A Tiny Wasp and Spiny Gall

The round, spiky objects you see in the photos above and below are galls. But unlike the previously mentioned goldenrod gall (see here) there’s a cinipid wasp behind the gall. The goldenrod gall is caused by a fly not a wasp. The small, spiny rose gall wasp (Diplolepis bicolor) laid eggs on the plant, in this case swamp rose (Rosa palustris), and the resultant larvae that hatched from the eggs began eating the plant. This stimulates the plant into growingRead more

Fall Again

I was walking past the Wax Myrtle that grows along the edge of the Wetlands and remarked about how the fruit is ripe and ready to be eaten by the warblers, the Yellow-rumped Warblers. I hadn’t seen any yet this year, but about thirty minutes after making my remark about that waxy, myrtle fruit, there it was, my first sighting of a butter butt this season (10/10/13). The fruit of the Swamp Rose is ready for consumption as well, roseRead more

Longhorn Luck

While walking through Explore the Wild I noticed that Swamp Rose was in bloom. A closer look revealed a beetle and a spider on one of the flowers. The beetle is a flower longhorn beetle. To be more specific it looks to be Strangalia luteicornis. As suggested, adults nectar on flowers. The larvae feed on the wood of various trees and vines. Swamp Rose (Rosa palustris) is a native rose, unlike the, unfortunately, much more familiar Multiflora Rose (Rosa multiflora) whichRead more

POP QUIZ Answered

But first, the clues: Palustris means swamp, swampy, or of the swamp. Hot, stylish, phat, fly, and coxa are, or can be, other words for hip, although coxa is more literal than the others in that it refers to the hip bone. So, now we have “swamp hip,” which doesn’t make a lot of sense. I was going to use a clue such as rosa or rouge but thought it a bit too obvious. So, I left it to you to pieceRead more

An Early Start for Summer Flowers

June brought the blooming of two Magnolias around the Catch the Wind and Explore the Wild Loop, Sweetbay and Southern Magnolia (or simply Magnolia). Most people are familiar with the large white, fragrant flowers of Southern Magnolia. Sweetbay is often overlooked as its flowers and leaves are not as large as Southern Magnolia, but they are just as fragrant. You can see Sweetbay planted around the Wetlands. Many grow along the boardwalk and are about 10-12 feet in height. Butterflyweed,Read more