Thursday, June 30, 2011

Extreme widening plan for Cato Springs road east from S. Razorback Road to S. School Avenue slated to take off the roots of 132-year-old cottonwood tree

Please click on image to Enlarge. Then click on enlargement to get even closer view of retired landscape architect Al Einert and David Druding discussing the fact that, if the right of way for the widening of Cato Springs road is expanded as planned, the huge ancient tree will lose its southside roots and be unlikely to maintain its health.
The justification for widening the street is weak at best. The plan includes curb and gutter and wide sidewalk and FAKE GREENSPACE with street water and runoff from adjacent property sent to the Cato Springs Branch through huge pipes rather than the existing grassy swales. The natural organic black prairie soil will be dredged and replaced by inorganic, impervious red dirt and Fayetteville's Greathouse Park's flooding problem will increase along with that of private property downstream on Cato Springs Branch and the Town Branch of the West Fork of the White River.

Transportation crew drills into limestone to get storm-water pipe down to proper depth to maintain flow toward MLK Jr. Blvd. and the Town Branch neighborhood

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Amber Tripodi will present "Native bees and bee decline" at the Fayetteville Public Library at 6 p.m. Monday: Free to everyone

The Fayetteville Environmental Action Committee is hosting the following event...

Wildlife Habitat TM  Project Speaker Series Continues MONDAY NIGHT
Amber Tripodi will present "Native Bees and Bees' Decline" at the Fayetteville Public Library, Monday, June 27th from 6-7:30pm. 
She will share her work on bee conservation in Arkansas and discuss how homeowners can provide habitat for these important pollinators in our community.

Clearwing moth on Bee balm on June 26, 2011, at World Peace Wetland Prairie
Free and open to public.
Please click on image to ENLARGE view of Arkansas native clear-wing moth. Click on enlargement for even closer view.

Amber Tripodi

Add caption
Ph.D. Program with Dr. Szalanski
Bumble Bee Genetics


Department of Entomology
319 Agriculture Building
University of Arkansas
Fayetteville, AR 72701
PHONE: 479.575.4214
FAX: 479.575.2452

Curriculum Vitae


  • M.S. Environmental Sciences, University of Colorado-Denver, 2009  
  • B.S. Biology, Entomology Minor, University of Arkansas, 2005



  • Szalanski, A.L., A.D. Tripodi, and J.W. Austin. Multiplex PCR diagnostics of the bed bug Cimex lectularius L. (Heteroptera: Cimicidae). Journal of Medical Entomology (accepted).
  • Magnus, R.M., A.D. Tripodi, and A.L. Szalanski. 2011. Mitochondrial DNA diversity of honey bees, Apis mellifera L. (Hymenoptera: Apidae) from queen breeders in the United States. Journal of Apicultural Science (in press).
  • Tripodi, A.D and H. Sievering. 2010. The photosynthetic response of a high-altitude spruce forest to nitrogen amendments with implications for gross primary productivity. Tellus, Series B, 62: 59-68.
  • Etges, W.J. and A.D. Tripodi. 2008. Premating isolation is determined by larval rearing substrates in cactophilic Drosophila mojavensis. VIII. Mating success mediated by epicuticular hydrocarbons within and between isolated populations. Journal of Evolutionary Biology, 21 (6): 1641-1652.
  • Tripodi, A.D ., J.W. Austin, A.L. Szalanski, J. McKern, M.K. Carroll, R.K. Saran, and M.T. Messenger. 2006 Phylogeography of Reticulitermes termites (Isoptera: Rhinotermitidae) in California inferred from mitochondrial DNA sequences. Annals of the Entomological Society of America, 99 (4): 697-706.


  • Tripodi, A.D. , R. Magnus, and A.L. Szalanski. 2010. Genetic diversity of bumble bees from central United States. Annual meeting of the Entomological Society of America, San Diego, CA.
  • Tripodi, A ., R. Magnus, and A.L. Szalanski. 2010.  Genetic diversity of bumble bees in south central United States. International Conference on Pollinator Biology, Health and Policy. State College, PA.
  • Tripodi, A., J. McKern, A.L. Szalanski, and J.W. Austin. 2005. Phylogeography of Reticulitermes termites from California. Annual meeting of the Entomological Society of America, Fort Lauderdale, FL.
  • Tripodi, A.D. and Etges, W.J. 2005. Assessment of the Cuticular Hydrocarbons Involved in Mate-choice within and between Two Populations of Drosophila mojavensis. Annual Midwest Ecology and Evolution Conference, Carbondale, IL. Honorable Mention, Population Biology and Ecology Poster Section. 
  • University of Arkansas, Doctoral Academy Fellowship, 2010-
  • Research Undergraduate Experience (REU) Grant, National Science Foundation, PI: William Etges, $4,200. 2004   
  • Student Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF),  SILO Advisory Council,Assessment of the Cuticular Hydrocarbons Involved in Mate-choice within and between Two Populations of D. mojavensis., Mentor: William Etges, $2,900. 2004


  • Lloyd O. and Ruby P. Warren Endowed Scholarship    $3,500    2002-2005
  • Brandon Burlsworth Memorial Scholarship     $5,000    2003-2004
  • Carl F. Hoffman Award    $50    2004
  • John and Trannye Odum White Scholarship    $700    2004-2005
  • Marion A. Steele Scholarship    $1,000    2004-2005
  • Vol Boatwright Scholarship    $1,250    2004-2005        
  • Biological Sciences Scholarship Award, Zoology     $100    2005


Researcher studies Arkansas bumble bee population

The number of bumble bees is declining worldwide, and one University of Arkansas researcher says she will determine if that’s the case in the Natural State.
Ph.D. student Amber Tripodi said Monday she hopes to determine how bumble bees are distributed throughout the state by sampling bumble bees in every county as part of a new study.
Tripodi said the last time county-level data was compiled was in a 1964 survey, but that her study will have more accurate coverage of the entire state.
Tripodi said she is looking for volunteers to help provide samples from every county.
She said she began collecting samples in May and has already received 100 bees from across the state.
Tripodi said establishing baseline populations will help determine how bee populations change over time.
This article was published April 25, 2011 at 6:22 p.m.

    Richard Drake grieves the loss of long-time Fayetteville restaurant: A native clearwing moth and native bee balm flowers for Drake's excellent writing and for the people who served the public well at Uncle Gaylord's

    To read more of Richard Drake's "Street Jazz" blog, please use this link.
    Please click on image to ENLARGE. Then click on enlargement for an even closer look.
    Hemaris thysbe on Monarda fistulosa

    Sunday, June 26, 2011

    Sunday, June 26, 2011 - 10:52:16

    Remembering Gaylord’s: chunks of Fayetteville slipping away into the night

    I didn’t eat at Gaylord’s as often as I would have liked, or introduced as many friends to it over the years as I should have, something which weighs heavily upon me every time I walk past the now empty restaurant, and the For Sale sign out front.
    In recent years my pilgrimages to Gaylord’s had trickled to about one visit a month, and when I talk to others, I understand that for many of them, once a month or so may have been their set routine, as well.
    Which is pretty stupid, especially for me, because there are lots of worse restaurants that I frequent a lot more frequently, just because they may be more “convenient” on any particular day. Places where the food isn’t nearly as good, or the atmosphere is antiseptic, or you aren’t on a first name basis with those who work there.
    Restaurants which play Fox News on the overhead TVs or persist in relentlessly playing rock music from the 1950s and 1960s, as if the establishment is some sort of old folks home.
    I became lazy.
    Gaylord’s was one of my favorite places to take someone to interview fort an article. It was very relaxing, and the acoustics were great. It was a great place just to kill time before an interview, drinking coffee and thinking about nothing in particular - which I do very well.
    And Gaylord’s had a Club Sandwich which wasn’t to die for, but to actually kill for.
    When Gaylord Willis was still with us, I could rarely “escape” the building without buying one of the books that were for sale by the door, a book he knew that I would enjoy reading.
    Most of the time, he was right.
    After he died, Hiram Brandon maintained the same high standards.
    And, damn it, I miss the dogs that roamed the premises, and came out to investigate customers.
    Times like this, when an institution has fallen by the wayside, call for a certain eloquence from all of us, and I think it can be best summarized as:
    This really sucks.
    And then there were the days when we were gonna maintain the “purity” of Dickson Street
    Years ago, way back in the 20th Century, someone involved with the Downtown Dickson Enhancement Project assured the good folks of the Fayetteville community that no chain restaurants would ever be allowed to set foot on Dickson, that the character of the area would be preserved.
    Everyone took heart from that simple statement.
    Of course, that was way back in the 20th Century, long before it became a law that you can’t mention Dickson Street without also using the expression “Entertainment District” - see, I just did it - and whatever character it had at the the was deemed unprofitable.

    Dogbane more plentiful than milkweed in Northwest Arkansas, so why keep it in your garden? Maybe in order to see some of the world's most beautiful beetles

    Please click on individual images to ENLARGE view of Dogbane beetle. Click on enlargement for even closer view. Below please see like-minded blogger's post on same subject.

    Dogbane beetle aka Chrysochus auratus

    Guest Blogger: Dogbane for Dinner

    Our guest blogger for today is Anne McCormack. I have known Anne (or known of her) for more than 25 years now, first as a long-time editor of Nature Notes, the journal of the Webster Groves Nature Study Society, and more recently on a personal basis as I, myself, have followed in her editorial footsteps. Anne is an astute naturalist whose breadth of knowledge spans not only botany but also entomology and ornithology, all of which she write about in her own blog at Gardening with Binoculars.

    I planted Common Dogbane (Apocynum cannibinum) because some of my butterfly-watching friends reported numbers of juniper hairstreak butterflies on the patch of dogbane at Powder Valley Nature Center in Kirkwood. I assumed incorrectly that dogbane was a host plant for hairstreaks, and believing it to be little more than caterpillar food, I placed it in a hot, dry, narrow strip along the driveway. Ragged, caterpillar-chewed leaves wouldn’t be noticed there, and I forgot about it. After a few seasons, it was still a modest-sized clump, but the leaves were in great shape. In fact, it had grown into an attractive bush of airy, elegant lime-green foliage, wine-red stems, and tiny white flowers. It’s quite a contrast to its relative, Common Milkweed, growing next to it, which looks as if it were designed by Dr. Seuss—even before it gets chewed to bits. At this point I decided it was time to look it up and see why it had failed to support hordes of munching caterpillars. As you have already guessed, gentle reader, the Juniper Hairstreak’s host plant is juniper, not dogbane, but good old Common Dogbane is a great nectar plant. Now that Dogbane and I understand each other better, I can appreciate the amount of traffic its tiny white blooms bring in, like this Peck’s Skipper butterfly. Ants, butterflies, tiny native bees, honeybees, and this mason wasp are busy there all day long. Along with several species of moth, it is the host plant for the Dogbane Beetle, which spends its larval stage devouring the roots and its adulthood dining on the leaves of Dogbane, and nothing but Dogbane. Dogbane Beetle can be confused with Japanese Beetle by beginners like myself, but unlike its fellow Coleopteran, Dogbane Beetle is harmless. That makes its iridescence all the more gorgeous, as shown in this wonderful photo by Courtnay Janiak. It’s a native insect that has shared a long evolutionary history with this under-appreciated native plant. American Indians valued it for its bark, which is tough but peels off in long strips. They plaited it for bowstrings and anything that called for twine; hence, its other common name, Indian Hemp. Don and Lillian Stokes, in their 2002 PBS show about bird watching, demonstrated how birds seek out the dry stems of this perennial, pulling off strips for nests in early spring. Nesting material can be hard to come by for birds in the tidy suburbs, so I don’t clean up the stems after frost. “Bane” in the name refers to the toxin cymarin in the plant’s leaves, though the plant would have to be covered in braunschweiger before my dog would be interested. Edgar Denison, in Missouri Wildflowers, translates the genus name Apocynum as “away dog.” The species name cannibinum refers to hemp. Its seedpods remind me of French green beans. These split at the end of the season, and the seeds fly away on fibers similar to milkweed seeds. Collect some and try this plant in your butterfly or native plant garden. Give it a spot where it’s easy to watch the colorful visitors.

    Dogbane beetle (Chrysochus auratus) - Copyright © Courtnay Janiak
    Copyright © Anne McCormack 2010
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    About annemccormack
    Birds, native plants, and everything about nature!

    Sunday, June 19, 2011

    Painted lady butterfly enjoys purple coneflower in Elleya Richardson Memorial Butterfly Garden on June 19, 2011, at World Peace Wetland Prairie

    Painted ladies on all continents except Australia and Antarctica
    Vanessa cardui caterpillars worldwide utilize up to 100 host plants.
    Please click on individual images to ENLARGE. A click on the enlargement enlarges another step.

    Paula Marinoni on Richard Drake's show on Fayetteville Public Access Television this week

    On the Air: Preservationist/activist Paula Marinoni

    Fayetteville preservationist/activist Paula Marinoni will be the guest this week on “On the Air with Richard S. Drake.”

    Marinoni will be discussing the possible plans of the University of Arkansas to build a temporary access road across the lawn in front of Old Main, leading from Lafayette, for two years, so that work can be done on UA grounds.

    She will also discuss the bridge on Lafayette, and whether it is up to the steady load of trucks for the next several years.

    Show days and times:

    Monday - (7pm)
    Tuesday - (noon)
    Saturday -(6pm)

    C.A.T. is shown on Channel 218 of the Cox Channel line-up in Fayetteville, and on Channel 99 of AT&T’s U-Verse.

    “On the Air with Richard S. Drake” celebrates its 20 years on the air this year. Drake is the author of a science fiction novel, “Freedom Run,” and a history of Fayetteville, “Ozark Mosaic: Adventures in Arkansas Alternative Journalism, 1990-2002.”

    Contact information:

    Richard S. Drake

    Sunday, June 12, 2011

    Pinnacle wet prairie (adjacent to World Peace Wetland Prairie) a natural show place for diverse native flora and fauna, an important natural rain garden in the watershed of the Town Branch of the West Fork of the White River as well as a major corridor in Fayetteville's green-infrastructure and urban-wildlife network

    Please click on image to enlarge. Click on enlarged image to enlarge even more.
    For more Pinnacle wet prairie wildflower photos from Sunday, June 12, 2011, please see
    Flickr link.

    Monarda fistulosa, also known as bee balm, aka wild bergamot, is a weed to some farmers and ranchers but a treasured garden flower to many and historically considered a healing herb by others. Bergamot is the host plant for the caterpillars of the Hermit sphinx moth and Gray marvel moth and important nectar and pollen source for various bees and butterflies.

    Tiger swallowtail brings natural grace to Global Syria Day in Fayetteville, Arkansas: Use Flickr link below to see more photos from the event

    Please click on image to ENLARGE view of tiger swallowtail butterfly resting under Town Center awning after the the Syria Day celebration in Fayetteville, Arkansas. Click on initial enlargement to enlarge more.
    MORE GLOBAL SYRIA DAY photos at this Flickr link.
    View Global Syria Day photos as slide show at THIS LINK.

    Tiger swallowtail

    Friday, June 10, 2011

    Global Syria Day June 11 to be celebrated at Fayetteville Town Center peace fountain at 10:45 a.m. Saturday. Be there on the square or be square

    Global Syria Day June 11
    Support the Arab Spring and Syrian Freedom Protesters
    Interfaith Syria
    Saturday June 11
    11:00 am

    Town Square
    at the Town Center

    To participate in the video come to the Peace Sphere (Town Center) at 10:30 to get oriented.

    Support freedom and democracy across the middle east.  OMNI Center and Syrian democracy advocates need your voice to tell the repressive president of their country that Americans do not support his brutal treatment of his people.  He's torturing the children! 
    Hamsa Ali al-Khateeb
    Syrian freedom advocates from our area, Mohja Khaf and Oubab Khalil, will update us on rapidly changing circumstances, but you will be the real featured performers.   There will be designated actors for specific things, but our chanting for freedom will be the main message to Bashar. 

    This will be a video project that will appear on YouTube and be distributed widely by US to make Syrian president Bashar sit up and take note.  The world is watching him. 

    Please come a few minutes early to get oriented.  For more information email Mohja Khaf at, or call OMNI Center at 935-4422.