|Posted by David Moskowitz on September 24, 2009 at 3:35 PM||comments (202)|
For at least a year now, I have been annoyed by the Scotts Lawn Care logo. It is without a doubt, the most ridiculous corporate insect logo of all time (I know this is a very sweeping statement, but it is just freaking stupid). Scotts is an international lawn care company and you would think they would want something that approaches reality. So what am I talking about?
The butterfly is some kind of cross between a monarch and a tiger swallowtail. While it is very colorful, why? Both butterflies are really very nice, why combine them in some freakish way? I would love to know what the advertising company was thinking and how much they were paid to come up with this one! Clearly, they were not bug addicts, but they may very well have been smoking something!
|Posted by David Moskowitz on September 23, 2009 at 12:07 PM||comments (26)|
Finally a few minutes to post some photos of katydids from New Jersey. The tropics really don't have anything on us (ok, maybe a little), but our katydids are really cool too! Before we get into some closeups, I really like this one of my son who obviously is not nearly as follicly challenged as I am....
When I ran my Mercury Vapor Light the other night, I had more katydids come in then I can ever remember being attracted at one time before. Here are a few photos...
East Brunswick, NJ 9-13-09 Lesser Anglewing (front) Greater Anglewing (rear)
East Brunswick, NJ 9-13-09 Lesser Anglewing - Of course you have to bring them into the house!
East Brunswick, NJ 9-13-09 Greater Anglewing
East Brunswick, NJ 9-13-09 Look at how the brown spot on the thorax of the Lesser Anglewing matches the brown leaf areas and the green color of both katydids matches the leaves they are on. You have got to love this stuff!!!
East Brunswick, NJ 9-13-09 Tree Cricket (I think it is a narrow winged tree cricket). These small insects must occur by the zillions in my suburban neighborhood because in late summer on warm nights they make quite a racket.
|Posted by David Moskowitz on September 22, 2009 at 12:54 PM||comments (45)|
I just stumbled on this NPR audio file from 2006 when a reporter joined us in the field. We were supposed to show him how we tracked dragonflies, but like often happens with fieldwork, the best made plans didn't. We simply couldn't catch a suitable sized dragonfly for the transmitters. So, instead we put one on a tiger swallowtail butterfly. While it didn't fly too far, it did prove that it is possible to put one on a butterlfy and track it's movements. As far as we know this was also the first time anyone tried radio tracking a butterfly. Even though it wasn't the most stellar performance by our bug, I don't think any of us were disappointed at all. All scientific research is a series of baby steps ultimately leading to something larger. Enjoy the audio and accompanying article.
|Posted by David Moskowitz on September 22, 2009 at 9:14 AM||comments (97)|
The stretch of the NJ Turnpike near Newark Airport has been called the Billboard Miracle Mile because of the crazy number of vehicles that pass through the area every day and therefore, the very high cost of billboard advertising there.
So, if you don't think that the Asian Long Horned beetle scares the hell out of forest managers, forest products companies and the maple syrup industry, check out this billboard.
The area around Carteret, NJ was ground zero over the past few years for one of the largest infestations. It is believed that the beetles came into the area on scrap wooden pallets. (Carteret is only a few miles from Port Newark and Elizabeth which are some of the largest shipping ports in the US. Until recently there was a huge outdoor pallet reclamation facility in Carteret) The beetle resulted in an aggressive eradication program that focused on the removal and burning of more than 10,000 trees, many on streets and in residential neighborhoods. It is believed that the program was succesful but intensive monitoring continues.
|Posted by David Moskowitz on September 21, 2009 at 12:56 PM||comments (65)|
In short order I'm going to be posting new photos of some of the insects I found in Panama at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, but since work is really getting in the way today, I won't have time to do it. So, here is a teaser of what to expect. Isn't this one of the coolest katydids you've ever seen? I believe it is a Spike-headed false-leaf katydid (Aegimia elongata). Fortunately, it came to a blacklight I set up at night, because it looks so much like a leaf, finding it during the day would be all but impossible!
|Posted by David Moskowitz on September 21, 2009 at 7:53 AM||comments (56)|
Fall is the season of monarch migrations and garage sales, so if you are lucky enough to stumble on an old copy of the August 1976 magazine, grab it. This is the one with the article about the amazing discovery of the monarch wintering grounds in Mexico and Dr. Fred Urquhart's 40 year effort to find them!
|Posted by David Moskowitz on September 20, 2009 at 5:40 PM||comments (50)|
Fellow bug addicts...do this in your town! Show those on the straight and narrow what is flying around at night. Maybe they will think twice about the random use of pesticides around their homes, or maybe it will completely freak them out once they know that the night really IS filled with unusual creatures. It's probably a crap shoot but loads of fun either way. Try the sugaring too, it is fun to make, works great and is the perfect excuse to have a beer (if one was ever needed!)...
There are loads of secret recipes and sugaring is centuries old (There have been bug addicts throughout history!).
My recipe is a mashed banana, two really dark beers (one for mixing, one for drinking), 2 lbs of dark brown sugar and sometimes a shot or two of dark rum (one for me, one for the mixture). Mix it all up, put it in tuperware and let it ferment in the sun for a day or two. Then simply paint it on some tree trunks with a paintbrush around dusk and check it out from time to time at night with a flashlight. Approach slowly and try to keep the light indirect. You'll be surprised how many insects are attracted at night. The best nights are those steamy thunderstorm threatening kind in mid-summer, but even in winter when temperatures are above 50 or so, this can work.
(A word of caution though. The next day it will be attractive to bees and other insects, so be careful about getting stung)...
Here is the link to the Moth Night I ran the other night in East Brunswick, which has now become an annual and VERY well attended event.
|Posted by David Moskowitz on September 18, 2009 at 7:58 AM||comments (0)|
To everyone who has visited my new site over the past few days, thank you! Please feel free to share your thoughts about Bug Addiction, it should be cathartic to get it off your chest and to realize you don't need to deal with this problem by yourself....
I just added more photos of New Jersey butterflies and will shortly be adding some others from my trip to Panama along with Chapter 4 of why "I'm certain I'm addicted" of my recent travel experience to Panama to conduct research on katydids at the Smithsonian Institution's Tropical Research institute titled "Micro-transmitters, Airport Security and Chiggers'
|Posted by David Moskowitz on September 16, 2009 at 1:48 PM||comments (0)|
I just added a few photos of some rally cool insects I found while we were in Costa Rica. Costa Rica is simply an amazing place, great insects, great volcanoes, great food, great people, great rainforests, but not great roads.....
|Posted by David Moskowitz on September 15, 2009 at 7:12 AM||comments (44)|
Last night we made history by conducting the first and only survey in New Jersey as part of the NYC Cricket Crawl! While it is unlikely that our expedition will make it into 7th grade history textbooks or that the Moskowitz Expedition (aka The Friends of the EBEC) will join the ranks of Shackelton, Darwin, or Livingstone, we did provide a little sliver of information about the composition of crickets and katydids in our town parks that until now was not really known (or as some cynics might opine, care, but then why the heck are they reading this on a site about bug addiction?).
Hearty kudos go out to the organizers of the First Annual NYC Cricket Crawl. Not only did they create a great baseline database about crickets and katydids in the NYC area, but equally important, they got a huge number of people involved in Citizen Science and with all the extensive media coverage, spread the word about the importance of knowing what is around us.
Here are our results:
East Brunswick Butterfly Park
Common True Katydid
Common True Katydid
Common True Katydid
Common True Katydid