Thu. Feb 29th, 2024
Killbear Bug Bombing

In today’s post, Killbear naturalist Martha Martens summarizes the park’s recent Biob.litz

Laughter.

I didn’t know he was gone from my life until I was introduced to him in the Killbear Bug Bioblitz on the weekend of June 9, 2018.

Gray, black and pale yellow spotted moth on a paper towelThe laughing moth

Over the weekend, eleven experts and seven members of Killbear Provincial Park’s natural heritage education staff gathered to take a quick sampling (a blitz!) of the types of insects that live in the park.

This information adds to the park’s life sciences inventory, gives a better idea of ​​what the park protects, and contributes to greater knowledge of biodiversity in Ontario, Canada, and the world.

Woman in parks uniform using a net to sweep some grass looking for creatures

The weekend was spent day and night in activity. Moths were attracted to white sheets with black lights and mercury vapor bubbles, including our largest giant silk moth, the cecropia.

Large, hairy moth with defined patterns of white, red and brown spots and lines.Cecropia Moth

How many creatures!

In wetlands, we survey for aquatic invertebrates such as dragonfly and damselfly larvae, predatory diving beetles, and back swimmers.

In green areas we look for bumblebees. Across the meadows, grassy wetlands and rocky points we caught dragonflies and damselflies.

dragonfly with two pairs of wings and a grayish-white striped belly

We found insects with intriguing names like Diamondback Spittlebug, Emerald Euphoria, Little Wood Satyr, and Meadow Sedgesitter.

Great online species inventory tool

All observations made in the Killbear Bug Blitz were added to iNaturalist, a crowdsourced species identification app. You’ll see them if you check out the Killbear Provincial Park Project on the iNaturalist website.

See also  Nature journaling – just *try* not to get inspired!

Killbear Provincial Park’s iNaturalist project compiles all observations made in the park, so anyone can take a look. As of this writing, there are 447 species of different plants and animals included in the Killbear Provincial Park iNaturalist project, and half of them are insects from the weekend bombing.

Screenshot from iNaturalist of the Killbear Provincial Park project: shows a map of the park and the species found, where. Killbear Provincial Park Project on iNaturalist.ca

Sad because you missed it?

All summer long, Killbear staff will be conducting mini bug blitzes for park visitors: dip nets for aquatic insects, sweep nets for dragonflies, damselflies and butterflies, and setting up lights and black sheets to attract moths.

We hope to inspire children and adults to observe insects, these incredible life forms that surround us. Check the weekly program schedule at the park when you arrive for details on the bug blitzes that occur throughout the summer.

Three people taking photographs of a tree with insects.

Too far from Killbear?

Bioblitz events take place throughout the province during the spring and summer. If insects aren’t your thing, most bioblitzes cover a wide variety of taxa groups. It’s a fantastic way to increase your collective knowledge of our provincial parks and natural areas, plus have the time of your life!

For more information about the bioblitzes taking place this summer in Ontario parks, click here.

To help celebrate the 125th anniversary of Ontario Parks, parks across the province are hosting 13 stewardship programs to help protect biodiversity in provincial parks.