Owl Fly VERSUS Owl

It’s time for the third edition of my highly unbiased and scientific infographic comparing invertebrates and vertebrates who share names.

This round I focused on the owl fly, an invertebrate that is often confused for a dragonfly but is unrelated, and a familiar nocturnal bird, the owl.

Here are the previous VERSUS 
TIGER BEETLE VS TIGER
WATER BEAR VS BROWN BEAR

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Invertebrate Quiz: Take Flight

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Field Journal: Sea Squirts & More

Low tides have come and gone while I sat at home looking at the tide charts, wondering what I was missing during the pandemic. But with the easing of restrictions here in Washington, I finally ventured out to my regular haunt in West Seattle for the first two times this season. My first outing was not very exciting, I found only a single nudibranch and not a whole lot else. This week however, I had more success in not only finding a few nudibranchs, but also making some discoveries new to me.

Summer has officially begun in Seattle, and this week offered sunny weather and remarkably calm water for searching the tidal zone. It wasn’t long before I found the first nudibranchs, but at first I didn’t see them because the rock I had…

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Invertebrate Quiz: Here’s Looking at You

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Invertebrate Quiz: What Doesn’t Belong?

One of these things is not like the other…but which one? Once you think you know, look below the photo for the answer.

Click and drag on the green below to highlight the text and reveal the answer.

A, B and C are all types of flies (Diptera) while D is a sawfly (Symphyta).

A is a bee fly in the Bombylius genus
B is Eristalinus taeniops, a syrphid fly
C is Physocephala burgessi, a thick-headed fly in the Conopidae family
D is a willow sawfly in the genus Nematus

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How to Make a Pitfall Trap

While bees and butterflies may catch our attention as they fly around our flowers, there is a great deal of activity far beneath them vastly unseen on the ground. Hidden below the plants in the leaf litter and soil is an entire overlooked kingdom of invertebrates. We sometimes encounter them when we pick up a rock or if we get low and poke around, but they live largely unseen. While I do recommend crawling around on the ground to investigate what’s living there, there is another way to find out what invertebrates are lurking around, and it’s easy to set up with materials you already have on hand.

MATERIALS

CONTAINER: The first thing you’ll need is a container. Repurposed food containers like yogurt cups, jars or other cup-like things will work. It needs…

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