Sunday, June 29, 2008


Katydid - seen whilst assisting with fish cataloging.

As a very non PC Brit one of the things that struck me upon my arrival in the US of A was what great lengths people went to not to offend people of different race, creed, colour, sexuality or religion. It does seem, on occasion, to reach somewhat epic extremes but, in general, it is obviously well intended. There is one area, it seems, where this does not apply and the gloves really do seem to come off. I refer, of course, to which side of the fence you happen to be on in the great 'vertebrate or invertebrate issue!' LeConte's Haploa Haploa lecontei seen at a blacklight.

I happen to work somewhere were working with vertebrates immediately makes you a second class citizen. I have always thought this a great shame and also a missed opportunity. After all, the vast majority of people who work in the natural sciences are aiming for the same thing, preservation of a healthy and varied balance of species, both vert and invert. Harlequin Ladybug Harmonia axyridis, introduced from Asia.

I spent this weekend working at a BioBlitz where the usual lines in the sand were drawn and all the 'bug folks' were in their little groups and all the 'birders' or 'herpers' were in theirs. Don't you think it would be nice if there were less references to 'going to the dark side' - studying vertebrates and more unity between us? Reversed Haploa Haploa reversa, also came into the blacklight.

As a move in the right direction I have posted some pictures I took at the BioBlitz, not a spinal column amongst them! I was there to count birds and herps but also found these little beauties. And yes I know I have included an invasive species too but hey I am an 'alien' after all, at least according to immigration, although my little green horns aren't really that obvious!

Photo Credits - CJT

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