Cyrtopogon falto is the latest robber fly species (Asilidae) to be documented on Martha’s Vineyard.
New Bee Species for Martha’s Vineyard
The Azalea Mining Bee, Anderna cornelli, has been found on Martha’s Vineyard, raising the total of bee species known on the island to 193. Sharon Britton found several individuals on rhododendron flowers in her yard in West Tisbury.
Townsend’s Solitaire Sighted
Vineyard birds enjoyed a blast of wintertime excitement with the discovery, in Correllus State Forest on February 21, 2023, of the island’s third-ever Townsend’s Solitaire (Myadestes townsendi). The bird was found and identified by “Sea” Williams and Bridget Dunnigan.
MVAL in iNaturalist: 2022 Year in Review
2022 was a great year for the Martha’s Vineyard Atlas of Life! A big part of our success has been the growing use of iNaturalist by naturalists on the Vineyard. Here’s a summary of our 2022 iNat activity.
“The Swiss Army Knife of Mushrooms”
Rarely reported on Martha’s Vineyard, the birch polypore fungus is a powerhouse of useful traits and chemical components.
Vulnerable Season for Sea Turtles
In late autumn, plunging water temperatures pose a risk to sea turtles in our region. Learn how you can help these endangered reptiles face this seasonal risk.
When Life Gives You Mussels, Take Photos
iNaturalist helps two alert observers identify a freshwater mussel from a West Tisbury pond. Almost nothing seems to be known about these shellfish on the Vineyard.
These fascinating bees are kleptoparasites of other bees, laying their eggs in the nests of their host species instead of provisioning there own nests. One cuckoo bee, Coelioxyx octodentatus, was recently added to the Vineyard’s Bee checklist.
Hairy-banded Mining Bee – Andrena hirticincta
The Hairy-banded Miner Bee, Andrena hirticincta, is one of the most recognizable solitary bees known from Martha’s Vineyard, occurring in late summer and early fall wherever goldenrod, this bee’s favorite pollen source, is found.
Great Blue Skimmer
A new iNaturalist user recently documented a great blue skimmer (Libellula vibrans) in Chilmark. There are only a handful of previous records for the Vineyard.
A Chilmark record adds the unusual wasp genus Gasteruption to the MV Atlas of Life.
Monarch Butterflies – How Endangered Are They?
This iconic orange-and-black butterfly is widely assumed to be at risk of extinction. But Monarch biology is complex, with different populations exhibiting different ecology, and some research suggests that the situation is less dire than widely believe.