September 03, 2023

July 30, 2023

Western Solomon's plume

Moss, Flora of Alberta (2nd edition), mentions variation of ssp amplexicaule "in our area" (p. 182), but doesn't say anything more about how this variation distinguishes itself. These are all fruiting now, but are there easy to recognize differences?

lallen commented
it depends which reference you look at. Some references split this out as a subspecies, some as a species. VASCAN accepts Maianthemum amplexicaule (Nuttall) W.A. Weber at the species level (not just as a subspecies) (, but the Flora of North America (FNA) separates it out at the subspecies level. I chose to recognize it because later the records can be more easily split, if it is pulled out as a separate species.

From FNA, M. racemosum racemosum is an eastern taxon, M. racemosum amplexicaule western, with some overlap in central US. Here is the key from the Flora of North America (FNA) (

Stems erect; leaves sessile, clasping, blade base rounded; apex of third leaf below inflorescence acute, shorter than 2 mm; w North America. subsp. amplexicaule
Stems arching; leaves petiolate, blade base tapered; apex of third leaf below inflorescence caudate, 12–25 mm; e North America. subsp. racemosum

Posted on July 30, 2023 10:31 PM by mfeaver mfeaver | 0 comments | Leave a comment

July 12, 2023

Mosses - basic understanding

iacomaner added a comment
Yeah, there are tons of good resources out there for whatever stage of familiarity you have. I recommend starting with both the Ohio Moss and Lichen Association webpages as well as the British Bryological Society. Of the former, their Bryology 101 will give you a fairly advanced understanding of terms, morphology, and taxonomy rather quickly. The Common Ohio mosses page is an excellent primer on the most common mosses of the US (not just Ohio). It’s worth checking out their liverwort pages too.

The Learning section of the BBS website is also highly recommendable as a starting place, though not as brief as the former website, it is more polished and comprehensive. Also, their taxon database (they call it “species finder”) is immensely helpful, even if we don’t share 15-30% of their taxa here in North America.

There are some good resources here on iNat, too. Especially for the Pacific NW (though also helpful elsewhere!), @rambryum has a number of very helpful posts on bryologizing tips/tricks as well as taxa guides that are absolutely worth checking out.

Posted on July 12, 2023 12:47 PM by mfeaver mfeaver | 0 comments | Leave a comment

February 10, 2023

January 30, 2023

Watercress - N. officinale or floridanum

If you want the best way to tell them apart, find some with emersed grown stems and take a picture of the joint on those (as it can be hard to see on submersed growth). If the auricle (the little flap at the crease of the joint) is there, then it’s regular N. officinale. But if it’s totally smooth, it’s N. floridanum!

Posted on January 30, 2023 12:57 PM by mfeaver mfeaver | 3 comments | Leave a comment

January 10, 2023

December 18, 2022

Fishing spider - specimen for Ray Fisher

Hi and thank you for the reply. I'll accept dead or alive, but I prefer alive. I may be able to get free overnight shipping. I'll give more instructions on shipping when/if you can get some specimens.

Waiting until January is no problem. There's no rush.

At present, we only have some DNA gathered from 23 specimens across eastern US and Canada. Although they are closely related to six-spotted fishing spiders (D. triton), they might be a new, undescribed species of Dolomedes! How have they gone undetected? Perhaps because they resemble juveniles Dolomedes. All we have are these two photos to aid the search:

To my eye, some of your iNat observations resemble these photos. Here are some examples:

Most probably, most of these are in fact juveniles. But with a little luck and a lot of specimens, maybe we can get specimens of the new species!

Happy hunting!



Posted on December 18, 2022 01:43 PM by mfeaver mfeaver | 0 comments | Leave a comment

December 07, 2022

Bumbee Bee ID'

Posted on December 07, 2022 05:33 PM by mfeaver mfeaver | 0 comments | Leave a comment

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