Young Naturalists: Invertebrates at Star Swamp

The Young Naturalists met entomologist David Knowles for an evening focussing on invertebrates at Star Swamp for our last event of 2012. This began with a presentation during which more than 20 Young Naturalists sat quietly listening as David described the major groups of invertebrates and showed photographic examples that he'd taken himself.

By the time the presentation was over, it was beginning to get dark outside. We all headed off into Star Swamp reserve, where David set up a large light trap: he set up three lights of differing frequency and covered these with a white fabric.

Carnaby's Cockatoos called noisily from their roost in the surrounding Tuart trees, as we waited for the sun to go down. The children dashing off in every direction into the bush in search of moths, insects and spiders.

Soon it was dark, and frogs and crickets took up the chorus while we waited for our first visitors to the light trap. It was a cool night and it took a while for the first moths and other insects to arrive, but eventually we were entertained by variety of beetles, mantids, and delicate and very beautiful moths.

After all the excitement of running around in the bush as night, the children made their way back to the Henderson Environmental Centre for supper before thanking David for meeting us and then heading home.

David's mentioned videos of the Peacock Spider that can be found YouTube. One of the best is a short film by Otto Jurgen.