Large-leaf Grass of Parnassus - Parnassia grandifolia

Despite its common name, Parnassia grandifolia (Celastrales - Celastraceae) is not a grass, but a perennial herb, forming clusters of slightly succulent, shiny leaves. Its large, white flowers with green veins and bright orange anthers are really beautiful.

Parnassia grandifolia is native to central and south eastern US. It grows in alkaline seeps and is an indicator of rich, old forest. 

References: [1]

Photo credit: ©Alan Cressler | Locality: Ocala National Forest, Marion Co., Florida, US (2010)


Walker’s Moth - Sosxetra grata

This fantastically fluffy moth is scientifically named Sosxetra grata, formerly included in the Noctuidae family but now in Erebidae. This moth is found in cloudforest from Costa Rica to Peru, and also in Belize.

Reference: [1]

Photo credit: ©Thomas Shahan | Locality: Belize (2012) | [Top] - [Bottom]

How to Take Notes from a Textbook


Hey guys! I’ve received so many questions about reading textbooks and taking notes on that, so I am going to share with you how I do it. 

I like to write on the margins. Not highlight. I don’t use a special color coding technique to separate my comments from key terms from titles from definitions.

My system is very simple and makes sense to me. All I use are:

  • A pencil
  • An eraser
  • Small (not tiny) sticky notes

Read More

Andean Forest Pit Viper - Bothriopsis pulchra 

Native to the eastern slopes of the Andes (Ecuador and Colombia), Bothriopsis pulchra (Viperidae) does honor to its scientific name, since the name of the species, pulchra, comes from the Latin pulcher, meaning beautiful, handsome, fine, fair. 

This potentially deadly pit viper species is best distinguished from the similar Bothriopsis taeniata by counting the number of belly scales (less than 200 in B. taeniata versus more than 200 in B. pulchra).

References: [1] - [2] - [3]

Photo credit: ©Daniel Mideros | Locality: unknown (2014)