I once spit my dinner across a room. I was watching the local news in the fall of 2008, and the story showed the opening day of the new California Academy of Sciences building. My brains left my body as … Read more
San Francisco lepidopterist Liam O'Brien shares observations and illustrations from the field.
Journal of A Robberfly in Mexico
Bay Area lepidopterist Liam O’Brien spent the 2019 City Nature Challenge surveying the biodiversity of Mazatlan at the invitation of Mexican naturalists.
In the Shadow of the Xerces Blue
San Francisco tries to change the conditions that once made it famous for butterfly extinction
Sex and the Single Butterfly
What most of us call “butterflies” are in fact just the fleeting last life stage of a creature with only one remaining purpose.
Give Your Kids a Butterfly Net
Dramatic insect declines argue for more time outdoors with a collector’s net, not less, writes lepidopterist Liam O’Brien.
Above the Tropopause: in Search of a High-Altitude Butterfly
Butterfly experts guard their secret spots like fishermen. When a friend takes Liam O’Brien to his “spot,” the writer finds himself in a scene from Nabokov.
On Butterflies, Parasites, and Viruses
How does a Broadway actor become San Francisco’s go-to lepidopterist? Liam O’Brien explains.