Bendix Woods Bioblitz
September 26, 2014 at 6:13 am (insects (other), reptiles and amphibians, singing insects)
Tags: Amblycorypha oblongifolia, Bendix Woods, crane fly, Diapheromera femorata, differential grasshopper, gray treefrog, Melanoplus differentialis, Melanoplus punctulatus, oblong-winged katydid, pine tree spur-throated grasshopper, walking stick
by Carl Strang
It’s been an unusually busy September, and there has been no time for writing in recent days. Much of that time has been occupied by field work, however, so I have a backlog of observations to share through a number of posts. Last weekend there was a bioblitz at Bendix Woods, a St. Joseph County Park in Indiana. Many of the scientists who participated in this species count could do it as a day trip. A few of us camped overnight. It was well worth it, and three posts will be needed to tell the full story.
I was there for singing insects, of course, and so needed to do survey work after dark as well as during the day. The nighttime drive along the park’s roads revealed a healthy population of oblong-winged katydids.
This one took a break from singing to seek out a new perch, his long legs moving slowly in the cooling night air.
While trying to locate the katydid I ran across a couple other members of the Bendix fauna.
Gray treefrogs are abundant at Bendix Woods. I saw at least 8 individuals during the 24-hour event.
This female walking stick, Diapheromera femorata, was nearly 4 inches long.
Lights set up by a Field Museum of Natural History team drew in a variety of moths, caddis flies and others.
This was a crane fly that got hung up on a support rope, not a hangingfly, as some of us hoped at first glance. The hangingflies are a group of scorpion flies.
This pine tree spur-throated grasshopper came to the light, and I saved it to photograph the next day. The species proved to be common in the groves of white pines which have been planted in the park to spell out “STUDEBAKER” in very large block letters that can be read only from the sky.
I’ll close out with another, more widespread species, the differential grasshopper.
There were two singing insect species that I met for the first time at Bendix Woods, and each will get a post of its own.