Insect Adventure, Part Two

Insect Adventure, Part Two

What we’re going to do is I’ve got some insect traps set out in the field, and we’re going to go pick up the traps, take out the insects that are in there, re-set the traps, and then we’re also gonna do some sweep netting, which is some nets that you walk through the field, and you sweep it back and forth, and then you bring it back and dump it on a sheet and we see what you’ve collected. And all of these things that we do to collect insects, anybody can do them.
– Yeah. It’s really inexpensive to set up the traps. Anybody can do it, and you can find out what’s living in your backyard, what insects are living around your school and things like that. I really want to show how easy it is for everybody to feel like a scientist and be a researcher and discover all of this diversity that you have right here. So I’m just, I’m really glad to be here, so thank you. The aerial nets, like that one, you don’t want to sweep through the vegetation because they’ll get all ripped up. But these are canvas nets and you’ll go out, just walk out and sweep through the vegetation, through the plants. Okay, so here’s the trap. – Holy c-
– Are those worms and stuff? They’re millipedes.
– And you see, you see it’s all full of stuff? -Auugggh. Look at all those insects.
– Look at all those insects in there. – Are those all dead? Those are all dead insects and millipedes. That’s a tea strainer.
– That’s a- yeah. That is a carrion beetle. This one’s actually called Nicrophorus tomentosus, and it gets its name because it has yellow hairs on its back. Okay, this chicken liver is 3 days old, so get ready… Ahhh, does that smell good.
– Wow, that does reek.
– *Coughing* Doesn’t that smell good?
– Yeah.
– That’s great. So this is what attracts the insects to the trap. [ambient music and conversation] I got a lot of bees.
– That’s scary! I probably got too many bees, I think. There’s a lot of them over there.
– There are, yes, and we’ve been seeing quite a bit in these last two days. So you’ll see these a lot, they’re a little bit different than normal bees, but they’re pretty important for pollination still. Okay, um… Oh! Yeah, okay, go ahead and try getting him. Suck it, there ya go, now look at- is he in the bottom? I got quite a bit of bugs.
– Very good. Okay, so he’s just hanging around.
– Ah, suck, suck, suck! Look at him. Oohp! There he goes! Where- Where was that? Is he gone or- ohp, there he is on your hand. Ugh, what?!
– Oh, now he’s on my hand. It’s the bugs that we all collected. There’s two dead mice, there’s this grey one right there, he’s kinda hard to see though. Most of them are centipedes, and there’s a black one in there somewhere. And you have something there called a “pooter.”
– A pooter! A pooter, or an aspirator. The Germans call it pooter because the word “poot” means to aspirate in German. Oh, okay. Alright.
– It’s like onomatopoeia. Um, so,
– Poot, poot! What you do is you take the rubber end, put it to your lips, and suck in really sharp. Yep, just like that. And it’ll suck everything up through this and into here.
– Yeah. There’s a little grate that keeps them from getting into the rubber.
– From crawling into my mouth? Yeah, so you won’t swallow anything this way. Okay?
– Good. Good. So what you do is you put this under where you’re going to beat. You just-
– Just hit, hit the tree. Mhmm.
– Like, “hey, bugs. Hey, bugs. Hey, bugs.” This is very sophisticated. Something.
– Alright, now take a look. We’ve got- oohp! Woo.
– Whoops! Alright, I don’t know if you’ll be able to get him. Little crickets, grasshoppers. Those are all kinda big.
– Yeah. This guy- if you- Sometimes they’ll just sit there long enough you can get a shot. Hey!
– I got him! That was a big spider.
– Yeah, it is a good size spider. Here’s another little spider, another jumping spider. Sometimes you get big things, sometimes you get little things. This isn’t quite the tropics where you can flog an entire tree and get hundreds of new species.
– Wow, yeah. But it’s enough where you can see what’s up here.
– Yeah. So if we want to move on to another tree. I got lots of spiders and bugs in here! And we’re just gonna dump it right in. Very good. Okay. Nice.
– Very good. And you’ve just collected your insects in alcohol. This is a larva!
– Ooh! Yeah, so this is a caterpillar larva, I don’t know if you can see it. It looks exactly like bird poop.
– It does look like poop! It’s got the white bit and like the runny parts. Yeah, it’s even got the big solid mass right here.
– Yeah! And that’s done by design, it’s supposed to look like bird poo. Yes, yes, but then they grow into bigger bird poop, and bigger bird poop. And this is close to about as big as they’re gonna get.
– Okay. They’re gonna get a little bit bigger before they pupate, but these are swallowtails. Oh! Yeah.
– Yeah, so those beautiful butterflies that you can see ’em, and those nice long tails on ’em. Sometimes they’re yellow.
– Great. This is a mantis egg case.
– Ohh. Yeah, so this is- even this looks a little bit like poop. It’s kinda hard, right?
– Yeah. It’s like that foam, when you squeeze it out and it turns into this hard mass.
– Yeah. Mhmm. That’s exactly what their mantis cases are like. And inside can be quite a few. From a couple dozen to hundreds in there. Yeah.
– Really? And they all scatter really fast because they are carnivorous. They will eat each other. Oh jeez!
– Yeah. This is a type of “true bug.”
– Is he related to stink bugs? Yes. Very much so.
– Okay. He has full wings, which means he’s a fully grown adult. Yeah.
– Ohh. He’s pretty big. This polypore fungus is like, the most amazing houses for beetles who like to eat fungus.
– Ew. Okay. It’s hard on the top but it’s still moist inside still. We’ll go ahead and open this one. This is actually relatively dry. Some of the things that we can catch through looking in these are Staphylinids, here’s one. Oh, did he jump? Or did you get him?
– I think I got him. Okay. Staphylinids, little beetles, little maggots. These are entire ecosystems all to themselves sometimes, yeah.
– All in one fungus. It’s some giant black wasp thing! Kind of looks like an animal of death. He probably is.
– Oh, that’s not reassuring at all. He’s on the underside of that goldenrod. Right there.
– Alright, I’ll if we can get him. You see him?
– Yep, I see him. Woah, there he goes. Woah! Jeez.
– Oh, shoot.
– Oh, god! Oh you have- something else flew out. There… Where’d he go?
– I see him over there. We gotta go get him. I don’t think we have anything that big yet. You see him?
– Wait, that’s something else. That’s a honey bee.
– Damn. Nope, there he is. Ohp! Do you have the container?
– Yeah. Yeah. See that’s why we have two different types of bags. Why didn’t you just suck him up with your pooter?
– He wouldn’t fit in the pooter!

100 thoughts on “Insect Adventure, Part Two”

  1. Loved the section with the young scientists!  The beautiful score, cinematography and editing.   I also enjoyed the more human scale of Emily and her bug guru finding insects in the trees etc.  Happy.

  2. I think taking the school kids out to catch bugs and learn about it first hand is such a great thing. Wish I got to go out and do something like that. Kind of want to go catch some cool bugs now.

    One on the field little natural history excursion during teenage with an inspiring teacher got me hooked to biology ever since.
    I loved that outdoor video with the radiant Emily showing stuffs to kids

  4. Did she just use the phrase "jumping spider"? Excuse me a second while I cower in fear…. Nope, still doesn't feel any better 😛

  5. This may be a silly question, but I don't really understand how the nets actually capture the bugs. Wouldn't they just be able to easily fly out?

  6. this reminds me of our nature center we built in our highschool. A couple years back before I even went there the school took this vacent lot they owened behind our football feild and stripped out the trash, put in plant life and a pond and just waited and soon within a year all this awesome life flocked too it and its a great place to go out and have students try to find all the different speices of birds and insects and bull frogs and all kinds of awesome stuff, Its super cool to see what life is just around Evanston which is so close to chicago if its given a place to live. Go ETHS 2010 

  7. 5:22 that looks like a Hop Tree so that would likely be a Giant Swallowtail Caterpillar, Papilio cresphontes which I believe is the largest Butterfly in North America.

  8. @James Louderman What impact, if any, does the trapping have no the total population of the insects in that prairie? You seemed to catch many centipedes and millipedes, how do you expand the sample counts to the estimated total population count (is that even possible with what you guys were doing?)? I'm guess that would have to be specific to the species as well.

  9. I remember finding Praying Mantis nests in my garden. So fun! They are the best because they eat those pesky bugs that attack my plants 😛 

  10. Also, thanks for sharing that field trip, it was great to see kids learning and enjoying the collection process! It's great to see that in a time when science research and educational initiatives are being deemed less and less worth funding by politicians. 

  11. Just noticed after watching again that there was an "everything is dead" moment (associated with a kid's question)

  12. Oh! Great! I wish there's that kind of activity when I was still in school! :3
    It's a really great educational and interactive activity for the kids!!

  13. Finally I've saw her body… oh my god!!! How can a woman be hotter than Emily? If you ever need a safe place to stay while you study the Patagonia in Argentina, please… feel free to get in touch with me, I will sponsor your whole journey just to stare at you!!!

  14. hey , imagirl peacock, point taken. i was being snarky and i apologize. the important thing is that kids are learning about biodiversity and evolution. so….yeah….

  15. Are you going to be going on/helping with field trips with the museum now? I love the way you and the other Field Museum staff interacted with the kids: excited about the topic, but not hockey or overly dramatic in a way that can turn kids off.

  16. Some day, in the future, those kids are gonna be old and tell their grand-kids of 'that day that I helped the famous Emily Graslie collect bugs in the sunshine', and their grand-kids will have more respect for them. 😀

  17. The night view of the sheet hovering in the dark was pretty cool creatively;and the rest is your usual high standard… love your channel.

  18. That was really cool with the kids, I remember doing stuff like this, and it's so inspiring when you are young for the future.
    Also really interesting to see how many insects there really are, crazy.

  19. "Pooter" is not a German word. The only one I can think of that might be the origin of it is "Puster" (which means "blower"; pronounce: "pooster"). The verb is "pusten". However, with the device you don't blow, you suck in air.

  20. I have no idea how "pooter" should be related to any German word.. But I love the insect traps and that the children could have a closer look at the insects without adults freaking out. I loved collecting insects as a child =)
    Sadly, my children won't be able to do that, since it's forbidden in my country for other than educational purposes.

  21. 3:48 Pooter?
    I am German have probably a broad wisdom of strange words…. but poot is totally unknown to me. Can anybody explain what German word she is talking about?
    Danke 😉
    btw great Episode as usual

  22. I remember being so excited when reading about the pitfall traps, beat sheets, buglights, and "pooter" like things in my bug books when I was young (I know, I was a strange kid). It is amazing that utilising all of these collection methods are part of people's job description. Seeing you run around with Rebekah Baquiran towards the end made me realise how much I'd enjoy a job like this so, thank you. 🙂
    BTW, I really enjoy your insect videos!

  23. Judging by the size of that ootheca at 5:57, I'd say that belongs to a Tenodera species. Probably Chinese Mantis.

  24. Im pretty sure that I was able to go to this place on a field trip in 8th grade, It was an interesting experience.

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