May 16th – Updates of the week

Last week we finished sorting 3 kits and started on a 4th: S. Nelson (Henry County), B. Lodemeier (Ottawa County), T. Miller (Williams County), and started the kit by A. Ballinger (Butler County). We are over 27,899 bees pinned and databased! We have also now sorted over 65 kits and we are slowly picking up speed.

Thanks to our many volunteers and new student workers we have a noticeable uptick in our rate of pinning


Bycatch Updates:

J. Richards had two rather large parasitic wasps! Granted, large is still about half the size of a grain of rice, but huge for parasitic wasp standards

Richards also had a colorful leafhopper too! Many leafhoppers are rather variable in coloration, but these tiny insects are common across Ohio. There are also many species found in our area.

In my kit from a few weeks ago, I had several winged termites! Rice for scale. We expect termites in woodland areas, so it is not that surprising that I found some in my kit since I sampled along the edge of a woodland.

Not the best image, but Richards also had this ridiculous fly with extra long middle legs. The legs were so long that I could not zoom out enough to see them under the microscope, hence the blurry cell phone photo.

At the widest angle, this is all I could fit into the view of the microscope camera. Just one really long leg and part of the body. These flies are parasites of a genus of weevil and the males have these extra long middle legs.

D. Ellsworth had this lovely shiny snail (rice for scale). The ODNR has a guide to the freshwater snails, though I would love to see a guide devoted to these tiny land snails.

Anyone recognize this beetle? It was also found in Richard’s kit, but before you sound your alarm, I can tell you that it is NOT the Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) that has taken down most of the ash trees in Ohio. Instead, this is a different Agrilus beetle, but it does share the same genus as EAB. This beetle is similar in size to EAB, but much darker overall. Learn more about identifying Emerald Ash Borer here: https://eab.russell.wisc.edu/identifying-eab-and-potential-look-alikes/

The beetles can be quite beautiful with their bright coloration. Bees and other insects also use the holes in the trees once the beetle leaves. So wood boring beetles like this are potentially providing vital habitat for some of our cavity nesting bees and wasps.


Guess that organism:

Challenge mode for those familiar with insects. Any guesses on the structure and the organism in the photo below?

Do you know this insect and the structure? Add guesses below and I will reveal next week.


Helping in the lab in the age of Covid:

We had four volunteers in our lab this week! We greatly appreciate their help processing specimens. I know everyone wants to go out and enjoy the nice weather now, so any help is greatly appreciated.

Thanks to everyone this week who helped us pin even more specimens!

Wondering how you can help speed up our process? If you would like to come to the lab in Newark, there are several tasks that people can participate in. We will mostly have people start with pinning bees, but people can also be trained to sort bees from bycatch in samples, label specimens, or other lab tasks.

You do not have to be a collector to help out in the lab. You also do not have to help for the entire timeslot for a particular day, so if you are only interested in helping out for an hour or three, that still works. No one is obligated to spend the whole day pinning bees.

The lab is open to people interested in helping pin or sort specimens on a limited basis. The following caveats must be reached: 1)  you have been vaccinated against covid, or 2) you have already gotten covid and recovered. If you fit one of these exceptions and want to come to the lab to help out, please sign up here: https://www.signupgenius.com/go/4090F4BAEAC2EA6F58-beepinning

Note we are still required to have masks on while on OSU property. We are still limiting our rooms to a maximum of 3 people, but we have additional classrooms down the hall to expand our capacity if more people want to volunteer at once.

Want to see how to get vaccinated against Covid-19 in Ohio? See the vaccine distribution website here: https://vaccine.coronavirus.ohio.gov/

All for now,

MaLisa

4 thoughts on “May 16th – Updates of the week

  1. Thanks as always, MaLisa, for these updates. So interesting! My guess is that this picture shows beetle antennae. I’ll not narrow it down to a specific beetle. That I don’t yet know, & there are a lot of Coleoptera!

    • I’m glad you like them!

      You are correct that it is antennae belonging to an insect in the order Coleoptera! Now to see if anyone can narrow it down from there 🙂

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