Entomology Field Trip!

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Is it just me or do the undergrads look younger every year?

A few years ago, I taught the laboratory for BISC 317, Insect Biology. Much as we impress upon the students to go out and collect hard and often in the few short weeks of summer left to them, they are usually slow to do so, so to help them out, the instructors take them on a collecting trip. This is a voluntary field trip that the instructors organize solely for the students’ sake, and it allows them to get a few orders in their collections they might not yet have found, such as stoneflies, mayflies and odonates. ¬†We go out to UBC’s Malcolm Knapp research forest, and hit both a pond and a stream habitat.

This year, Bekka Brodie and Antonia Musso are teaching the course, and I went along for the fun of it. I taught the course when Antonia took it, so it was great to see her out there leading the undergrads around. Bekka is the senior entomologist, having come from a Masters where she worked on Longhorns in the US, and she brought along Tavi, our favourite budding truck enthusiast/entomologist.

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Bekka wrangles supplies and students

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A veritable invasion of entomologists hits the shores of the pond.

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We use dollar store nets for aquatic insects. they work pretty well!

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Antonia explaining the superabundance of chironomid larvae.

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Antonia figures out the quirky wash bottle.

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Hoping for a mayfly…

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Collaborative netting.

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Searching for 3 caudal filaments.

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Preservation in ethanol is the next step.

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Another forest invertebrate.

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Ah yes! A fat juicy stonefly, freshly plucked from the stream!

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A whopping corydalid larva!

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Tavi had all the netting he could handle and made his escape. Viorel is not amused.

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On the way back, Viorel, Tavi and I checked out some honey mushrooms on a maple at a nearby river.

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With some salmon in the water…

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…and some on land as bear food!

One thought on “Entomology Field Trip!

  1. I guess I’ll rethink carrying out my insects so they don’t have to be killed? I was just getting into thinking of them as pets … I did my own insect collection in middle school, but I find myself feeling guilty for that. I guess you’ve brought me around to not really liking these collections.

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