Post by louisianacurmudgeon on Oct 2, 2018 13:25:01 GMT
2018 is my 52nd year of collecting sesiids. Over this long time I have added nearly 60 species of sesiidae to the list of species previously documented in my state of Louisiana. More than 20 of the 60 species recorded are new species previously unknown to exist and are not currently described in scientific literature. Well over 100,000 adult 'clearwing moths' have been captured in this half century personal effort using light traps, pheromone traps, fermenting fruit bait traps, and rarely using hand nets. Beginning in 1975 I first used semiochemicals (pheromones, etc.) to attract and capture them. The hundreds of various traps have operated 24 hours of every day and night beginning in 1969 and continuing to present day 2018. This current 2018 effort consist of operating 115 traps at two distant locations (350 miles apart). The 2018 results have been fruitful in that we have captured several thousand adult sesiidae. Here is one of 6 Cornell drawers illustrating some of the adult sesiidae processed during the past six months this year. We often also capture many moths, beetles, wasps, bees, hemiptera, orthoptera, etc., in the pheromone traps which are not clearwing moths.
A "Herculean" effort which is well beyond the means of mortal collectors ! Out of curiosity how many helpers do you employ. To even fathom 115 traps of various kinds needing to be serviced on a regular basis (even if only for light inspections); seems arduous. The subsequent hours spent sorting thru the "herd" would certainly put you into the mid-day or early evening time. Then mounting up the catch comes next which seems inconceivable with the amount of time left ! I'm certain there is some kind of a system at work which you have in place however, the time involved just does not add up. It is a " beyond noble effort" to collect and describe all of this "life" living near and around your home. Yet, how are you able to enjoy life beyond this insect fixation. No offense here. Just puzzlement... Insects have been endearing to me since I was a boy of 5 and I am now about to turn 58. Yet, I have never lived and breathed them to such a degree that I would have no time for friendships, relaxation, vacations etc. etc.
Post by louisianacurmudgeon on Oct 2, 2018 20:07:49 GMT
Preparation, Preparation, Preparation. My number one assistant is my wife Charlotte D. Brou. This year I started like every new year on January 1 here on my home property. I cleaned last years nearly 100 beetle traps and decided to make a big effort collecting sesiids. I reevaluated my available old pheromone traps and discovered that many of these varied from 10-20-30-40 years in age. I refurbished those I was able to, and discarded the worse ones, and designed and built about 130+ new ones. The big project this year involves operating 65 pheromone traps on a tree farm, 700+ mile vehicle round trip each month involving 2-4 days. At this tree farm location I am assisted by a collecting friend as I am documenting which species and the amounts of each are being captured and the methods and/or semiochemical lures we are using. This particular year long collecting effort is part of a future planned publication, just one of many we have published previously over the decades. Repair and replacements of traps and components is a never ending part of this work. If it were easy, everyone would do it. What makes it interesting is designing and building traps that actually work well that collect automatically, butterfly traps, beetle traps, moth traps, etc.
Post by louisianacurmudgeon on Oct 15, 2018 12:14:53 GMT
Clarification: Actually these illustrated specimens represent only the past 5 months at one of two locations, Caddo Parish, Louisiana, USA involving 65 insect traps operating 24 hours each and every day. A second location in Louisiana has 51 insect traps operating.
Post by louisianacurmudgeon on Oct 15, 2018 14:35:21 GMT
Wollastoni - A tremendous amount previous undocumented and previously unknown information appears every day. At one location we have logged >23 species, 20 of which have never been previously reported in this Parish (=County), nor even in the vast northern portion of the state. Though we have not begun to look carefully (and genetically) at all of the captures, it appears just based upon obvious visual morphological and genital characteristics that 3-4 species or more, are new to science and currently undescribed. One goal of our study is to document for the fist time which commercially available and special order semiochemical lures attracted which species. We are using lures from the numerous manufacturers and suppliers in US, Japan, Europe, China, and elsewhere.
For example for nearly 40 years, I have been accumulating literature and publications concerning the stone-fruit pest sesiid species Synanthedon pictipes, capturing and collecting specimens considered to be this species. I discovered nearly all of these hundreds of past publications were authored by non taxonomical savvy persons. A very few publications illustrate by photographs the species S. pictipes, and many of these are not actually S. pictipes.
As a result of this poorly done studies, numerous previously and currently unrecognized species generally similar in appearance to the species Synanthedon pictipes were part of hundreds of past publications. Consequently, these hundreds of publications concerning S. pictipes are useless, as no one knows actually what these past publications are referring to. Some recent authors anecdotally mention differences of S. pictipes in their studies, and even some make ignorant statements based upon misunderstood DNA results that 3-4 subspecies of S. pictipes occurred at the same studied locations. Obviously, there is no such thing as more than one subspecies occurring at the same exact geographical location. I find that 100% of these authors never ever looked at the genitalia of these pictipes-like species. Most of these past authors did not evaluate the phenological differences of these pictipes-like species as well. The reasons contributing to this giant mess is that collecting these moths in very good to excellent condition has never been considered of importance. my trap designs and methods allow for large numbers of pristine captures over many decades of continual collecting for nearly a half century.
Anyone who thinks this is research is a hobby would be mistaken. This one little 12-month study project involves three of us, and when completed will cost no doubt far in excess of ($50,000.00 US) (= 58,000 €). And this does not include cost of food and lodging on monthly field trips. Just the trip mileage for two of us involve (>1600 km) each month and involves several vehicles and two off-road vehicles. Cost for the revolutionary designed traps, the trap accoutrements, the high cost of the numerous hundreds of disposable semiochemical lures, high cost of cyanide killing agent, six light traps, a vast array of shop tools, fasteners, adhesives, spare parts, several computers and computer programs, temporary storage containers, pinning and processing equipment, final museum storage drawers.
And we are not including the hundreds of expensive taxonomical publications needed which date back more than a century. And don't forget the tremendous amount of man-hours required to accomplish this one little study.
I also have 44 pheromone traps and 7 light traps operating all year at a second location in the state not part of the the previously discussed information. At this particular second location traps have been operated continuously for the past 36 years.
The attached jpg illustrates just some of the numerous different species being incorrectly determined by taxonomical experts and others as Synanthedon pictipes. These are found just in my state of Louisiana. There are no doubt others in distant geographical areas of the US.