Category Archives: Unsolved Mysteries

Mailbag

People regularly send me photos of mystery objects and other bug-related phenomena to see if I recognize them. Often I’m able to respond with a precise (or approximate) identification, and that’s the end of it. Other times I’m intrigued by the … Continue reading

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Things To Look For This Spring, Part 3

First, a quick update on the hackberry galls: Mike Palmer has found a bunch of them in Oklahoma, and in fact they may already all have been abandoned there. Some of them have holes near the base, and others have … Continue reading

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Things To Look For This Spring, Part 1

I have a pretty much endless mental list of natural history mysteries that I would like to follow up on at some point, but there are several that, for various reasons, are in the front of my mind right now. A few of … Continue reading

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Dune-burrowing Moths

In late July of 2008, Noah and I were on our way to Zion National Park in Utah when we spotted a sign for Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park, which we had never heard of. It sounded like a good … Continue reading

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Turrets Topped With Pebbles

Here’s another little mystery for y’all. Two months ago, Sheryl Smith-Rodgers posted to BugGuide’s ID Request the following three photos, which she had taken on March 10. These structures were found in a dry creek bed on a ranch in … Continue reading

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Buckeye Bugs To Watch For

This time last year, I wrote about some drooping Ohio buckeye leaves I had just found in Ohio, which I later determined to be caused by Zeiraphera claypoleana, the “buckeye petiole borer.” Commenting on my original post, Moni Hayne mentioned finding some … Continue reading

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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

Posted in Uncategorized, Unsolved Mysteries | 9 Comments

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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