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Tiny flies make wooly bud galls on tall sagebrush

I had seen the curious growths on big sagebrush before, but they had not captured my interest. But this last summer, in successive trips to the area around Comb Ridge and Natural Bridges National Monument in Utah, I saw many big sagebrushes, Artemesia tridentata, with one to five of these odd growths, and their ubiquity tweaked my curiosity.

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Red-spotted toads pop up in the driest of environments

Red-spotted toads, Bufo punctatus, are creatures of the desert — they live on the Colorado Plateau, in the Mojave, Sonoran and Chihuahuan deserts, and Baja California. Red-spotted toads are small and, indeed, they have red or reddish-orange spots. While they live in deserts, they are tied to ephemeral creeks and pools, for they must lay their eggs in water.

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Diversity efforts are key to our students’ futures

As both President Benson and Chancellor DiStefano have noted, diversity efforts are critical to our mission as a research and educational institution. In particular, President Benson has said that, “Diversity is one of our university’s core values and stated guiding principles.”

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Why are male jagged ambush bugs darker than females?

By Jeff Mitton As the flower season wanes in Boulder’s Open Space and Mountain Parks, the last of the insects seek the last of the flowers. Tarweed, Madia glomerata, is one of the last species blooming in mid-September, so the remaining insects become concentrated on it. On this afternoon in September, tarweeds were teeming with […]

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Stinkhorn mushrooms use flies to disperse spores

This was one of 18 species of mushrooms called stinkhorns, all in the genus Phallus. This species was Phallus impudicus, common in North America and Europe, also present in parts of Africa. The specific name, impudicus, is derived from the Latin for “shameless” or “immodest.” While most mushrooms rely on wind for dispersal, stinkhorns induce flies to disperse their spores.

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