Wild Side: 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...

Wild Side: 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...

Wild Side: Chloealtis: To find the grasshopper, you must be the...

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...

Wild Side: 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...

Wild Side: 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...

Wild Side: 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...

Wild Side: 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...

Wild Side: 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...

Wild Side: 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...

Wild Side: 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...