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A “Shore Bug,” Pentacora sphacelata

A bug photographed on the Felix Neck salt marsh in 2019 has been identified as Pentacora sphacelata (Saldidae) – a first Vineyard record for this “shore bug.”

a migratory silver-haired bat in flight

Bats in December?

Two attentive Vineyard naturalists document unusual December sightings of two migratory bat species.

Tropical Visitor at Lambert’s Cove

Normally found in warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico, the Caribbean, and West Indies, a two-spotted cardinalfish was a recent startling find on Lambert’s Cove Beach in West Tisbury, Massachusetts.

A New Robber Fly Species for Martha’s Vineyard

The tiny robber fly Atomosia puella was discovered among bees collected in bowl traps in 2021 at Thimble Farm, Tisbury.

American Red Squirrel Sighted in Edgartown

Known on the Vineyard only from historical records and the contents of Native American middens, American red squirrel was recently documented at a bird feeder in Edgartown.

DeKay’s Brownsnake on the Move?

First recorded on Martha’s Vineyard in 2020, DeKay’s brownsnake has now been found in Edgartown, as well.

Megachile inimica Added to Vineyard Bee List

Megachile inimica, a large species of leaf-cutter bee, was found in the community garden at Thimble Farm in late September 2023. It representes the 197th species of bee documented on Martha’s Vineyard.

A Vineyard Moss Releases Its Spores

Two Vineyard naturalist, engaged an ongoing study of the island’s vascular plants and mosses, capture one of our native mosses preparing to release its spores.

Cyrtopogon falto

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.