54.2 F
Vineyard Haven, MA
Wednesday, May 24, 2017
Home Authors Posts by Matt Pelikan

Matt Pelikan

202 POSTS 0 COMMENTS

Grasshoppers

When I began studying the Vineyard’s grasshoppers about six years ago, I knew almost nothing about them. There was only one species I could...

Cicadas

Often heard but seldom seen, cicadas are a dominant feature in the natural soundscape of the Vineyard in summer. The drone of lustful male...

Chloealtis: To find the grasshopper, you must be the grasshopper

About six years ago, I began the long-term project of trying to learn what I could about the Vineyard’s orthoptera — that is, its...

Potter wasps

The Island boasts some fine ceramic artists, and some of them aren’t human.Potter wasps are a division within the wasp family Vespidae, which also...

Dioctria hyalipennis

In my effort to study insects, the goal is simply to learn at least one new thing every day. Over time, in theory, the...

True bugs

As informal shorthand for nearly any kind of insect, the word “bug” gets used by pretty much everyone. Serious entomologists sometimes even make a...

Dreamy duskywing

I’ve been trying — with little success — to clean up a butterfly mystery. The subject is a homely-looking brown job that most people...

Bibio femoratus

“Swarms”: The word keeps cropping up in phone calls and emails, asking me to explain the astonishing explosion of black flying insects that has...

Three azures

Perhaps the most common question I hear at this time of year is, “What are those little blue butterflies that are all over the...

A perfect day for bug-hunting

My columns typically focus on one particular species that I’ve been able to learn something about. But sometimes my time in the field gets...

The ichneumons are here!

If you object to wasps because they sting, you’re in luck! The largest family in the wasp world has only a few members capable...

Sawflies

On nearly any decent winter day — sunny, not too cold, not too much snow on the ground — I try to swing through...

Scup and grasshoppers

Thanks to Cynthia Aguilar of West Tisbury for providing a delightful follow-up on my Jan. 26 “Wild Side” column on a massive die-off of...

Mourning cloaks

The Bay State’s 2016 butterfly season got off pretty much on schedule this past weekend with a report of a mourning cloak from the...

Gull watching

In general, February is the nadir of the year for a Vineyard birder, with numbers and diversity at their lowest. Mortality and migration have...

Fish bodies on the Lagoon, as far as the eye could see

“Fish bodies on the Lagoon” is the sort of email subject line that gets my attention. This particular email, sent on the evening of...

Reflections from a naturalist

I’ve written about natural history for the MVTimes for about 15 years now: from 1999 through 2004 in a column called “Field Notes,” and...

Something to crow about

You’d think the colonization of the Vineyard by a large, noisy bird species would be an obvious process. But the gradual establishment of a...

The ups and downsides of climate change

With temperatures up into the upper 50s yet again as I sit down to write this, my topic can only be the oddly pleasant...

The ebb and flow of Martha’s Vineyard bug life

As you’d expect with cold-blooded creatures, insect numbers and diversity follow a distinct annual arc, building to a summertime peak from a winter nadir....