Delving Into the Dark: Investigating Nocturnal Invertebrates
Invertebrates, to quote E.O. Wilson, are the little things that run the world. They underpin the vitality of vertebrate life. Simply put, more invertebrates – insects, arachnids, crustaceans – translate into more birds, reptiles, amphibians and mammals. Many of these invertebrates are more active after dark and for good reason: fewer sharp-eyed birds are active then. This workshop will introduce participants to the world of nocturnal invertebrates. The indoor segment will feature images of invertebrates, especially caterpillars, taken by Don Scallen after sunset. Don hopes to have some living specimens on hand too. He will also explain the rather straightforward practice of nocturnal invertebrate discovery: where and when to search, plant species to focus on, and how to prepare bait to attract moths. Outdoors we’ll use flashlights and headlamps to search foliage for caterpillars, spiders, sleeping dragonflies and other invertebrates. We’ll attempt to ID any creatures we find. We’ll also check moth “bait” that Don will paint on a few trees prior to the session. You needn’t any special knowledge of insects and invertebrates to participate in this workshop. Curiosity is the sole prerequisite. Participants will receive a list of publications and organizations they can access to learn more. The walk will be easy. We’ll explore an area near the nature centre that has plenty of native trees and shrubs. Please dress according to the forecast. If you wish to record any of the outdoor findings at the workshop, a camera or phone camera is recommended but not required.
Don Scallen is a teacher, a writer and a lifelong naturalist. Many of his articles can be found at https://www.inthehills.ca/auth... He has also written for Escarpment News magazine and On Nature, published by Ontario Nature. Don is president of the Halton/North Peel Naturalist Club https://hnpnc.com/site/ He leads annual hikes and workshops for High Park Walking Tours (Tree identification and Caterpillars), Ontario Nature’s Youth Nature Camp (Freshwater Life), Royal Botanical Gardens (Tree Identification) and the Bruce Trail Conservancy (Tree Identification) . He frequently speaks to naturalist clubs and environmental organizations.
Information about other workshops can be found here.