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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.

A Giant Leap Northward for a Butterfly

It’s hard to miss a giant. In 2010 when the largest butterfly in North America fluttered among Ardys Fisher’s flowers at the end of July, she knew it was something neat. Now, our study published in Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution this week shows an unusually rapid northward range shift by the Eastern Giant Swallowtail over the last two decades.

Naturalists Help the Vermont Atlas of Life on iNaturalist Build Biodiversity Big Data in 2020

From the first observation of 2020, a Gray Fox still celebrating the New Year at 4:30 AM submitted by ckhunt, to Great Mullein leaves poking out of the snow shared by Pete Kerby-Miller at twilight on the last day of the year, naturalists added nearly 175,000 biodiversity records to our rapidly growing database of life in Vermont.

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.

American Redstart Photo Credit: Julia Pupko

Lunchtime Learning

Join Community Science Outreach Naturalist Julia Pupko every Wednesday at noon for an hour of iNaturalist, Vermont eBird, and eButterfly help, with some Vermont natural history topics on the side!

Pruinose Squash Bee Mission Update

Earlier this year, we called on our Citizen Scientists to find as many Pruinose Squash Bees as possible. Find out the results of this mini-mission!

Mission: Find and Share Observations of Squash Bees from Your Garden

The Eastern Squash Bee is an important pollinator of cultivated crops of squash, pumpkins, and related plants. Only reported in five counties so far, we need your help in recording the range of this species in Vermont. Just watch some squash flowers in your garden with camera in hand!

Join the Vermont Moth Blitz During National Moth Week July 18-26

National Moth Week offers everyone, everywhere a unique opportunity to become a citizen scientist and contribute information about moths. You can help map moth species distribution. Just find a moth, snap a photo, and add it to the Vermont Moth Blitz project on iNaturalist!

The Bees of July

As June fades into July, summer strengthens its grip on the landscape, bringing with it sweltering days and billowing thunderheads. It also means increased bee activity after a month with relatively little. In terms of diversity of genera, July may be the best month for bee watching in Vermont.