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Biodiversity Blog

 
The Daily Species: Bumble Bee Fly (Laphria macquarti)

The Daily Species: Bumble Bee Fly (Laphria macquarti)

On the left is a bumble bee. On the right is... not a bumble bee. Laphria macquarti is one of the larger and more spectacular mimics of common bumble bees in the southeastern United States. These agile predatory insects are in the robber fly family Asilidae, and like most robber flies, they catch prey in mid-air. Their beelike appearance likely det...
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The Rough-stem Rosinweed - Silphium integrifolium var. asperrimum

The Rough-stem Rosinweed - Silphium integrifolium var. asperrimum

This rather tall sunflower is found primarily along streams on the Edwards Plateau and in north-central Texas. Although the leaves are sandpapery to the touch, they are relished by deer and other browsing wildlife. Flowering months: July and August. Photo: Dexter image collection, Plant Resources Center.Wildflowers of Texas project: http://www...
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Wildflowers of Texas: The angel trumpet, Datura Wrightii

Wildflowers of Texas: The angel trumpet, Datura Wrightii

A large white flower with a long tube is usually the telltale sign of a flower that blooms at night, since it is often adapted to pollination by long-tongued hawkmoths that only fly in the near-dark. Such is the case of the impressive (to about eight inches long) and beautiful flower of this species of jimsonweed. The fruit it produces is like a sp...
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Wildflowers of Texas: The prairie nymph, Herbertia lahue

Wildflowers of Texas: The prairie nymph, Herbertia lahue

This gorgeous flower makes a brief springtime appearance in Texas coastal prairies. It varies on color from blue to lavender. Flowering months: March, April, May. Photo: Dexter image collection, Plant Resources Center.Wildflowers of Texas project: http://www.lib.utexas.edu/exhibits/wildflowers/index.html
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The Daily Species: Lesser Siren (Siren intermedia)

The Daily Species: Lesser Siren (Siren intermedia)

The Lesser Siren (Siren intermedia) is a slender-bodied aquatic amphibian that spends its days burrowed in silt and debris at the bottom of slow waters. Sirens have a small pair of front legs but lack hind limbs, a loss thought to help them more easily swim through reeds and plants. During drought, they can secrete a protective mucus that cocoons t...
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