Sunday, April 26, 2009

Eeeek! I'm a bug pimp!

I was out again tonight checking on the beetles, but this time I was supposed to capture a couple to see if they can live long enough to join a female in Gainesville to mate and lay eggs for the video camera.

Who says entomology is no fun?

Sunday, April 19, 2009

An update

Stopped by this evening to bust up concrete around recently uncovered pole, but it seems there's a lot more large aggregate, so I may have to take a different approach.

Beetles were flying. I saw one dig up a female and copulate. Frontiers of insect behavior education.

Friday, April 17, 2009

A different kind of roach

The scrub house has roaches, too. The usual species of roaches, American cockroach, Oriental cockroach and wood roach are there, but there's another that is unique to this place.

It is the Sand Cockroach, a thin insect that can wedge itself easily among the sand grains. I saw one recently flying at dusk, perhaps in search of a female. Females are flightless, so must wait for gentlemen callers to reproduce.

The immatures look odd, spotted and wingless. Another adaptation for scrub life, perhaps.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Chasing bugs in the dark

This has been a real change from my normal daytime activities of hauling trash, checking fences and monitoring endangered plants and animals.

I've been out with entomologists from Tallahassee and Gainesville to get a better idea of insect life here, especially beetles. The prime area appears to be the area that has historically been more open, which seems to make an additional argument for better habitat management.

There could be some exciting news on the insect front soon, but at the moment I'm sworn to secrecy on the details.

More later.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Nolina abounds

One of the effects of the gyrochopping has been to make Nolina brittonia more visible in the landscape. It is one of the tallest plants that is blooming at the moment and is growing in relatively dense stands.

Several recent visitors have remarked on this panorama, which is unusual on most scrub sites because the plants are visible only at short range.

This also shows how locally common a rare plant can be in the right habitat.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

An evening by the bug lamp

I went out for my first night light quest for interesting insects. The remarkable beetle I'd been hoping to see did show up. There are probably more somewhere. It will be interesting to see what the pitfall traps collect. besides loose sand.

I printed out my scanty invert list today. Now that I know what's happening, I'm convinced there's a lot to do. In addition to beetles, the lamp attracted moths and an ant lion.