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Dragonflies and Damselflies are both super similar to each other, but there are some key differences! (most of the time)
The Tawny Emperor (Asterocampa clyton) Butterfly may be beautiful, but their food sure isn’t. Finding an adult on a flower isn’t likely. Instead, you’ll find them on dead animals, poop, mud, and sap, slurping up broths of minerally goodness.
Trichonephela clavipes, or The Golden Silk Orb-weaver, may be huge but they look a lot tougher than they act. They’re not aggressive and only bite if handled roughly, and they're super clumsy outside of their web!If you listen to the podcast, you might remember us discussing these with @shakiguani on Tainted Love Part 2! A single thread … Continue reading Dispatches From Somewhere #10: The Golden Silk
Fairly certain this is an American Nursery Web Spider (Pisaurina mira). This was one that caught me super off guard while rummaging through a portion of priory while leading a Tiny Nature hike with @hikehoppers. P. mira is most well known for its sexually cannibalistic behavior and extensive use of the silk web in mating. Before … Continue reading Dispatches From Somewhere 8: American Nursery Web Spider
Admittedly, this photo isn't from any time recently. I took this during the summer of 2014 at Springbrook Nature Center in Fridley, MN. It was while I was working for a nonprofit organization called Tree Trust building a 180-foot swamp foot boardwalk with local high school students. It was also my first time seeing one … Continue reading Dispatches from Somewhere #4| Antheraea polyphemus
Professor Marcus Byrne teaches us about the fantastical and unexpected world of dung beetles, their ecological importance, their connections to human culture and history, and how this lowly creature finds its way home by looking to the stars.
Order| Lepidoptera Species| Lycomorpha pholus Uh-ah, you know what it is—the Black-and-Yellow Lichen Moth! “Wait, black and yellow? They’re clearly orange-er, right?” Who knows what they were thinking. One thing’s for sure though, mimicry is their flex. As caterpillars, when they spend most of their time munching on a symbiotic snack of lichen, they texturally … Continue reading The Wild Life of the Black-and-Yellow Lichen Moth
This past weekend as I sat below an old oak tree while drinking my morning cup of coffee and looking out on a glassy Lake Darling in Alexandria, Minnesota, something fell from the sky and landed at my feet. Small and curled up like a slightly puff green and yellow sour gummy worm. It's face … Continue reading Is it a Worm? Is it a Wasp? No! It’s the Elm Sawfly!
In the skies across Minnesota (and much of the eastern US and southeastern Canada, for that matter), roams a fierce and agile predator, capable of taking down prey you would never imagine---and some many wouldn't dare to try at themselves. Hagenius brevistylus, is a clubtail dragonfly known as the Dragonhunter, and is one of nearly … Continue reading The Dragonhunter
Ever have a butterfly land on your skin and start licking you and thought "Awe, I've got a new best bro!" Well, you were wrong. Butterflies have a dirty secret!
This is circle of life---or at least an ugly, albeit necessary, curve of it. This is the life of the American Carrion Beetle.
In the Season 1 Finale of The Wild Life, Devon and Richard expose the mystery of metamorphosis, what happens inside the chrysalis, whether or not a butterfly remembers or a caterpillar knows, destroy the metamorphosis metaphor, and build it anew, all with the help of Dr. Martha Weiss of Georgetown University.
Toe-Biter, Electric-Light Bug, Alligator-Tick; people have come up with many names for the fascinating critter. It's actual name is perhaps the most boring---the Giant Water Bug. They are the largest of the 'true bugs' and belong to the Belostomatidae family of insects.
The Asian Lady Beetles are back with a vengeance for their annual autumn invasion.
Species: Malacosoma disstria Chrissy Bowker of Texas asks, “What’s this animal?” The caterpillar in the picture above is none other than the Forest Tent Caterpillar, Malacosoma disstria. They are commonplace in the eastern regions of US and Canada. Down in Texas, populations are sure to be booming this spring due to the warmer than average … Continue reading The Forest Tent Caterpillar
That's the Spotted Apatelodes, Apatelodes torrefacta, a beautiful moth of the Bombycidae (Silkworm Moths) family which is commonly mistaken for the somewhat similar looking Sphinx Moth.