Author Archives: jtrager

About jtrager

My professional training is in entomology, with strong areas of secondary study in botany and several foreign languages. I have an inordinate fondness for ants, and conduct research in them in my spare time from "real" life and from my job as naturalist/native habitats manager at a nature reserve in eastern Missouri.

Vinerunt, futuerunt, ierunt

Very rough translation: They loved us, then left us. (the cicadas, that is.)¹  ¹ Guest blogger’s subtext — Maybe if I dazzle the readers with a title in the colorful language of Pompeiian graffiti, they’ll forgive me for not posting … Continue reading

Posted in Cicadidae, Hemiptera | Tagged , , , , , , | 8 Comments

Promiscuous Plants

Naturalists have long been aware of the greater tendency for plants than for animals to create viable interspecies hybrids. This is attributable not only (as some might expect) to a higher likelihood of passive plants whose mating is mediated by pollen-hungry … Continue reading

Posted in Apidae, Gentianaceae, Hymenoptera | 22 Comments

The joys of ecological restoration

The daily rewards of restoration, to the practicing ecological restorationist and to those who visit his or her work, are many. Continue reading

Posted in Formicidae, Gentianaceae, Hymenoptera, Liliaceae, Orchidaceae, Orthoptera, Plantae, Primulaceae, Tettigoniidae | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 11 Comments

The Inexorable March of Spring!

Granted, the progress of spring seems to advance in halting baby steps with occasional falls onto its muddy bottom, rather than as a determined forward march, but spring is welcome, no matter how it arrives. When little green tips start poking up and there’s … Continue reading

Posted in Arachnida, Araneae, Formicidae, Hymenoptera, Reptilia, Vertebrata | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments

Ants invade Beetles in the Bush!

Discusses the origin and other insect relatives of ants, what ants carry with their famous ability to do so, and introduces some points about ants’ eating habits. Continue reading

Posted in Formicidae, Hymenoptera | Tagged , , , , , , | 18 Comments