Quiz of Total World Distraction

I don’t know about you, but I needed a distraction this week so I made this quiz. I hope you enjoy it.

What kind of snake is this?

A. It’s not a snake, it’s a legless lizard

B. Gardener snake

C. Garter snake

D. Lined Snake

E. Wet Banded Snake


What is a better name for the lined snake in the above photo?

A. Gerald

B. Stripy Snake

C. Hang on, is it spelled ‘Stripy’ or ‘Stripey’?

D. Both, apparently

E. Weird

What kind of plant is shown above?

A. False gromwell

B. Western marbleseed

C. Onosmodium molle

D. Onosmodium bejariense DC. ex A. DC. var. occidentale (Mack.) B.L. Turner

E. Good grief

F. All of the above, depending upon who you ask


What is a better name for the plant above that goes by all those names?

A. Phillipa

B. Tongueflower

C. It’s not a plant, it’s a legless lizard

D. Onosmodium bejariense DC. ex A. DC. var. occidentale (Mack.) B.F. Turner

E. Wait, isn’t that the same as one of the actual names?

F. Nope. How much time are you willing to waste finding the difference?


What species of plant is shown in the above photo?

A. Canada wildrye

B. Canada goldeneye

C. Green Foxtail

E. Foxtail Barley

F. Barely Foxtail

G. Foxy Oats

H. Isn’t goldeneye a duck?

I. Yes, and a plant and a James Bond movie

J. Good grief

K. Also, you skipped D


In many plant texts, foxtail barley (pictured above) is described as being found in many habitats, including roadsides, pastures, and ‘waste areas’. What are ‘waste areas’?

A. Dry wetlands

B. Flood-prone sites

C. Anywhere foxtail barley and other cool opportunistic plants are found

D. Dynamic and interesting ecological sites that we should stop denigrating with lazy nomenclature


We can all agree the answer to the above question is D, right?

A. Right


In the above photo, there are four insects. What is the total number of wings on those four insects? You can click on the photo to see a larger version of it.

A. 3

B. 12

C. 14

D. 8

E. 10


Isn’t it fun that only the plains lubber (grasshopper) in the above photo has two wings and all the others have four wings each?

A. Yes


Look at the above photo. What the heck??

A. No kidding

B. Whoa!

C. It sure is fuzzy


What is a better name for the Pearly Wood-Nymph Moth shown in the above photo?

A. Shaggy Dream-Haunter Moth

B. Gizmo

C. Sweetums


This grasshopper is really well camouflaged.

A. Wow


What is the most logical explanation for why this dead cicada is stuck to this barbed wire fence?

A. It was put there by a loggerhead shrike

B. It’s not a cicada, it’s a legless lizard


Wouldn’t it be appropriate to end this quiz with a photo of an actual legless lizard?

A. Yes

This entry was posted in Uncategorized by Chris Helzer. Bookmark the permalink.

About Chris Helzer

Chris Helzer is the Director of Science for The Nature Conservancy in Nebraska. His main role is to evaluate and capture lessons from the Conservancy’s land management and restoration work and then share those lessons with other landowners – both private and public. In addition, Chris works to raise awareness about the importance of prairies and their conservation through his writing, photography, and presentations to various groups. Chris is also the author of "The Ecology and Management of Prairies in the Central United States", published by the University of Iowa Press. He lives in Aurora, Nebraska with his wife Kim and their children.

21 thoughts on “Quiz of Total World Distraction

  1. If a chicken-and-a-half lays an egg-and-a-half in a day-and-a-half, how long does it take a grasshopper with a wooden leg to kick the seeds out of a pickle? Please show your work.

  2. HEY! I got’em all correct! Do I win the all expense paid trip to see your prairie? After all, I listened to your presentation for “The Prairie Enthusiusts” a couple weeks ago. Ya done good there too.

  3. Chris-what a great “distractionary” post at this time in history. Am so enamored with lubbers as well as loggerhead shrikes (hopefully you are in contact with David Leatherman, retired Forest Entomologist with the Colorado State Forest Service-they ae one of his favorites!) here in eastern CO.

    Keep up the good posts as so many of us value your photos (many are on my ever-changing screen savers) and your insightful commentary.

    Many thanks.

    Megan Bowes Restoration Plant Ecologist [OSMP_lockup_COBLogo] C: 303-906-6486 bowesm@bouldercolorado.gov

    Open Space and Mountain Parks 2520 55th St. Boulder, CO 80301 http://www.osmp.org

  4. Thanks Chris!
    Best start of the day in a long time!!! Appreciate the time you spent to tweak the brain and give us something to laugh about. Good for our brains and feel goods.
    Enjoy the day 😊

  5. Did you hear about the wildfire that started in eastern Washington a few years ago which the fire investigators concluded was started by a grasshopper flying into an electric fence?

    No joke.

  6. This sounds so like my own meanderings through the natural world, lol. I love your playfulness. If you ever want to come visit Cape Breton we will give you a place of your own to stay and treat you like royalty.

Leave a Reply to Linda Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.