Green gentians live for decades, but only flower once

It appears that, for a plant that will flower only once, having offspring flower over a period of at least 40 years is a way of hedging one’s bets in an unpredictable environment. Read more

Caterpillar a mobile fortress bristling with hypodermic needles

Adult buck moths earned the name by flying during fall deer hunting season. Read more
Super Bloom Photograph

A super bloom of desert annuals on the Colorado Plateau

Two factors suggested that this spring and summer would witness extraordinary blooms of wildflowers on... Read more

White-lined sphinx moths’ flight, agility a marvel

The flight of sphinx moths is a marvel, for while hovering or accelerating the wings beat so fast that they emit a fluttering buzz — wingbeat frequencies are typically 41 cycles (up and down) per second. Read more

Hanging gardens rely on seeping water in sandstone alcoves

For evolutionary biologist Jeff Mitton, a trip to the Labyrinth Canyon Wilderness brought an added discovery. Read more

Mating ball of garter snakes caught on campus

Males employ an anoxic kiss to reduce female struggle and increase compliance The dam that... Read more
sego lily

Western sego lilies reach mountain meadows to hot deserts

Colorful cup-shaped flowers likely to bloom in force after wet winter. Read more
graduate student

Chickadee Study examines hybridization of chickadees

The Boulder Chickadee Study is a collaborative, long term effort between Kathryn Grabenstein, a PhD candidate in ecology and evolutionary biology at the University of Colorado Boulder, and her thesis advisor, Scott Taylor, to examine hybridization. Read more

Metallic wood boring beetles utilize aspen, cottonwoods and willows

Colorado is home to 92 species of metallic wood boring beetles that share the wood boring habit and glittering iridescence. Read more

Ballhead waterleaf flowers get help from unexpected guests

I looked around to see what was in bloom and found a native wildflower with the strange name of ballhead waterleaf, Hydrophyllum capitatum. Read more

A plant incapable of photosynthesis but good at forming bridges

Pinedrops parasitizes the mycorrhizal fungus directly, stealing water, minerals, carbohydrates and nutrients, but supplying nothing in return. In effect, it parasitizes a mutualism after germinating in the grasp of a fungus. Read more
Bee plant

Bee plants left their mark on Ancient Puebloan pottery

As beautiful as they are, Rocky Mountain bee plants are known to be malodorous, inspiring other common names, including skunk weed and stink weed. Read more