Category Archives: plants

Readers’ wildlife photographs

The first two photos today come from reader John Harshman. Oxpeckers! He originally called the photos “Spot the oxpeckers,” but of course it’s not a challenge. In Botswana, the oxpeckers are all over most of the large mammals. How many can you count? These are yellow-billed oxpeckers Buphagus africanus, specializing on animals with thick skin. The […]

Readers’ wildlife photographs

Today we’re featuring the insect photographs from reader Chris. His first email came without IDs, so I asked him for them, and he supplied the following: I haven’t made much headway with the ID’s, I’m not very well versed in spider or grasshopper taxonomy (I’m a history major; I try.)  The jumping spider is of […]

Readers’ wildlife photographs

Here are more photos taken by reader Benjamin Taylor on his trip to Southern Africa in 2015. The captions are from his photo site, and we’ll have more soon. Dancing white lady spider (Carparachne aureoflava), Namibia. The ‘white lady’ spider is hunted by pompilid wasps, which it will attempt to escape by cartwheeling down steep sand dunes: […]

Readers’ wildlife photographs

Reader Kurt Andreas’s Instagram site describes him as “a naturalist in Queens,” (a borough of New York City) as well as an “amateur dolphinologist and beeologist.”  He sent some varied photos, and his captions are indented: Zabulon Skipper (Poanes zabulon) on Lantana sp., male, Glendale, NY (August 3, 2016) Hoverfly (Toxomerus geminatus; female). Glendale, NY (June 10, 2016): Leopard […]

Readers’ wildlife photographs

Put your hands together for reader Dom, who sacrificed his very blood so that readers could learn some natural history. His words: One Saturday a few weeks ago in Norfolk I gave blood so that WEIT readers could see a cleg [JAC: “cleg” is British argot for “horsefly”]! Haematopota pluvialis – I love green eyes – […]

Readers’ wildlife photographs

Today we catch up with the contributions of Stephen Barnard from Idaho. Mimetic fly? It’s pretty scary looking and wasp-size, but I’m not aware of an actual wasp that looks much like this. It almost looks generically mimetic, like it’s covering all the waspy characteristics without any one species in mind. Stephen then found the […]

Readers’ wildlife photographs

Reader Doris Fromage sent photos of a plant I’ve heard of, but have never seen: We have been traveling as well; this trip took us up into the Northern Minnesota Boundary Waters area, home to copious quantities of fungus, which I of course felt compelled to photograph.  This one was my favorite, though it perplexed me as it […]

Readers’ wildlife photographs

Reader Kurt Andreas contributed photos of both flora and fauna; his notes are indented: Flower Longhorn (Strangalia cf. luteicornis); New Paltz, NY (June 30, 2013). The Strangalia longhorns larva (roundhead borers) feed on rotting wood, and the adults visit flowers in late spring and summer, consuming nectar and pollen. Garden Star-of-Bethlehem/Nap-at-Noon (Ornithogalum umbellatum). Glendale, NY (April 12, 2016) […]

Classic story revised: lichens are fungus + algae + yeast (another fungus)

One of the classic stories of biology, taught to virtually every student, is the fact that what we call “lichens” are actually a combination of two very distantly related species: a species of alga and a species of fungus. (Sometimes the “alga” is really a species of cyanobacteria, formerly called “blue green algae” but not really […]

Readers’ wildlife photographs

Reader Benjamin Taylor took a trip to southern Africa last year, and sent a lot of lovely photos. I have many more, but am rationing them out from time today. Here’s today’s batch, with Benjamin’s captions (indented). The Damaraland landscape, Namibia: Large-leaved star chestnut (Sterculia quinqueloba): More scenes from Namibia: Namib rock agama (Agama planiceps): […]