Wild Side: Wild Side: Welcoming the red-banded hairstreak butterfly

Colorful, relatively easy to find and identify, butterflies have long been a favorite of collectors and field observers alike. Butterfly diversity is low enough...

Wild Side: A trio of kestrels at Katama

Updated, Thursday, Sept. 8, 8:30 am Poking around the FARM Institute’s fields at Katama Farm last Saturday, I saw something I haven’t seen in decades:...

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...