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Maryland Backyard Yields Thousands of Species of Bugs


Photo of Julie Fortin and Gary Hevel by David Braun

Gary Hevel has an obsession with the bugs in his Maryland backyard. The harder he looks, the more species he finds.

So far he has collected more than 4,000 species of beetles, moths, butterflies, and more. And all these tiny animals abound on two acres in Silver Spring, Maryland, just outside Washington, D.C.

Hevel, who works for the department of entomology at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History, has been something of a star at the National Geographic/National Park Service bioblitz, being held this year in Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore. Students crowd his table in the scientists tent to admire hundreds of insects he has mounted for display.

Hevel talks about his collection in this video:

Video by David Braun