Latest Discoveries

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

Tall Beech Fern (Phegopteris excelsior) was recently described as a new species. Tall Beech Fern was originally thought to be a hybrid of Long Beech Fern (P. connectilis) and Broad Beech Fern (P. hexagonoptera). Further analysis proved that Tall Beech Fern is of hybrid descent, but not from a hybridization event between Long and Broad Beech Ferns. Given the number of differences between Tall Beech Fern and the species it is most closely related to—Long Beech Fern—Tall Beech Fern was described as a new species.

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.