Category: Silent Spring Continued: A World without Insects?

Insect Profile: Asian Tiger Mosquito

Aedes albopictus There are several ways to identify Asian Tiger mosquitos: black and white flecked bodies with a stripe down the back, the unusual habit of feeding during daylight hours, and until relatively recently, a tropical and subtropical distribution within Southeast Asia. Over past… Continue Reading “Insect Profile: Asian Tiger Mosquito”

In Conservative Bavaria, Citizens Force Bold Action on Protecting Nature

By Christian Schwägerl
Alarmed at steep declines in insects and wildlife, Bavarian voters backed a referendum aimed at changing destructive farming practices and repairing damaged ecosystems. Now, Bavaria’s initiatives are inspiring other German states to move to stem the loss of biodiversity.

The Schaus Swallowtail

By Irus Braverman
Thomas Emmel, now a retired University of Florida professor, directed the captive breeding project for more than twenty years. Establishing the program cost $50,000 (“these butterflies are damn expensive,” says Kierán Suckling5), obtained largely from federal sources.

Insect Profile: The Schaus Swallowtail

By Irus Braverman. The following text is taken from the book Wild Life: The Institution of Nature by Irus Braverman, © 2015 by the Board of Trustees of the Leland Stanford Junior University. Published by Stanford University Press. Used here with the permission of the publisher.… Continue Reading “Insect Profile: The Schaus Swallowtail”

Make Meadows, Not Lawns

By Rosamund Portus
When we think of extinction, we tend to think of a few iconic species, such as the woolly mammoth or the dodo. Although none of us today has ever laid eyes on one—at least not a living specimen— we still mourn their loss.

The Bellflower Specialists

By Eunice Blavascunas and Alie J. Zagata
I grew up in Switzerland, in a family of natural historians. I often say that I grew up in a sleeping bag because my family went camping in the wilderness most weekends and throughout the summers.

Insect Profile: Chelostoma rapunculi

By Eunice Blavascunas and Alie J. Zagata On the Swedish island of Öland in the Baltic Sea, a fascinating little creature is rapidly disappearing. Chelostoma rapunculi, also known as the scissor bee, is a European solitary bee species. What makes it so interesting is… Continue Reading “Insect Profile: Chelostoma rapunculi”

The Last Kindred Spirit of Moths and Butterflies

By Susanne Schmitt and Birgit Müller
We are standing in a hallway across from a hidden treasure: the world’s largest collection of butterflies and moths, holding about 13 million specimens. Some parts of the collection date back to the 1760s; some historic sections have been carefully gathered and annotated by the likes of explorer and zoologist Princess Therese of Bavaria (1850–1925).

Insect Profile: The Apollo

*Featured image: Specimens of  Parnassius Apollo in a collection case at the Zoologische Staatssammlung München. Photo: Susanne Schmitt. By Susanne Schmitt and Birgit Müller Classified as moderately endangered, Parnassius apollo is a species of butterfly that inhabits mountain meadows and rocky alpine sites. These creatures’… Continue Reading “Insect Profile: The Apollo”

Fifty Years Ago, Cockchafers Belonged to Spring…

By Birgit Müller and Susanne Schmitt
We met Ernst-Gerhard Burmeister at the Bavarian State Collection of Zoology where he has dedicated most of his professional life to the amazing collection of over 25 million zoological specimens, one of the largest natural history collections in the world.