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.
Two dedicated volunteers and a graduate student in Utah come together to document one of Vermont’s least studied and most diverse insect families!
When he looked inside, he saw a small, black beetle with elongated spots. “I walked over to Kent and asked if he knew what species this was,” said Nathaniel. “Kent responded that he was not sure, so he took the beetle home to identify it.” “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.
Terri Armata, one of Vermont’s most ardent butterfly watchers, discovered the 115th species for Vermont, a Cloudless Sulphur. Read more about her discovery and the amazing butterfly.
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.
The survey has 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. You can help too! Join our survey. It’s as easy as snapping a photo with your smartphone.
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.
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 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) 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.