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The fascinating world of insects


Catarina Murphy

Little Desert National Park VIC Bush Blitz | Oct 2018

Bugs! Bugs! Bugs!

Today two teachers - Michael and Todd - and I went out with the Mixed Entomology and Dragonfly team from Museums Victoria.

the fascinating 1

With my collecting net, stick and pooter in hand, I was ready to catch any insect that crossed my path. A pooter is a super handy entomological device where you suck the bugs through a tiny metal tube into a vial by sucking on a rubber tube. It’s definitely as odd and awesome as it sounds. A lady camping actually approached me to ask what I was doing because I bet it was an interesting sight to view from an outsider.

I was lucky enough to catch an adult damselfly which I was able to give to Richard on the Dragonfly team. He was able to find some larvae near the river so it will be interesting to see if it turns out to be the same species. I was able to catch a range of insects, including ants, spiders and beetles. I found this awesome little green spider and a black and red beetle which was super cute.

I was finally able to see the Pink Lake which is a salt lake in Dimboola. The water is pink as a result of algae and bacteria. When the salt concentration increases, the water turns pink. This amazing extremophile algae species Dunaliella salina lives in the lake and is responsible for this colour. Thanks to the hot and dry weather recently the lake was incredibly pink. It was an excellent way to end the day!

the fascinating 2

The teachers discussed tonight that each new field day allows us to bring all our knowledge of the previous days. So today I was recognising plant species from yesterday, and other teachers were collecting jumping spiders for the spider team. If you see a lady running around with a collecting net, stick, pooter and vials in Townsville, it’ll just be me collecting insects!