Up until now, the entomological survey in the Dambwa Forest has been focused on building a reference library as a pre-curser to site specific surveys. So far, 276 species have been added to the library.
During April, the site specific surveys commenced to evaluate local insect diversity. These sites are the same at which the above-ground woody biomass survey, part of a carbon dynamic monitoring programme, is taking place. This affords us the opportunity to also identify correlations between tree and insect diversity.
Insect traps are set the previous day, before the research team return to spend a few hours cataloguing what has been caught the following morning. However, on one session, the path back to the traps was blocked by Argiope australis, a type of orb-web spider. It had made a web spanning almost 1.5 metres. Just by seeing the size of its web, it reminded us that we were not the only ones looking for insects in the forest. After negotiating a way around the giant web, the team collected a total of 43 insect species in the session, some of which were new to our reference library.
Join the Programme