The star of this week’s column is a diminutive wasp in the Gelis genus. Specifically, with thanks to Ross Hill at BugGuide.net, this is Gelis tenellus. These parasitic wasps don’t have a common name, which is a good sign that they’re not very well studied. However, in researching them, I learned enough to know that they’re worthy of more attention.Read more →
Mayflies are in the insect order Ephemeroptera, which is Greek for “short-lived, winged” creature. While the common name is misleading, the scientific name is spot-on. They are ephemeral indeed. Imagine an animal that spends more than 99% of its life underwater, looking like a shell-less lobster, then matures to live above the water for just one or two days.Read more →
Today’s column focuses on a true bug (in the Hemiptera order) that looks like a reptilian
insect or tiny dinosaur. The first time I saw this Phymata genus bug, on coyote brush in
Mt. Pisgah’s south fields, I only got a good look at its back. I figured it was some kind of
shield bug, but I didn’t get any good pictures of it from the side before it flew away.
The Diurnal Firefly is one of my favorite finds at Mount Pisgah recently. These black insects with red “bracket” markings on their thoraxes are beetles, not flies. And because the fireflies we have in Oregon don’t light up, you could say they are neither fiery nor a fly. Still, there’s plenty about them to spark some interest. Our Oregon beetlesRead more →
Note: These pictures were taken a few days before wildfires made it unsafe to visit Mt. Pisgah. Green lacewings are one of the rare insects that are doubly blessed. They’re beloved as predators of aphids and other pests, and they’re nice to look at. Lucky for us, they’re fairly common in Oregon. They also have some fascinating and unique traits.Read more →