Rivers of Gold

A few images from my weekend mothing trip down to Shell Creek, San Luis Obispo County. Early spring along the central coast is stunning, and the back roads were packed with flower watchers. There were dozens of cars occupied by families out for a weekend drive, many had packed lunches and sat to watch the . . . → Read More: Rivers of Gold

Too much free-time?

Than fold yourself an insect.

These pieces of art are the creation of Robert J. Lang. Chances are if you’ve seen some insane origami than they were his creation. Yes, those are actually made from one single piece of uncut paper. He provides the crease pattern for most of his designs, but actually folding . . . → Read More: Too much free-time?

And now you know the rest of the story

For those who saw the FOX interview with MSU entomologist Dr. Cognato (OK, for those who didn’t, here it is), you will be interested to hear his side of the story.


Take the time to register (sorry, it’s annoying but I couldn’t find it anywhere else) and read a response to the interview by . . . → Read More: And now you know the rest of the story

Aquamoth part 2

I came across the full-text PDF of the amphibious moth article and extracted the tree showing the radiation of this species group and probable evolution of the amphibious traits. Interesting to note the case shape, and each moth is endemic to its own volcano in the Hawaiian archipelago.

This is a Bayesian analysis of . . . → Read More: Aquamoth part 2

In the name of the…


Nothing wrong with established religion…

You can read all about his story from the NY Times. I think the scariest thing about this whole abuse scandal (scandalsssss) is that the church actually believes that this is the work of satan – not the twisted minds of individual humans. Yes, “the Devil is at work . . . → Read More: In the name of the…

Answer to last week’s Genius of the Press

For all those who abstained from voting (I want to assume some readers must have known the identity of our mystery caterpillar, but were too lazy to comment), here is the answer (after the break).

. . . → Read More: Answer to last week’s Genius of the Press


Another amazing animal from Hawaii – a completely amphibious caterpillar (published in the March 22 PNAS). While there are a few aquatic Lepidoptera, all of them have gills that keep them restricted to the water (mind you, we are talking only about the larval stage). If their stream dries up, so does the caterpillar. . . . → Read More: Aquamoth!

California Spring

Spring has come to northern California and moths are on the wing. I took a quick trip up to the Sierra foothills over the weekend and hiked up the steep slopes above the American River. Above is pictured Xanthothrix ranunculi f. albipuncta (Noctuidae: Stiriinae). It happens to be sitting on a beautiful california . . . → Read More: California Spring

Genius of the Press, v.III

Yet another installment of my favorite series, the genius of the press. This article comes from ABC news, who can identify this caterpillar? It is decidedly NOT a gypsy moth.

Fellow entomology blogger Myrmecos had a similar story last week.

Off with their heads!

(photo credit)

The monarchs have started their spring migration north and you might even see one soon (not exciting if you live in FL or HI where there are year-round residents, or in CA where there are separate overwintering spots). Reports from their winter locations in Mexico however are dismal; with possibly the lowest . . . → Read More: Off with their heads!