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The Bugs of Bernheim: Pipevine Swallowtail Butterfly

Eaten Vine

After returning from a Bernheim discovery field trip at the Kentucky Science Center one day, a Volunteer Naturalist directed me to a near Aristolochia tomentosa (scientific name), also known as Dutchman’s Pipevine, behind the Education Center. There were dozens of pipevine caterpillars crawling around the pipevine and munching on the big bright … [Read more]

Leaving a Legacy: Isaac’s Café Specials September 12-16

Monarch Caterpillar at Bernheim

Merriam-Webster Dictionary for Students defines legacy as: something (as memories or knowledge) that comes from the past or a person from the past. This Saturday while harvesting in the Edible Garden for Isaac's Café, I had a wonderful encounter with a grandfather and his grandson.  I noticed how the grandfather was carefully explaining what … [Read more]

The Bugs of Bernheim: Cicada Killers


Cicada Killers: who's listening? On hot summer days, the air is filled with the sound of cicadas.  The male's mating call is a loud series of beats and clicks strung together to make one long, continuous undulating song.  While preoccupied with finding love, the cicada has inadvertently captured the attention of another female insect who eagerly … [Read more]

The Bugs of Bernheim: Zebra Swallowtail Butterfly

Zebra Swallowtail Butterfly

Recently, I discovered bird droppings on a Pawpaw tree (Asimina triloba) in my backyard.  Upon closer inspection it turns out, they were young caterpillars of one of my favorites, Zebra Swallowtail butterflies.  I was only momentarily torn between our native Pawpaw tree, which is the only temperate representative of an otherwise tropical plant … [Read more]

The Bugs of Bernheim: Click Beetles

Photo credit: Missouri Department of Conservation, Jim Rathert

Click Beetles are named after the noise they make when grabbed by a predator.  This amazing insect will fall onto its back after a confrontation with a predator and play dead.  In order to right itself, a Click Beetle will bend its head and chest forward, then place a spike in its chest into a hook in its abdomen.  Releasing the spine from the hook … [Read more]

The Bugs of Bernheim: Diptera, The True Flies


Diptera, the true flies, are named because unlike many insects, they fly using two true wings.  There are more than 150,000 different species of flies. [In Greek:  Di = two, and Ptera = wings] While most people tend to think of them as dirty creatures, perhaps we should take a second look at that assumption.  In reality, our world would be a … [Read more]