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Araba Bioscan

Araba Bioscan 19-26 February 2021

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Araba Bioscan

Araba Bioscan 22-29 January 2021

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Araba Bioscan

Araba Bioscan 15-22 January 2021

This week’s sample included three individuals of a Ulonemia (Hemiptera: Tingidae) species that seems not to be Ulonemia burckhardti, which had already been recorded. According to Shofner 2018 that species has “metasternal carinae straight, parallel, width equal to mesosternal carinae”, whereas the new insects show significant widening of these carinae relative to the mesosternal carinae.

A Camponotus specimen in the sample was heavily infested with small dark discs, apparently the spores of a fungus, most likely Myrmicinosporidium durum, although all records of this parasite to date seem to be from the northern hemisphere.

The sample also included the first plume moth for the project, one individual of Stenoptilia zophodactylus (Duponchel, 1840), a species of near-global distribution.

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Araba Bioscan

Araba Bioscan 1-8 January 2021

This week’s sample included the first mantis, the first representatives of the wasp families Gasteruptiidae and Mymaridae and the first “dustywing” (Neuroptera: Coniopterygidae) for the project.

I also changed the aperture on the DSLR image of the sample to improve the depth of field and (finally) put a little effort into white(r) balance for the stereomicroscope photos.

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Araba Bioscan

Araba Bioscan 18-25 December 2020

One of the flies captured this week seems to have been parasitised by a nematode or other “worm” that has apparently hollowed out at least the interior of each compound eye. The fly had no wings remaining and the head was rotated through 180°. Finding information on parasites of insect eyes is very difficult since searches repeatedly return pages on insect parasites of human and animal eyes. Any information on clades that destroy the eyes of flies would be welcome. I assume that the parasite also controlled the fly’s behaviour to climb upward (and fall into the sampling bottle) despite being so badly compromised.

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Araba Bioscan

Araba Bioscan 4-11 December 2020

The week included a few cooler days and biomass in the trap was lower than the previous two weeks.

Photographs this week include several species ichneumonoid wasps that resemble others caught in recent weeks, but also many species not previously caught or photographed.

One of the cicadas caught this week and last week has been identified by David Emery as Yoyetta robertsonae Moulds, Popple & Emery 2020. The type locality for this recently described species is within meters of the Malaise trap. See the paper here: A new species of Yoyetta Moulds from south-eastern Australia with notes on relationships within the Yoyetta tristrigata species group (Hemiptera, Cicadidae, Cicadettini).

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Araba Bioscan

Araba Bioscan 27 November to 4 December 2020

The trap continues to collect a wide diversity of insects in the new location. I’ve photographed a larger-than-usual selection, including several striking flies and wasps, and three different beetles from the family Mordellidae (tumbling flower beetles).

Many thanks to all those who have assisted with identifications on iNaturalist or in person.

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Araba Bioscan

Araba Bioscan 20-27 November 2020 (New location)

This was the first week running a Malaise trap at the new location selected for the remainder of the project. It was operated in parallel with the original Malaise trap (just 10 m further north). For the results from the original trap, see Araba Bioscan 20-27 November 2020 (Original location).

The new position is slightly higher up a slope and less screened by vegetation on the lower side. Differences in air movements and sight lines presumably contributed to such a massive discrepancy in insect volumes.

Termites swarmed on Saturday 21 and Sunday 21 November and were well represented in both traps. The new trap however caught much greater biomass and many more species, particularly Diptera and Hymenoptera. A selection of the more conspicuous or striking species are illustrated.

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Araba Bioscan

Araba Bioscan 20-27 November 2020 (Original location)

This was the final week operating a trap at the original location. A second Malaise trap was run in parallel this week around 10 m away and caught a much wider range of species – see the following post.

There was a swarming of termites on Saturday 21 and Sunday 22 November and the bulk of insects in this trap were from this event.

The collecting medium was 95% isopropyl alcohol.

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Araba Bioscan

Araba Bioscan 13-20 November 2020

As with recent weeks, a relatively low number and diversity of insects (particularly when compared with the five-day test of a SLAM trap around 10 m away.

Over the next week, I will compare the current Malaise trap location with another Malaise trap located near the position used for the SLAM trap.

The collecting medium was 95% isopropyl alcohol.