A few weeks ago I was standing on the boardwalk leading to the Wetlands Overlook staring down at the water below me. I noticed something moving very slowly just below the water’s surface. It looked like a walking stick. It could only be one thing, a Water Scorpion (Ranatra fusca). Water Scorpions are not scorpions, they’re aquatic insects. They’re called scorpions because of a whip-like projection at the rear of their bodies. The projection, which is nearly the length ofRead more

Some Late July Insects

I spent part of the morning of July 22nd with the Museum’s Marsh Madness Summer Campers scooping up critters from the Wetlands. A goodly number of aquatic insects and other invertebrates were captured and studied, including a Water Scorpion, several Backswimmers, various water scavenger beetles, many dragonfly nymphs and a handful of leeches. (Leeches are always fun to catch –  everyone wants to see them but no one wants to touch them.) Two interesting creatures that actually have backbones wereRead more

Where Are the Insects?

Few insects have been reported over the past several weeks — it’s cold outside! But, even with the colder weather there are still insects among us. If you look hard enough you can find a few crickets under the grass alongside the path on the Explore the Wild/Catch the Wind Loop, perhaps a grasshopper, or a few beetles. But there’s more than just a few crickets, a grasshopper and a beetle or two around. Consider all the dragonflies, beetles, grasshoppers,Read more