Nature’s Pooper Scooper (Dung Beetles!) with Professor Marcus Byrne

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.

Dispatches from Somewhere #1: What a Wasp

I’ve had this picture on my camera roll for almost a year now and I figured I should finally get to posting it. If you’re wondering what this scorpion looking flying insect is, it’s the Pelecinus polyturator, a type of wasp. The adults drink nectar and are pretty harmless, unless you’re a June Bug. That’s … Continue reading Dispatches from Somewhere #1: What a Wasp

The Wild Life of the Black-and-Yellow Lichen Moth

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

Is it a Worm? Is it a Wasp? No! It’s the Elm Sawfly!

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!

The Dragonhunter

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

Mud-Puddling: The Dirty Truth About Butterflies

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!

The Electric-Light-Loving, Scuba-Diving, Toe-Biting, Giant Water Bug

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.