13 December 2012

June 15th, 2012

22 June 2012

DES ALLEMANDS – June 14, 2012

DES ALLEMANDS – June 14, 2012

I am pretty sure this was our largest group to date at Spahr’s and at the lights. Maybe a combination of having to reschedule the May trip, an expanded number of invitees, and summer freeing up kids’ evenings all contributed to this. But in any case, we seated nearly 30 people at the restaurant, and just over 20 were at Cypress Point.

Given the rainy weather and Gordon’s schedule (and mine), we decided earlier in the day to only set up one light (mine) and waive the boating option. Rainy had persisted until dinner, so flight was expected to be weak and generally lived up to this poor billing. That said, the 7 young kids who came all had a lot to see and enjoyed themselves.

Of special note is that three people on this one evening were stung or bitten by something. A single bite to the ankle, multiple bites on a neck, and a single bite under the shirt to the lower back area occurred in that order and over the course of about 2 hours. Mostly likely culprit seems to have been a corsair, but I ask you: what are the odds of getting bitten by an assassin bug at all if you are not pinching it in your fingers, let alone multiple bites to different people on a single night AND when we saw not a one on the sheet?! Last Mon. (3 evenings before our outing) I collected with 6 entomologists from out of state, and we got 4 or so corsairs off the sheet; and out course no one was bitten save the one guy who opted to hand-collect!

Except for a huge number of some micro-lep species, this night was about 1/50th of Mon. the 11th. Still, not a total bust!



DES ALLEMANDS – June 11, 2012

DES ALLEMANDS – June 11, 2012

A group of visiting entomologists, true bug enthusiasts and kids at heart for sure, from various parts of the country were in town for a technical committee meeting for the pest control company, Copesan. Including two of us from the Insectarium and Gordon Matherne, our group totaled 9. Dinner at Spahr’s was late owing to traffic woes, but we’d have been out late regardless – it was a terrific night!

As per usual, we set up UV and MV lights in two spots and also did some boating (I did not, and Gordon reported no efforts towards water scorpions). The flight was great, as was the perusal of grasses and weeds near the back boat launch.

30 dragonflies (a few at the lights, most from grasses)
20 medium-sized brown click beetles
~20 tiger beetles (T. carolina)
3 false bombardier beetles (we also a couple of true bombardiers)
1 Calosoma scrutator (yay!)
2 nymphal Carolina manitds
~50 cuban roaches
~6 Lethocerus
PDBs – 72
WSBs – 240
~30 Obscure bird grasshoppers (all nymphs)
~20 Oblong-winged katydids (all adults), including 4 yellow ones!

The flight was superb, and everyone was quite pleased. We did not get too many moths, though a few tiger moths and sphinx moths came in (very few). Walking along and hunting for orthopterans and odonates also revealed a host of other g-hopper and katy species and a slew of orb weaving spiders. Of these, the young Argiope and Nephila impressed, but most exciting was the number of starbellied orb weavers, Acantapeira stellata. Neat bugs! We also caught a few corsairs, one of which tagged a collector’s thumb. Effects (pain, which lessened with time) lasted about 4 hours.


26 June 2011

MANCHAC - May 26, 2011

Six of us went to the Manchac Swamp area (including Joyce WMA) on 5/26/11. The drought manifested itself in some noticeably low water in some places (Joyce was about 4 inches down), and there was, for whatever reason, a dearth of certain things we tend to find in good number come late May: butterflies (saw 3 total, of which 2 were dead), wasps, grasshoppers, and the “widow bridge” produced not one such spider for the first time in my experience.

We were able to collect about 50 dragonflies (for cooking at Bug Appétit) and 75 or so lubber grasshoppers to be used on display and at IRF for breeding. We got a pair of wheel bugs, some large bagworms, a few pretty barklice, and an uncommon biting midge that is red and sports long back legs and thickened front leg tarsi. Aquatic collecting was poor (10 whirligigs, 2 water scorpions, and a lone dragonfly naiad), and we did not bust any logs; this may have resulted in a mutiny were it not for a good lunch!

Also of note: 11 ant species, including all three Pseudomyrmex found in LA, a large number of young black and yellow garden spiders, a couple of wolf spiders of 2 species brought back for presentation, a pair of field crickets for the Café table, and a terrific little beetle sometimes called the Delta Flower Scarab (Trigonopeltastes delta).