If you believe we’re the master of our actions, think again. Better yet, have a fungus, bacterium, or protozoan tell you what to think. Jedi mind tricks are nothing compared to what microbes can do to animals, human and otherwise. [Read more…] about Microbial Ecology: Mind Control, Fecal Transplants & Zombie Laternflies
Earlier this summer, I joined graduate school friend and beetle biologist, Kristian Omland, in search of the elusive cobblestone tiger beetle (Cicindela marginipennis). We loaded a canoe with insect nets, jars, and binoculars to view beetles while minimizing handling.
Absent from our kit: entomologist’s killing jars. Ours was a catch-and-release mission. The cobblestone tiger beetle is a species of greatest conservation need (SGCN), and we certainly would do nothing to lower its numbers. [Read more…] about Cobblestone Tiger Beetles
Invasive Asian longhorned beetle is active from now through Labor Day. DEC is asking pool owners to check filters for the insect regularly and submit a report if any are found. [Read more…] about Check Your Pool Filter for Asian Longhorned Beetle
Arachnophobia, the fear of spiders, reportedly affects from three to six percent of us worldwide. In fact, it’s the most common phobia among humans (I assume the fear of humans is the most prevalent phobia among other animals, spiders included). Experts aren’t sure why we’re so scared of web-spinning arachnids, although evolutionary selection and family genetics are likely involved. [Read more…] about Giant Joro Spider
That was just one of the many largely unknown facts shared by Paul Smith College’s Professor of Biology Janet Mihuc at a recent meeting of the Adirondack Garden Club held at the Ausable Club in St. Huberts in the High Peaks. [Read more…] about Moth Diversity in Our Landscape
Before masks and social distancing, my collaborators and I packed vans with students from Vermont, Massachusetts, and as far afield as Puerto Rico to monitor macroinvertebrates in Vermont streams. Because they are plentiful and respond quickly to environmental change, macroinvertebrates are great indicators of river and stream health. [Read more…] about Macroinvertebrates: Indicators of River and Stream Health
From early spring through late summer, the air trills and croaks and buzzes and chirps with the sounds of nature’s little loudmouths. Mornings are full of birdsong; evenings are the domain of frogs and crickets.
How do such little animals make so much noise? Let’s find out by looking at some of the sound-per-pound champions you can find in our forests. [Read more…] about Little Loudmouths: Small Animals That Create Big Sounds
New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) has announced that DEC will be conducting aerial treatments for the invasive pest spongy moth (formerly known as gypsy moth) in six state forests areas in New York.
Treatment is taking place between May 20th and May 31st, weather permitting. The priority areas chosen already suffered spongy moth defoliation for multiple years and are expected to have another high level of infestation this year according to survey efforts conducted by DEC regional staff. [Read more…] about DEC Announces Aerial Spraying of Six State Forest Areas
Have you noticed spongy moth egg masses in your neighborhood? Last year was a boom year for spongy moth (formerly known as gypsy moth) caterpillar populations, especially in Central and Western New York.
Egg masses contain 600-700 eggs each and will hatch around May. If you find them now, you can scrape them off trees or buildings and drop them into a container of detergent to prevent the eggs from hatching. [Read more…] about How to Scrape Spongy Moth Eggs
These days it’s no shock to learn that officials may not always give us the most up-to-date information on a fairly new disease which poses a grave threat to the public. The surprise is that it doesn’t involve COVID-19. [Read more…] about Ticks & Lyme Disease: A Primer