by Carl Strang
The Forest Preserve District of DuPage County’s Centennial Bioblitz started under rain and somewhat cool temperatures last Friday night. We sent off the first plant survey teams and frog monitors, and a small bird team went out, but the rain continued. As the darkness built, it became clear that light stations for insects would get limited results. I gathered the group who had come for one of the public programs, and Purdue University entomologist Jeff Holland explained that the dripping water would explode their hot bulbs. We set up my ultraviolet light, and Jeff led the team into the forest at St. James Farm.
The kids had a great time catching fireflies, and finding insects and other creatures active in the rain.
When we stopped by the light on the way back, we found a few beetles and small moths, but the sheet mainly held a host of mosquitoes.
Late into the night, and much of the next day, my focus was on support and organizational work, but I did make two brief field excursions and added a few species to the count on the four preserves of the bioblitz survey.
Our rough estimate at the end of the bioblitz was 900 species documented for the four preserves. I will report more detailed numbers when we have them.