Sunset at the powerline

It doesn’t sound very romantic, but check this out!

This was our collecting spot last night. We set up several lights to draw in the insect life. Blacklighting is serious business for these guys (various lepidopterists who were in town for the Lep Soc meeting), and it was great fun to be surrounded by such experience and expertise. Scientific names were being thrown about like confetti, cameras flashing, whiffs of cyanide lingering in the air from the kill jars going into action.

Caterpillars were hunted by flashlight, swept into jars with a sprig of their host plant. Shouts and hollers over a rare or showy species echoed in the night, accompanied by scrambling through the brush to see what all the excitement was about.

I was able to nab a bunch of female Acronicta species, which I’m hoping to get eggs out of. And through our collective effort I now have six adorable Acronicta falcula in the lab. I’ll be taking high quality photos tomorrow, but here’s a shot in its habitat.

Despite not getting much sleep afterward, it was a good night.

Posted on June 27, 2011, in Acronicta, Acronictinae, Invertebrates, Lepidoptera, Noctuidae. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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Ryerson Lab

Functional Morphology, Sensory Biology, Behavior, Biomechanics

I spell it nature

Trying to make sense of the world through science and language.

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