Little Desert National Park VIC Bush Blitz | Oct 2018

The entomology team is from both the Melbourne Museum and the University of New South Wales and their interests are diverse and varied. The insect collection at the museum needs more specimens and so I was particularly excited, as an amateur among experts, to be given the instruction "we are after insects that crawl. Catch anything that moves." Even so, though, I found catching insects was harder than it looks. They can be fast!

The secret is a pooter. This cunning device (also called an aspirator) makes bug-catching a simple thing. The procedure involves hitting a likely piece of vegetation with a stick (yes, really) and holding a net-shaped device (a beating net - it doesn't have holes in it) underneath to catch what comes off. Then, with quick eyes and deft hands, you put one tube of the pooter over the insect, put the other tube of the pooter in your mouth, and suck. The insect comes up one tube and falls into a container. It does not come up the tube into your mouth because there is a gauze barrier. Voila! One cool insect.

I caught a Leaf Hopper (species unknown yet by the expert - requires microscopic investigation) that was both unusual and pretty, and made the expert say "Awesome". My day was made.

Tomorrow is our last day in the field. I do not know yet who I will work with, and I am a bit worried about how hot the temperature is supposed to be, but I am confident that whatever happens I will learn a lot and have a lot of laughs.