Blog Archives

Black and yellow millipedes, Sigmoria aberrans

Love these stinky Sigmoria millipedes with the bright yellow legs.  About 2 inches long, I see them moving across the forest floor in dampish forests, often in the mountains of NC and Va.  When handled, they give off a smell

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Posted in Wildlife

One of my favorite creatures – the lovely Red Eft!

I went out during a drizzle in the mountains last week to look for salamanders. NC has more salamander species than any other state in the US, and with their moist skin, they like damp weather. This Red Eft was

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Posted in Wildlife

Rosy Maple moth turned up — with Trump’s hairdo?

This Rosy Maple Moth turned up under an indoor light last week in the NC mountains. My friend Sonia pointed out the resemblance to Trump – ha ha! A gorgeous moth, in spite of that. It’s in the family Saturniidae,

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Posted in Wildlife

Pipevine Swallowtails “puddling”

In the North Carolina mountains last week, I saw Pipevine Swallowtails every day “puddling” for water and nutrients. These were on a gravel driveway, lingering for hours. Others were on the ground in a grassy area.  I’ve never seen this

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Posted in Wildlife

Land planarian in city park reproduces by fragmenting

I shrieked with glee when I saw this beautiful flatworm at a city greenway yesterday, crawling across the path. It’s an awesome “land planarian.” Ten-inches long! I used to find them under rocks in my backyard, back when there was

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Posted in Wildlife

Mantises hurt by mosquito sprayers?

Found this lovely in the shed and moved her outside. She’s a Carolina Praying Mantis, a smaller mantis species. That round belly means she’s full of eggs and will lay them soon, to hatch in the spring. Yay! We used to see mantises all the time — now it’s rare. Thanks to urban infill and the dadgum mosquito-sprayers. A guy was spraying my neighbor’s bushes for mosquitoes and had this logo on his business van: “GREAT FOR KIDS AND PETS!” I bet. Anyway, mosquitoes breed in water, not bushes – ???

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Posted in Wildlife

Bessbugs rock (and squeak!)

Found this huge Bessbug in the backyard, displaced by our whacked-out climate. Bessbugs are cool – one of the only beetles that live in groups and raise their young communally. And communicate by squeaking! The rotting logs they live in

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Posted in Wildlife

Blue Ridge Red Salamander – what a beauty!

So excited to see this amazing Red Salamander (Pseudotriton ruber) last month. About 10 miles from Mount Mitchell in North Carolina, the highest peak east of the Mississippi.  I think it’s Pseudotriton ruber nitidus, the Blue Ridge Red Salamander. It

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Posted in Wildlife

Delight for a wildlife fan

A rare treat — a fabulous Giant Stag Beetle (Lucanus elaphus). My fingertips for scale. Incredible!!! Saw this one at a city greenway last week. The huge jaws are only on males, they fight for females just like male elk,

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Posted in Stinkbugs, Stick Insects, & Stag Beetles, Wildlife, Wildlife behavior Tagged with: , ,

The dissenter

Why did this beautiful Black-eyed Susan have red on it while all the others were yellow? I came across them yesterday in a city greenway. These are native plants, growing wild.

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Posted in Wildlife

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