a photo of a mysterious cocoon found on the underside of a sugar … Continue reading

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Monthly Mystery #20: Mudball on a String

Two weeks ago, as I began exploring the first of seven properties where I am conducting natural resource inventories this year for the Maine Coast Heritage Trust, I noticed a little ball of mud hanging from a goldenrod leaf. I … Continue reading

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Monthly Mystery #19: Aster Leaf Tubes

As I mentioned here, I normally can’t be bothered with leafrollers, leaftiers, etc.  Not so much because the thousands of leafminers (not to mention gallmakers) in North America are enough to keep me busy for a while as because what … Continue reading

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