First week trapping!

First of all, hello! I’m Graham Ansell, and this is my first time on the BIObus. I’m really excited to get all of our collecting and research underway, it’s going to be a great time. The team is still getting to know each other, but I’m sure we’ll get along just fine.

The crew setting up the Standardized Sampling site at Caribou Plain Trail in the fog.
The crew setting up the Standardized Sampling site at Caribou Plain Trail in the fog.

The first site that we set up in is called Maple Grove, and it is surrounded by beautiful trees with the tips of big quartz rocks sticking up from the moss. Most of the work we are doing here is for Standardized Sampling Project, for which we use several common arthropod traps with replication in different sites. The specimens we collect will be genetically barcoded, enabling us to identify species by matching them to reference barcodes (www.boldsystems.org). We set up malaise traps, pan traps, pitfall traps, an intercept trap, a Berlese funnel, and took a core sample. We are all still getting used to how to get everything put together! The yellow pan traps, which are just plastic yellow camping dishes, sometimes need to be held in place with little sticks that we find around the forest floor; a quite low-tech and simple trap. Our second site, where we set up the same kinds of traps, is off of Fundy’s Caribou Plain trail, although it should really be called Caribou Marsh! We almost lost a couple of boots along the way, but we finally got the whole site set up, moans and groans aside.  All in all, it was a good first day for everybody, although we were hoping that the foggy weather would improve a little.

Insect aspirator
Insect aspirator

However, the weather did not improve! The rain did stop while we were climbing the mountainous Coastal Trail, where we set up our second sampling site. The nearby Point Wolfe River is so large, it’s awesome; the city life doesn’t stand up to this place. When we ran some active collecting (flipping over logs and running around with nets) I found an enormous bald faced hornet under a bunch of rotting wood. What was he even doing there! A dramatic “forceps vs. wasp” battle ensued once I realized he couldn’t fit through my aspirator tube. An aspirator is a series of tubes and a vial used to suck up bugs.

The first few days have gone splendidly, here’s hoping for less fog and rain, with a much-needed dose of sunshine!

– Graham

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