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#bioPGH Blog: BioBlitz 2018 Results
Jun 14

#bioPGH Blog: BioBlitz 2018 Results

By Dr. Maria Wheeler-Dubas, Research and Science Education Outreach Manager

Biophilia NetworkA resource of Biophilia: Pittsburgh, #bioPGH is a weekly blog and social media series that aims to encourage both children and adults to reconnect with nature and enjoy what each of our distinctive seasons has to offer. 

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The early morning skies were gray, and rumbles of thunder echoed over the hills. Nevertheless, almost as though even weather itself knew it was an important day, the clouds cleared just in time and the sun shone on the full day of BioBlitz!

 This past Sunday, June 10, was an adventure-packed day of science, guided nature tours into Schenley Park, exhibits and demonstrations from local naturalists, engaging activities from community organizations, and even nature-themed art projects and story time—it was truly a day for the whole family. The goal of the event, though, was to complete an inventory of the living things within Schenley Park, and local researchers identified 229 species of insects, birds, mammals, fish, plants, fungi, amphibians, and reptiles in areas surrounding Panther Hollow Lake and along Phipps Run and Panther Hollow Run!

If you missed out the fun, check some of the highlights below, and keep reading to explore the full species list from the BioBlitz. Thank you to everyone who was involved - your presence and dedication to nature was truly appreciated. And to all of us who love the outdoors, let’s keep exploring!

In the morning and afternoon, young naturalists could enjoy a nature-themed story time under the shade of a large tree on the front lawn. Here some budding scientists enjoy a story time led by Phipps docents Verna and Bernie McGinley. Photo credit Samantha Lee.


Children learn about spiders from University of Pittsburgh graduate student Sebastian Echeverri. Photo credit Samantha Lee.

Little naturalists decorate gourd birdhouses at one of Phipps’ activity stations. Photo credit Samantha Lee.


A future little malacologist (mollusk expert) learns about terrestrial snails from Dr. Tim Pearce, the curator of Mollusks at the Carnegie Museum of Natural History. 


Becca Halter and Rebecca Kiernan of Resilient Pittsburgh showcase their sustainability activity.


Most importantly, the BioBlitz was an excellent day for science. This year, at least 229 unique species were identified. Below you can compare results of this year to our previous two BioBlitzes. One of the important facets of conducting this even every is to monitor any significant changes in biodiversity over time—which could indicate a problem in the ecosystem. (On that note, you may have noticed a distinct increase in the number of invertebrate species identified from 2016 and the other two years, but this is more likely the result of an increase in the number of experts participating in the event.) Also, be sure to check out our BioBlitz project on iNaturalist to see images of some of the identifications below.


Total Identified Species at the 2018 BioBlitz

Birds, Common name

Birds, Scientific name

American Robin

Turdus migratorius

Yellow Warbler

Setophaga petechia

Redwing Blackbird

Agelaius phoeniceus

Song Sparrow

Melospiza melodia

Wood Thrush

Hylocichla mustelina

Blue Jay

Cyanocitta cristata

Northern cardinal

Cardinalis cardinalis


Icterus galbula


Anas platyrhynchos

Red-tailed hawk

Buteo jamaicensis

Chimney Swift

Chaetura pelagica

Ruby-throated hummingbird

Archilochus colubris

Northen Flicker

Colaptes auratus

Eastern Wood-Pewee

Contopus virens

Acadian Flycatcher

Empidonax virescens

Eastern Phoebe

Sayornis phoebe

Red-eyed Vireo

Vireo olivaceus

Northern Rough-winged swallow

Stelgidopteryx serripennis

Tufted Titmouse

Baeolophus bicolor

Gray Catbird

Dumetella carolinensis

European Starling

Sturnus vulgaris

Scarlet Tanager

Piranga olivacea

Brown-headed Cowbird

Molothrus ater

House Finch

Haemorhous mexicanus

American Goldfinch

Spinus tristis


Fish, Common name


Fish, Scientific name

Pumpkin seed

Lepomis gibbosus


Lepomis machrochirus

White crappie

Pomoxis annularis


Plants, Common Name


Plants, Scientific name or taxonomic grouping


Amaranthus sp.

American Beech

Fagus grandifolia

American elm

Ulmus americana

American sweetgum

Liquidambar styraciflua

Asiatic dayflower

Commelina communis


Tilia Americana

Bigtooth aspen

Populus grandidentata

Black Locust

Robinia pseudoacacia

Black locust

Robinea pseudoacacia


Staphylea trifolia

Bottlebrush Buckeye

Aesculus parviflora

Boxelder Maple

Acer negundo

Broadleaf cattail

Typha latifolia

Bur oak

Quercus macrocarpa

Bush honeysuckle

Lonicera spp.

Canada thistle

Cirsium arvense


Chelidonium majus

Chestnut Oak

Quercus montana


Cichorium intybus


Pilea pumila


Trifolium sp.


Dactylis sp.

Common blue violet

Viola sororia

Common dandelion

Taraxacum officinale

Common duckweed

Lemna minor

Common motherwort

Leonurus cardiaca

Creeping Buttercup

Ranunculus repens

Creeping Cinquefoil

Potentilla reptans

Crown vetch

Securigera varia

Curly dock

Rumex crispus

Deptford pink

Dianthus armeria

Duckweed sp.

Araceae family

Eastern red bud

Cercis canadensis

Elm sp.

Ulmus spp.

English Plantain

Plantago lanceolata


 Erigeron sp.

Fragrant sumac

Rhus aromatica

Garlic mustard

Alliaria petiolata

Golden alexanders

Zizia aurea

Ground Elderberry

Aegopodium podagraria


Celtis occidentalis


Carya spp.

Honey locust

Gleditsia tricanthos

Hop hornbeam

Ostrya virginiana

Japanese knotweed

Fallopia japonica


Impatiens sp.

Kentucky coffee tree

Gymnocladus dioicus

Linden tree

Tilia sp.

London Plane Tree

Platanus × acerifolia


Podophyllum peltatum


Asclepias syriaca



Moth Mullein

Verbascum blattaria


Artemisia vulgaris

Northern Hackberry

Celtis occidentalis

Northern Red Oak

Quercus rubra

Norway maple

Acer platanoides

Ox eye daisy

Leucanthemum vulgare

Pennsylvania pellitory

Parietaria pensylvanica

Pennsylvania smartweed

Polygonum pensylvanicum

Philadelphia Fleabane

Erigeron philadelphicus

Poison Ivy

Toxicodendron radicans


Phytolacca americana


Ambrosia artemisiifolia

Red clover

Trifolium pratense

Red dead nettle

Lamium purpureum

Red maple

Acer rubrum

Red mulberry

Morus rubra

Red oak

Quercus rubra

Red Osier Dogwood

Cornus sericea


Amelanchier arborea

Staghorn sumac

Rhus typhina

Sugar maple

Acer saccharum

sulphur cinquefoil

Potentilla recta


Platanus americana

thistle species


Tree of Heaven

Ailanthus altissimia

Tulip Poplar

Liriodendron tulipifera


Parthenocissus sp.

Virginia Creeper

Parthenocissus quinquefolia

White clover

Trifolium repens

White Oak

Quercus alba

White snakeroot

Ageratina altissima

Willow sp.

Salix spp.

Witch Hazel

Hamamelis virginiana

Wood nettle

Laportea canadensis


Oxalis sp.


Achillea millefolium

Yellow hop clover

Trifolium campestre

Yellow wingstem

Verbesina alternifolia


Mollusks, common name


Mollusks, Scientific name

Herald snail

Carychium minimum

Small spot snail

Punctum minutissimum

Black striate snail

Striatura ferrea

Iroquois Vallonia

Vallonia excentrica

Drapernaud's glass snail

Oxychilus draparnaudi

Ice thorn snail

Carychium exile

Pinhead spot snail

Paralaoma servilis

Globose dome

Ventridens ligera


Arthropods, Common name


Arthropods, Scientific Name

American house spider

Parasteatoda tepidariorum

Ant mimic sac spider

Castianeira longipalpa

Asiatic Wall jumping spider

Sitticus fasciger


Bombus sp.


Bombus impatiens

Cabbage white butterfly

Pieris rapae

Carpenter ant

Camponotus sp.



Chloropidae fly


Clubonid spider

Clubionidae sp.

Common water strider

Aquarius remigis

Common white tail dragonfly


Cross orb weaver

Araneus diadematus





Eastern bumblebee

Bombus impatiens

Ebony jewel wing damselfly

Calopteryx maculata

Elm sack gall aphid

Tetraneura ulmi

Flea jumping spider

Naphryes pulex

Fungus gnat




Golden jumping spider

Paraphidippus aurantius

Grass fly


Green bottle fly


Hackberry emperor

Asterocampa celtis

Harvestman / "Daddy long legs"

Leiobunum ventricosum

Harvestman / "Daddy long legs"

Leiobunum verrucosum

Leafcutting bee

Megachilidae  sp.

Long jawed orb weaver

Tetragnatha sp.

Margined calligrapher

Toxomerus marginatus

Margined leatherwing

Chauliognathus marginatus

Milkweed bug

Oncopeltus fasciatus




Pseudopolydesmus sp

Orb weaver

Araenus sp.

Orb weaver

Agriope sp.

Orchard spider

Leucauge venusta

Pearl crescent butterfly

Phyciodes tharos

Poplar petiole gall aphid

Pemphigus populitransversus

Pure green augochlora

Auguchlora pura

Red velvet mite


Sac spider

Chira conthium sp.

Sarcophagidae fly




Spirea aphid

Aphis spiraecola

Spittle bug/froghopper


Summer azure

Celastrina neglecta

Sweat bee


Sylanvana jumping spider

Colonus sylvanus

Syrphid Flies

Syrphidae sp.

Unknown green orb spider

Thomisidae sp.

Unknown juvenile crab spider

Thomisidae sp.


Vespa sp.

Wedge-shaped beetle


Western honey bee

Apis mellifera

White faced jumping spider

Hentzia mitrata

Zebra jumping spider

Salticus scenicus


Fungi and Lichens


Amanita amerirubescens 


Amanita cokeri (Coker’s Amanita)


Amanita flavoconia (Yellow Patches)


Amanita minutula 


Bjerkandera adusta (Smoky Polypore)


Boletus subvelutipes (Red-Mouth Bolete)


Candelaria concolor (Candleflame lichen)


Ceratiomyxa fruticulosa (Coral Slime)


Crucibulum laeve (White-egg Bird’s-nest Fungus)


Cyathus striatus (Splash Cups)


Datronia mollis 


Exidia recisa (Brown jelly roll)


Ganoderma applanatum (Artist’s Conk)


Gloeoporus dichrous 


Hypomyces hyalinus (Amanita Mold)


Inocybe rimosa (Straw-colored Fiber-head)


Inocybe unicolor


Lactarius quietus var. incanus 


Laetiporus sulphureus (Chicken Mushroom; Sulphur Shelf)


Leucogloea compressa 


Lycogala epidendrum (Wolf’s Milk Slime)


Marasmius pulcherripes 


Marasmius rotula (Pinwheel Marasmius)


Panaeolus foenisecii (The Lawn Mowers Mushroom)


Panus conchatus 


Parmelia sp (Shield lichens)


Phellinus robiniae 


Pleurocybella porrigens (Angel-wing Mushroom)


Polyporus elegans (Elegant Polypore)


Psathyrella candolleana 


Resupinatus applicatus (Black Jelly Oyster)


Russula mariae (Purple-bloom Russula)


Russula tenuiceps


Russula vinacea 


Ruzenia spermoides 


Schizophyllum commune (Split Gill)


Scutellinia scutellata (Reddish Eyelash Cup)


Stereum complicatum (Crowded Parchment)


Stereum ostrea (False Turkey-tail)


Trametes versicolor (Turkey-tail)


Tylopilus ferrugineus 


Xylaria vasconica (prev. known as Xylaria polymorpha)



Amphibians, Common name


Amphibans, Scientific name

Green frog

Lithobates clamitans


Reptiles, Common name


Reptiles, Scientific name

DeKay's brown snake

Storeria dekayi


Mammals, Common name


Mammal, Scientific name

Eastern chipmunk

Tamias striatus

Eastern Gray Squirrel

Sciurus carolinensis


Phipps Research and Science Education department would like to thank all of the scientists and researchers who made the BioBlitz possible. Thank you to Dr. Brady Porter, Dr. Sarah Woodley, Dr. Kyle Selcer, Jennifer Broderick and Sara McClelland of Duquesne University; Dr. Tim Pearce of the Carnegie Museum of Natural History; Sebastian Echeverri of the University of Pittsburgh; the Western Pennsylvania Mushroom Club; Dr. Ryan Gott of Phipps Conservatory; Christian Neumann of Apoidea; Resilient Pittsburgh; the Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy; the Allegheny Land Trust; the Citizen Science Club; PennFuture; the Girl Scouts of Western Pennsylvania; Commonwealth Charter Academy; Hope Grows; GASP; BikePGH; and all of the volunteers and docents who lent their time.