Day 4: Beating, Collecting and Pootering

Today I was on the road with Gerry and Jackie (entomologists). We headed out west from HV8 and drove until Gerry pulled over and said “This looks like a good spot.” And this is how we found our sites for the day (6 in total).

Today I was beating and pootering (where you use a small contraption to suck up small insects), Gerry gave me my own pooter, beating stick and net and I was off beating vegetation here, there and everywhere (although there is a certain technique) collecting and sucking up insects like there was no tomorrow. The process here involves beating and pootering on the same type of bush/vegetation. Once you change vegetation it is best to change collecting tubes. Once you have collected all you think you can from a site, you collect a sample of each of the plants you were beating, take photos of the plants and then take field notes of what you did at the site and create labels for each of your collecting tubes….it sounds like a lot however it doesn’t seem to take that long.

Gerry and Jackie were great, enthusiastically praising my pootered insects and sharing their knowledge and expertise with me. We even discovered a couple of new species although it is still to be confirmed. Back at the lab we had to sort and pin the specimens, as some of the insects were very small we had to make points. These are little triangles of cardboard with a pin in it and the small insects are glued to the end of the point. I was in charge of making the points and Gerry and Jackie sorted and pinned the insects collected today. After pinning over 50 insects it was time for bed.