Our week here at Waterton Lakes National Park has been very hot and dry during the day, which are great conditions for insect collecting! At our grasslands site we’re collecting huge numbers of grasshoppers, meadow bugs and leaf beetles. We’re also becoming very familiar with the distinctive flavour of stinkbugs in our aspirators.
The nights here have been a little bit less cooperative. The cold, windy conditions have made night trapping a challenge and last night we tried our second attempt at a night sheet at Driftwood Beach. A night sheet is one of our trapping techniques and consists of a large white sheet with two UV lights to attract insects. Despite the strong winds we had lots of insects come to the sheet! Caddisflies are some of our best customers at the night sheet usually. They are moth-like insects with an aquatic larval stage. Caddisflies can be identified by their long, thin antennae and wings held roof-like above their bodies. They also lack the long proboscis of their moth and butterfly relatives. So now we know for next time not to let bad weather discourage us from collecting long into the night!