And a new adventure begins

Classes started this week – how did that happen so fast??

I am the TA for general entomology. Somehow ended up with four students from field entomology (you mean I didn’t scare them off?), which means they already know my tricks, which means I’ve got to come up with some new material (lectures, quizzes, jokes) this semester. And I have to find a way to reel myself in and listen to the professor (my advisor) and do things his way. That will probably be the most challenging part!

So far it seems like we have a really great group of motivated students – I’m excited to spend more time with them and help them with their collections. We won’t be doing as much collecting during class time as field entomology, but we will take some fun trips.

I have a flickr page for the class that I started here, if you’d like to see the sorts of things we catch around CT.

This is the craziest thing we saw on our walk today- an ambush bug eating a bee. But what are all the flies doing? Any idea on ID or what the swarming is about?

Posted on August 30, 2012, in General Entomology. Bookmark the permalink. 14 Comments.

  1. hmm that is quite the scene. i just saw a mating pair of ambush bugs a couple days ago (in western MA), the female feeding on a honey bee. no flies though. perhaps they are feeding on something off pollen on the bee?

  2. I have a crazy idea they might actually be mating or wanting to lay their eggs in it? I know of flies that lay eggs in meat, but not really insects…
    Aaah – I should study more :))
    Anyway, I wish you lots of luck with your students – from your blog I gather you are rarther experiences in teaching, so it will not be a problem 😉

  3. Ah, my favorite insect and a true bug. Could never catch one as a kid. As a teen, it took Brigette no time at all to show me up and catch them quite easily. I guess that’s why she’s an entomologist and i’m not!

  4. Hello Brigette!
    I saw your etsy page and there is so many funny coincidences I thought I would message you. I’m a biologist finishing my PhD, I’m selling homemade felt nudibranchs at my local farmer’s market in central Canada and I’m born the same day as you! (weird biologist girl day?) That would be nice to check on a bigger sample size ^^

  5. Hey Pauline, I am doing masters in malacology, where can I see the nudibranchs please?? 🙂

  6. Check out Brigette’s soft sculpture nudibranchs on her Weird Bug Lady etsy site.

  7. I know Brigettes shop, it is awesome, but I was asking if I can see Paulines Canadian nudibranchs somewhere 🙂

    • Hello Veronika,
      Thank you for your interest 🙂
      However I don’t really want to advertise my creations as it was really not my aim 🙂

  8. saw this elsewhere on the web- don’t know if it was a different sighting (maybe it was just someone else from your group who took more photos?)- but ack here are those flies biting a bee again while it is being eaten by an ambush bug(!).. I do wonder What is going on. pheremones? an oddly delicious (to them) combo of nectar, death and whatever the ambush bug uses? let me/us know if you figure anything else out about it.

  9. OH! just now saw Troy’s helpful earlier response and link about the freeloader flies. Absolutely Fascinating. thanks!

  10. gerard kirk patrick sanchez

    hi! can anyone of you suggest me a book regarding to caterpillars? im intersted about studying caterpillars. hope you could help me. thanks alot. ^^

    • The best books are written by my advisor, David Wagner! Caterpillars of Eastern North America, and Owlet Caterpillars of Eastern North America. Lots of great pictures and information.

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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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