Glossary

Abdomen—One of the three main body segments of an insect; it is the region in the rear.

Alternate leaves—Arrangement of leaves one at a time along a stem at the nodes.

Annual— Plant that completes its life cycle within a single growing season—from seed to bloom to seed.

Biodiversity—The totality of genes, species, and ecosystems in a region or in the world.

Calyx—Protective outer part of a flower that envelops the bud.

Canopy—The cover of branches and foliage in the tops (crowns) of trees; the "roof" of a forest.

Cat scratch disease—A disease caused by the bacteria Bartonella henselae, spread primarily through bites or scratches by infected cats; may cause mild infection at the point of injury and swollen lymph nodes.

Chrysalis—Hard outer covering of a pupa that houses a developing butterfly; similar to a cocoon.

Clutch—Total number of eggs laid by a female bird in one nesting attempt.

Compound leaf—A leaf that is made up of a bunch of smaller leaves called leaflets.

Connate—Leaves joined at their bases and resembling one leaf.

Deciduous—A shrub or tree that loses some or all of its leaves seasonally.

Diurnal—Active and feeding during the day.

Ecosystem—Dynamic and interrelating complex of plant and animal communities and their associated nonliving (e.g. physical and chemical) environment.

Encephalitis—Inflammation of the brain, usually caused by viral infections.

Endangered—Classification provided to an animal or plant in danger of extinction within the foreseeable future throughout all or a significant portion of its range.

Evergreen—Shrubs or trees that retain their leaves year-round.

Exotic species—A species that is not native to an area; usually describes plants or animals that have been intentionally or inadvertently introduced from another state or country.

Extirpated—A species that no longer survives in regions that were once part of its native range.

Fecal—Having to do with animal feces or droppings.

Fledge—The act of birds leaving the nest or nest cavity after reaching a certain stage of maturity.

Fore wings—The front set of wings on a butterfly or moth.

Girdling—To kill a tree by severing or damaging the cambium (layer of living tissue between bark and wood) and interrupting the flow of nutrients between the leaves and the rest of the tree.

Glycosides—Chemical found in certain plants, often poisonous to animals.

Herbicide—A chemical used to kill certain plants, usually weeds.

Hind wing—The back set of wings on a butterfly or moth.

Histoplasmosis—Disease caused by the fungus Histoplasma capsulatum; symptoms vary greatly, but the disease primarily affects the lungs.

Lanceolate—Lance-shaped, much longer than wide; wider at base and tapered at tip.

Larvae (plural of larva)—In metamorphic insects, the immature, wingless, and often worm-like stage that hatches from an egg, grows, and is finally transformed into a pupa or chrysalis from which the adult emerges.

Leaflet—Part of a compound leaf. Each leaflet looks like a small leaf.

Lobe—The rounded part of a leaf.

Lobed—A leaf with deeply rounded edges.

Native—Naturally occurring in the region where it is found.

Naturalized—A species of plant that grows wild in a specific geographic region that it was not previously native to. Sometimes refers to a species that has been in a region so long that it is thought of as native, i.e., Queen Anne's lace.

Nitrogen-fixing root nodule—Enlarged or swollen part of a plant that can use bacteria to take nitrogen from the air and store it.

Nocturnal—Active and feeding at night.

Node—The point of attachment of leaves or buds on a stem.

Nymph—The young stage of insect species that undergo a partial metamorphosis; similar to the adult except that wings are not fully developed.

Opposite—Leaves that arise from a single node on either side of a stem.

Ornamental—A garden plant selected for the beauty of its foliage, berries, or blossoms.

Outcompete—To more successfully utilize the resources shared by other species, often resulting in displacement of those species.

Ovate—A leaf with an oval or egg shape, slightly wider at the bottom near the stem.

Pathogen—A disease-causing agent such as a virus or bacteria.

Pesticide—A chemical substance such as an insecticide or fungicide that kills harmful organisms and is used to control pests such as certain insects, weeds, or microorganisms.

Proboscis—In an insect, a tube-like mouth part used for feeding.

Pupa—The intermediate stage between juvenile and adult forms of an insect; in butterflies, the pupa is encased by a chrysalis. In mosquitoes, unlike in other insects, this stage is very active.

Rare—Species not included on the federal endangered and threatened lists whose populations are limited enough to make them rare in North Carolina.

Rare and Local—A species that is either very rare or local throughout its range (21-100 occurrences or fewer than 10,000 individuals) or found locally in a restricted range or vulnerable to extinction from other factors.

Rhizome—A horizontal underground stem that roots at the nodes.

Root stores—Nutrients stored in the root of a plant.

Runner—A stem that grows flat along the top of the ground.

Special concern—A species of special concern is any species of plant in North Carolina that requires monitoring but that may be collected and sold under regulations adopted under the provisions of the Plant Protection and Conservation Act (N.C. Natural Heritage Program definition).

Thorax—In insects, the portion of the body between the head and abdomen to which the legs and/or wings are attached.

Toxoplasmosis—A disease caused by the parasite Toxoplasma gondii; may cause swollen glands, muscle aches, and flu-like symptoms.

Vector—An organism that transports a pathogen or a disease-causing agent.

Vine—A plant with a climbing or creeping stem.

West Nile virus—A disease primarily spread through the bite of an infected mosquito that affects the central nervous system in humans and animals. Mosquitoes are carriers that become infected when they feed on infected birds.

 

 

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