Today is the last day of week 1. It’s amazing that all these different schools are participating in this project. Today is 15 degrees Celsius out. It was raining and was windy. It is important to run the project the same two weeks for all schools so that the season is the same for all schools and the bugs collected can be compared.
-Owen, Michael, Annika
The weather in Fort Nelson, BC has been abnormally warm for September – usually we have snow and have dipped below 0 degrees! Students in Mrs Tofflemire’s Biology 11 class are super keen about our new project and always ask to check the trap to see what new insects have found their way into the sample jar. We have captured around 100+ insects this week. Fingers crossed that weather continues to be warm and sunny next week for even more sampling 🙂
We are reporting in the neighbourhood of about 100 insects caught … what will week 2 bring?
Perhaps more bugs???
Although the tent was a bit twisted up from our strong winds, our bug count still increased to an astonishing 95 insects. This amount of insects caught surprises us because of the decline in temperature, we did not expect to catch this many. Our conclusion for week 1 is that bugs are still here even when we think that it’s too cold for them.
Today was another windy, damp day. We have actually caught a fair number of bugs, but they are mostly little bugs and a lot of what look like the same bugs.
We think we recognize flies, maybe mosquitos, what we think are mayflies, and something like fruit flies.
We took a picture of the bugs we collected and looked at it on the SmartBoard. The flies are easy to recognize; the rest are harder to tell!
Temperatures hit freezing last night so only seven more insects. Hopefully it will warm up again soon.
7A at Gordon A. Brown in Toronto sets up the trap and the excitement starts to build. Predictions flying(lol)! How many bugs will we collect? Will we actually catch anything? Can we get lab coats and microscopes? We’re up and running. Very engaged!
Great news! Our trap did NOT blow over. It just looked like it had blown over from a distance. We went and checked on it today and it’s fine. We still put the stronger stakes and we already had some insects in the alcohol. The insects seem to be larger than the ones that we have gotten in the past. Here are some pictures of the intact trap and some of the insects that we caught.
Surprisingly good results are coming from our Malaise trap. Although the weather is not ideal for insects, we trapped over double the amount that was previously captured the day before.
Our school has been preparing for this project for some time now. We have been working with an entomologist at the University of California, Riverside and a biology professor at Mt. San Jacinto College to learn to use the trap, sort the insects, ID the insects, and collect DNA from the insects since the beginning of the summer. This School Malaise Trap Collection will be one part of a bigger project for us that we hope to publish in a journal eventually.
We started blogging about our adventures on a separate blog site. As the project goes along, we will continue putting detailed blogs on the other site about our overall project and we’ll post updates about this specific part of the project on this blog.
Here is a link to our other blog: http://wcamalaisetrap.blogspot.com/
And here is a photo of our trap set up for this collection: