HumBug: Itsy Bitsies

(November 16, 2017) It is a very human thing to look for the largest of anything. Here in Humboldt County, we have the world's tallest trees and largest stonefly. We have giant...

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HumBug: The Return of Old Friends

(November 9, 2017) Tonight, following our second rain of the season, I went out, camera in hand, looking for one of my favorite insects. Pterotus obscurripinis, our local glow worm. They hide...

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HumBug: Bitey Little Buggers

(November 2, 2017) As the fall days contract and weather cools, the insect world, too, shrinks. I see a few largish dragonflies, mostly shadow darners (Aeshna umbrosa) and they're showing wear. I...

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HumBug: Halloween Spiders

(October 26, 2017) With Halloween in mind, I set about looking for something creepy to photograph. According to some recent research, we humans are apparently programmed from a very early age to...

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HumBug: The Ins and Outs, Pros and Cons, and Nuts and Bolts of Collecting Insects

(October 19, 2017) Lately, events have me laboring at the tedious process of “pinning” a few insects. I typically prefer to photo document, but the tiger moth was nearly dead when I...

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HumBug: October Dragonflies and Butterflies

(October 12, 2017) I started looking for one of my favorite dragonflies, the pale faced clubskimmer (Brechmorhoga mendax), in July. That's when my files showed them flying along the flat stretches of...

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HumBug: Autumnal Potpourri

(October 5, 2017) As the days get shorter and the nights colder, many insect species have attained their adult phases. With one important exception, it is only in the adult phase that...

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Fall Wasps

And silent crickets

(September 28, 2017) Autumn is Here Late in the year, sources of nectar are scarce and those species that depend on it concentrate around the dwindling resource. Wild anise, a few thistles and...

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HumBug: Orange is the New Butterfly

(September 28, 2017) The local butterfly population is showing its fall colors and orange is the order of the day. Woodland skippers (Ochlodes sylvanoides), Mylitta crescent (Phyciodes mylitta) and California tortoise shells...

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HumBug: Dragonflies and Caterpillar

(September 24, 2017) There are two things I enjoy about studying insects. The first is its predictability. Checking my files I found it was time for the common green darner to migrate...

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HumBug: Autumn is Here

(September 17, 2017) Late in the year,  sources of nectar are scarce and those species that depend on it concentrate around the dwindling resource. Wild anise, a few thistles and other small...

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HumBug: Why No Cricket Choruses?

(September 3, 2017) I recently got a question from a reader as to why he didn't hear the grand evening choruses of crickets he had gotten used to in other places. Like...

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HumBug: Oregon Bugs

(August 27, 2017) Although my primary reasons for going to Oregon were visiting family and eclipse watching, I did manage to get in a little bug hunting as well. One of the...

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HumBug: Easy Pickings

(August 20, 2017) My light trap isn't very sophisticated — just a white bed sheet stretched tentlike over a rope with three black light CFLs and an LED white light. It's powered...

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Moth Madness

Evolution and literary allusion

(August 17, 2017) A Moth of Another Color When I think the word "moth" I think of something gray. There are brightly colored day fliers but the nocturnal majority are gray or brown,...

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