It’s been quite a whirlwind of activities and presentations so far. The first day (Wednesday) was devoted to a field trip led by Aaron Chambers (Tucson Botanical Garden) and Zack Lemann (Audubon Insectarium). We departed by 6 AM and were back shortly after 4 PM for Mark Moffett’s keynote presentation about ants. It was excellent.
Because of the extensive fires in the area and the delayed monsoon, arthropod abundance was not near what we encountered last year. I did get an abundance of aquatic insect photos in one of the aquatic areas in the lower part of one of the collecting regions.
Thursday morning’s presentations were excellent, dealing with topics ranging from exhibit signage and labeling to community invertebrate identification, butterfly longevity, and overwintering of captive larvae of threatened species.
Two interesting presentations that I need to pursue dealt with 1) TITAG (Terrestrial Invertebrate Taxon Group), a group involved in international invertebrate conservation activities and 2) a presentation by a USDA staff member regarding pupa import by butterfly houses across the U.S. and parasites/parasitoids that are being imported with internationally produced pupae.
Jim Melli (San Diego Natural Science Museum) took a number of us to several areas north of the border to look at diversity early this afternoon. Some good diversity in the afternoon and a superb night of blacklighting. Got back shortly before midnight. Hundreds of images yet to process and it’s 2:30 AM. A great day in the field!