Congratulation to Pete Kerby-Miller for winning the October 2020 Photo-observation of the Month for the Vermont Atlas of Life on iNaturalist. Pete’s image of a congregation of Woolly Alder Aphids (Prociphilus tessellatus) received the most ‘faves’ from other iNaturalists. Some of you may recognize Pete as VCE’s Mountain Ecology Technician, serving with us as an ECO AmeriCorps Member.
Woolly Alder Aphids are hardy November insects, and the blue, fuzzy specks seen above are in their wingless, immature stage. Often these aphids can be found gathered in a mass on speckled alder, sucking liquids and covered with a waxy white coating resembling cotton or wool. The adult stage retains some of the fuzz and blue coloration and also grows wings, so be on the lookout for these flying “Blue Fuzzy-Butts” this season.
Visit the Vermont Atlas of Life on iNaturalist where you can vote for the winner this month by clicking the ‘fave’ star on your favorite photo-observation. Make sure you get outdoors and record the biodiversity around you, then submit your discoveries and you could be a winner!