The Fourth Annual Day of Insects was Saturday March 24, 2012 at Reiman Gardens in Ames, Iowa. It, like previous gatherings, was well attended by a group of midwesterners who find the small as charismatic as the large. Led and organized by Nathan Brockman and MJ Hatfield, fifteen presentations about peoples passions (from providing homes for climate displaced insects to writing regional field guides to descriptions of odonata jaws) provided topics to think and talk about.
The organizers and presenters are pictured below with brief summaries or comments about the presentations.
Nathan Brockman, Curator of the Christina Reiman Butterfly Wing, was master of ceremonies for the day.
Marlin Rice – Charismatic and Rare: A Top Ten List of Insects You May Never See in Iowa – defined CF as the ‘cool factor’ of his favorite insects with the American Burying Beetle at the top of the list.
Betsy Betros – Writing for Passion, not Profit – Regional Nature Field Guides - began the manuscript and photographs to aid herself in identification and expanded from there.
Aaron Brees – Natural History or Conservation Status of the Navada Buck Moth (Hemileuca nevadensis) in Iowa – discussed the natural history of the group that lives in the Loess Hills and whose caterpillars eat Redroot rather than willows or oaks.
John Pearson – Natural History or Conservation Status of the Navada Buck Moth (Hemileuca nevadensis) in Iowa – discussed the conservation status and land management and burn strategies to protect the population in the Loess Hills.
Isaac Powell – Endangered Invertebrates: Conservation Efforts at Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo – emphasized the work to protect the Salt Marsh Tiger Beetle. Also discussed the American Burying Beetle, whose original range matched that of the extinct Passenger Pigeon.
Todd Hubbard – Benthic Index (CBI) – Construction of a Biological Tool for Assessing Iowa’s Coldwater Streams - how limnologists use insect information to evaluate water quality.
Mike Birmingham - Benthic Index (CBI) – Construction of a Biological Tool for Assessing Iowa’s Coldwater Streams - continued discussing the construction of the index.
Lon Drake – Assisted Migration of Rare Shrubs and Their Obligate Butterflies in Southeast Iowa - planting food plants at the edge of ranges to offer refuge to insects as regional climate changes with more cloud cover and longer growing seasons.
Frank Olsen – Is the Purplish Copper Pushing Up Daisies in Iowa? – a butterfly surveyor’s account of one species that has probably disappeared from Iowa.
MJ Hatfield - public relations advocate for all things arthropod and co-owner of the Iowa Insects discussion group, started the afternoon session. She invited people to join the conversation by subscribing to Iowa-insects at firstname.lastname@example.org. Leave the subject line blank and put subscribe Iowa-insects in the message box.
Ken Tennessen – The Scoop of Dragonfly Nymphs - discussed, illustrated and demonstrated how the various types of jaws of odonata nymphs work.
Erwin Klaas – Dragonflies and Damselflies at Ada Hayden Park, Ames – one of two birders who started documenting the odonata in a favorite birding site as the park was developed.
Wolfgang Oesterreich - Dragonflies and Damselflies at Ada Hayden Park, Ames continued. Klaas and Oesterreich photograph and keep lists by year of their observations.
Andrew Williams – The Frontier of Conservation Science or What Do We Think We Are Doing? - Defined conservation as the prevention of allowing things to go extinct. Advocates for awareness of food plant specificity studies and preservation.
Andrew Meeds – 2011: A Bug Odyssey – an account of the swarm sponsered by bugguide.net. The next bugguide swarm with be July 26-29, 2012 in Mobile, AL
Meg Storkamp – From ‘yucky’ to ‘that was kind of cool’: Insect Projects with 7th Graders - How a teacher uses the collection and study of insects to teach many skills.
James Mertins – Thylodrias contractus – Now isn’t that odd? – the history and study of the ‘odd beetle’ – an insect only found in human habitations and then only rarely.
Kyle Johnson – Winter Insects – an account of insects found on snow and ice in Michigan and Wisconsin.