Latest Discoveries

By a Stream in Vermont, a Glimpse of a Plant Last Seen a Century Ago

The State of Vermont announced last month that a plant thought to be locally extinct — False Mermaid-weed — had been found through a chain of events that seemed stolen from a fairy tale.

Bumblebee Photographed in Backyard is a New Species for Vermont

It took a photo, a drawing, a naturalist’s boundless curiosity, and bee experts from across the nation for Vermont to claim a new bumblebee species for the state last week.

New Native Bee Species Discovered for Vermont

A mystery red bee visiting an uncommon willow tree in bloom becomes Vermont's latest native bee species discovery by biologist Spencer Hardy.

After Two Decades of Searching a Rare Butterfly is Discovered during the Vermont Butterfly Atlas

A rare and elusive butterfly has been discovered for the first time in Vermont, flying this spring at one of the state's protected natural areas. Bog Elfin, patterned in brown and rust, and no bigger than a penny, had eluded detection in the state until one flew past a Vermont field biologist who had been searching for it for two decades.

Alpine Plant Believed Locally Extinct in Vermont Since 1908 Rediscovered

The Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department announced on Tuesday that the purple crowberry (Empetrum atropurpureum), a diminutive alpine shrub last documented in Vermont in 1908, has been rediscovered on Mt. Mansfield.

New Butterfly Species Recorded for Vermont on iNaturalist

In October iNaturalist user James McNamara photographed a European Peacock Butterfly in a garden and reported it the Vermont Atlas of Life on iNaturalist marking the first state record for this species.

Community Scientist Discovers New Butterfly Species for Vermont

Terri Armata, one of Vermont’s most ardent butterfly watchers, has done it again. For the second year in a row she has recorded a new butterfly species for Vermont. On June 30th in the far southwest corner of Vermont she photographed a Northern Oak Hairstreak (Satyrium favonius ontario)

Three new bees added to state list

Year four of the Vermont Wild Bee Survey is winding down, but not before adding at least three new species to the state checklist. Additional species certainly await discovery, but the number of new ones found each is steadily declining, suggesting we've located the vast majority of the species present.

Fairy Shrimp Survey Discovers New Species for Vermont

Results from our pilot Fairy Shrimp survey this spring doubled the number of species known in Vermont…from one to two. Previously, the Knob-lipped Fairy Shrimp (Eubranchipus bundyi) was the only species confirmed in Vermont. We suspected the state had additional species, and after a hectic season of surveying, we now know Vermont also hosts the Intricate Fairy Shrimp (Eubranchipus intricatus).

After 25 years, Two-spotted Lady Beetle is Rediscovered in Vermont

The Two-spotted lady Beetle was feared to be extinct in Vermont, until the Vermont Atlas of Life rallied biologists and community scientists to help find them. Against all odds, several Two-spotted Lady Beetles were found and photographed after a 25 year hiatus.

Federally Threatened Orchid Re-discovered in Vermont

Botanists with the Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department confirmed that a population of Small Whorled Pogonia—believed to be extinct in Vermont since 1902 and listed as Threatened under the Federal Endangered Species Act—has been documented on Winooski Valley Park District conservation land in Chittenden County. The observation was first reported to the Vermont Atlas of Life project on iNaturalist last fall.

Bat Tick found in Vermont for first time

For the first time, a Bat Tick (Carios kelleyi) has been found in Vermont. In May 2021, a homeowner in Chittenden County told state bug experts they found something crawling along the ceiling, but they didn’t know what it was. ″After examining it, we were like no way, this looks like a soft tick,” said Cheryl Frank Sullivan, a tick expert at the University of Vermont. Sullivan says the bug was sent to researchers for confirmation, and it was indeed a soft tick, more specifically, an adult Bat Tick.

Invasive Spotted Lanternfly Found in Out-of-state Shipment in Rutland

On Thursday, August 19th the Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food and Markets (VAAFM) was alerted that a live ‘Spotted Lanternfly’ was captured on a shipment delivered in Rutland. Recognizing the insects as unusual, at the time of delivery the insects were either killed or captured, and one live sample was delivered to officials for identification. At this time, no other evidence of the insects has been discovered.

New Lady Beetle Species Discovered in Vermont

"Yeah as soon as I saw the thing I just had this feeling that this lady beetle was something special and knew that I had to take it back with me," said Kent. After hours pouring over a key, Kent had a tentative identification—Hyperaspis disconotata, the Disk-marked Lady Beetle.

New Butterfly Species for Vermont Reported to eButterfly

Terri Armata, one of Vermont’s most ardent butterfly watchers, has seen about 100 species in Vermont, nearly every kind ever found here. But even Terri couldn’t have predicted her amazing find during an afternoon butterfly walk—the first record of a Cloudless Sulphur in Vermont. Read more...

New Bees Discovered in Vermont with Worldwide Teamwork

The Vermont Wild Bee Survey has amassed over 50,000 bee records and discovered over 50 new bee species for the state in just two years. It takes an entire village to discover bees–volunteer naturalists, field biologists, and bee identification experts. Three new bee discoveries in June highlights the teamwork.

Vermont Wild Bee Survey Discovers 50 New Pollinators for the State

We have added about 50 new bee species to the state checklist over the last two years and will likely add many more as field surveys continue and historic collections are closely examined. This is the first step for understanding the conservation status of the entire Vermont bee fauna. You can help too! Join our survey. It’s as easy as snapping a photo with your smartphone.

VAL Observation Helps Identify New Leaf Mining Moth Genus

While exploring the LaPlatte River Marsh Natural Area in the fall of 2019, VCE’s Bee Biologist Spencer Hardy noticed a Virginia Creeper with an interesting pair of leaf mines on it. A recent study found it to be part of a new moth Genus and new species for Vermont.

New Butterfly Species Found in Vermont

Fifteen years after it was first discover near Montreal, Canada, the European Common Blue (Polyommatus icarus) has been found in Vermont. On September 5, 2020 David Barrington captured an image of the species at Alburg Dunes State Park.

New Ant-Mimic Spider Sneaks Into Vermont

A small, metallic-black arthropod with a head, thorax, abdomen, and two waving antennae - your classic picnic-robbing ant right? Take a closer look at Michael Sundue's photos at the Vermont Atlas of Life on iNaturalist and you'll see that in fact this is the first record of the ant-mimicking spider Myrmarachne formicaria in Vermont.

Tall Beech Fern (Phegopteris excelsior): Newly discovered fern species in Vermont

Tall Beech Fern (Phegopteris excelsior) was recently described as a new species. Recent work found that Tall Beech Fern is of hybrid descent, but not from a hybridization event between the well known Long and Broad Beech ferns. Read about how scientists uncovered this new species growing right here in Vermont.

Lady Beetle Found Again

On May 15th the weekend long Vermont Backyard Lady Beetle Blitz had just kicked off. VCE biologist Spencer Hardy found one of Vermont’s lost lady beetles—a Four-spotted Spurleg Lady Beetle— a species that hasn’t been reported since 1976.

Crested Caracara in Vermont

Rare Crested Caracara Visits Vermont - Again!

On March 23, 2018 Mark Bessette surprised the Vermont iNaturalist community with photographs of an unusual-looking bird that he dubbed, “Elvis, the juvenile bald eagle.”

Asian Tiger Mosquito Found in Vermont

State Agriculture and Health officials announced that the Asian Tiger mosquito (Aedes albopictus) has been identified for the first time in Vermont.

iNaturalists Discover More New Moths for Vermont

Since 2013, over 1,475 biologists and naturalists have contributed more than 51,000 moth photo-observations to the Vermont Atlas of Life on iNaturalist.

Fly Species New for Vermont Discovered by iNaturalist

You don't have to go far to help the Vermont Atlas of Life discover species new to Vermont. You just have to be observant. On August 12th Roy Pilcher, citizen scientist extraordinaire and recipient of the Julie Nicholson Citizen Science Award in 2009, found one in his car!

Introduced Jumping Spider Spotted in Vermont for First Time

On June 10th Jasper Barnes, a wildlife biology student at the University of Vermont, snapped a photo of a tiny jumping spider near campus and shared it to the Vermont Atlas of Life on iNaturalist. It soon became recognized as the first record of this species for Vermont and the northernmost United States.

Bee Survey Says... Numerous Species Found For First Time In Vermont This Summer

This summer, the Vermont Center for Ecostudies has spearheaded the Vermont Wild Bee Survey in Chittenden County. According to project coordinator Spencer Hardy, more than 320 species have been documented thus far — and nearly a dozen appear to be species of wild bees that were previously unknown to be in the state.

The Climbing Fern is Back in Vermont

Last observed in Vermont in 1997, the climbing fern has been spotted again growing in the Northeast Kingdom, according to Vermont Fish & Wildlife’s botanist Bob Popp.

When a Bluet Isn't Blue: Vermont's "Newest" Damselfly

Congratulations, Vermont. You've got a  new damselfly. Here's a tale about a bluet that's defies the "blue" in its name. It becomes Vermont's 45th known damselfly species.

European Hornet Identified For The First Time In Vermont

The first Vermont specimen of the large European hornet was found in the southern part of the state and identified last month by the Department of Forests, Parks and Recreation. The department says it’s possible the species has been here for a while and only just now been identified.

Endangered Fish Found in Vernon

An endangered fish was hooked recently in the Connecticut River near Vernon. National Marine Fisheries Services Endangered Species Coordinator Julie Crocker says it was the first time a shortnose sturgeon was caught upstream from the Turners Falls Dam in Massachusetts. Crocker says there are shortnose sturgeon farther south in the river, and at this point scientists do not know how the fish got into Vermont.

An Emerald Discovered in Victory

Mike Blust and Josh Lincoln had a plan hatched by a fellow naturalist. Hike deep into the forest to a bog in northeast Vermont and find a rare emerald dragonfly that had never been seen in Vermont. Read about their trials and tribulations that led to elation at discovering this beautiful insect for the Vermont Damselfly and Dragonfly Atlas.

A Tiger Found in Vermont

Congratulations, Vermont. You’ve got a new dragonfly — Tiger Spiketail (Cordulegaster erronea). Dale Ferland, an angler who likes to poke around rivers, snapped that photo above on Monday from the Black River in Springfield and it was posted and confirmed on iNaturalist Vermont.

VAL Updating the Checklist of Vermont Moths

The checklist of Vermont moths is being updated by the Vermont Atlas of Life. Thanks to the tireless efforts of both professional and amateur Lepidopterists, nearly 400 new moth species have been found in Vermont since 1995. There are likely many more awaiting discovery.

New Damselfly Species Found in Vermont

It was a routine warm September day in the field for naturalist Joshua Lincoln. As he snapped photos of a blue damselfly, he didn't realize that he was actually documenting Vermont's first record of the Double-striped Bluet.

Two New Bird Species Found in Vermont

The Vermont Bird Records Committee (VBRC) held its 35th annual meeting in November and reviewed 39 detailed reports of rare, out-of-season, and rare nesting species submitted by birdwatchers. Two new species of birds were discovered in Vermont as well as many other notable records.

A New Vermont Damselfly

The diversity of life in Vermont, at least what we know of it, is now a bit richer. Nine days after the discovery of a dragonfly not previously known from the state, we have a new damselfly as well: River Bluet (Enallagma anna). Mike Blust and Laura Gaudette found this damselfly on the Ompompanoosuc River in Thetford on Monday.

A New Vermont Dragonfly

That dragonfly above is now a bit of Vermont natural history -- the first Banded Pennant (Celethemis fasciata) ever documented in the state. The perceptive naturalist Laura Gaudette found and photographed him while kayaking on Sadawga Lake in Whitingham yesterday. Congrats to Laura!

New to Science: Quillwort Discovered in Vermont

Green Mountain Quillwort (Isoetes viridimontana) was discovered in 2010 by Michael Rosenthal, an amateur botanist from Vermont and recently described as a new species. As reported in American Fern Journal, the Green Mountain quillwort is special for a number of reasons.

New to Science: Three Springtails Discovered in Vermont

In 2011 Felipe N. Soto-Adames and colleagues described three new species of springtails, all discovered in Vermont.

New to Science: Ground Beetle Discovered in Bridgewater, Vermont

David Maddison looked at the morphological, cytogenetic, and molecular variation within the Bembidion chalceum and B. honestum group and found that the concepts of these two consisted of a complex of at least seven species. The new Bembidion chalceum subgroup consists of B. chalceum, B. rothfelsi, B. bellorum, B. antiquum, and B. louisiella. The B. honestum subgroup consists of B. honestum, B. arenobilis, B. integrum and B. rufotinctum. B. rothfelsi type locality is along the Ottauquechee River in Bridgewater, Vermont.

New to Science: Maidenhair Fern Described from Vermont

This new species of fern was formerly described by Cathy Paris in 1991. It is a very rare fern only known from 7 places in Vermont and Quebec.