Gossamer Tapestry

Reflections on conservation, butterflies, and ecology in the nation's heartland

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Feeling SASI

California Gulch, just a few miles north of Mexico. A prime collecting spot.

Tomorrow evening, I will be heading off to the wilds of Arizona for my annual entomology conference. The conference is sponsored by the Sonoran Arthropod Studies Institute (SASI). It’s called the Invertebrates in Captivity Conference (affectionately referred to as Bugs in Bondage). It’s attended by folks who run isectariums and live butterfly exhibits, as well as people who just enjoy entomology. I hope to blog my way through the whole conference.

The conference opens with the "Bugs in Bondage BBQ"

This year, my trip should be particularly fun. Leon is going to accompany me for the first weekend. We will be meeting up with UrSpo and his partner for the weekend, and also have plans to meet fellow blogger (and archaeologist extraordinaire) Homer. I have to be a good boy and keep the collecting obsession to a minimum during that part of the trip. My companions for the weekend are all non-entomologists.

A tiger beetle. If I'm lucky, I'll see nearly a dozen species next week.

On Sunday evening, SpoCo head back up to Phoenix and I will put Leon on a plane back to Chicago. I will also meet up with my collecting buddy John from Colorado for a few days of intensive collecting. We plan to visit French Joe Canyon (home of amazing beetles) and Wilcox (home to several endemic species of tiger beetles). I’d also like to spend one day up in the Santa Rita Mountains, where bears did terrible things to me last year. Well, OK, it was just one bear. But it was an uncomfortably close encounter. I wish I had been blogging back then so I could have posted about scaring a bear away with my butterfly net.

Me helping with the trivia contest. The beverage is essential to this task.

The conference begins on Wednesday. There will be field trips, lectures, blacklighting, workshops and other assorted conference events. I’ll be helping again with the now annual trivia contest. If you have any good entomological trivia questions, send ‘em my way. I plan on bringing lots of live insects home with me for display here at the Nature Museum. My shopping list so far includes sunburst diving beetles, lynx spiders, water scorpions, and possibly even some more ants. I return to Chicago a week from next Monday.

One of Arizona's finest. A sunburst diving beetle (Thermonectus marmoratus)

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At 10:34, Blogger robin andrea said...

Sounds like a great journey. No more bear encounters for you, but I hope you'll tell the story sometime. Have a safe trip.

At 15:13, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What kind of water scorpions do you want, Doug? We have the slender variety here in SPADES, and I can surely send you a couple in the post. I figure they'd make the journey easily enough...

Let me know.


At 16:31, Blogger Spider said...

Hope you have a great time and be sure and give Dr. Spo and his partner my best!

At 18:26, Anonymous Lemuel said...

Bugs in Bondage? Hmmm...

At 22:00, Blogger Ur-spo said...

no scorpions please; I have had my quota for the week.
see you tomorrow!

At 11:46, Blogger Doug Taron said...

Robin- this trip is always a high point in my year. I may post a rememberance of my bear encounter

thingfish- Thanks. It is the slender kind that we display. There is a place right near the conference hotel where I can sometimes get them. Some years there are tons, others none. Depending on how my hunting oges, I may get back to you on this when I get back from AZ.

Spider- Thanks. I'm looking forward to seeing those guys this evening.

Lem- It'ss trarting to get to be an old joke. Still the woman in the picture serving barbecue at the picnic is wearing both a leather mask and a leather dog collar. Who says entomologists can't have fun?

Spo- OUCH! That's really not recommended.

At 16:05, Blogger BentonQuest said...

I'm with Lemuel, I think "Bugs in Bondage" is funny. Sounds like a Fetish Flick if I ever heard one!

At 16:32, Blogger burning silo said...

That certainly is one fine diving beetle!


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