By John Acorn
With iridescent blues and vegetables, damselflies are the most attractive flying bugs in addition to the main primitive. As contributors of the insect order Odonata they're regarding dragonflies yet are categorised in a separate suborder. those aquatic bugs are a satisfaction to the attention and a desirable creature of analysis. In Damselflies of Alberta, naturalist John Acorn describes the twenty-two species local to the province. Exhaustively researched, but written in an available kind, the author's enthusiasm for those flying neon toothpicks is compelling. greater than a box advisor, it is a passionate research into one in every of nature's winged marvels of the wetlands.
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Extra info for Damselflies of Alberta: flying neon toothpicks in the grass
Christine Rice, a graduate student at the University of Alberta, is the report’s author. She wisely suggested that when you get right down to basics, we know almost nothing about the status of any of our damselflies, although common sense tells us there is little to worry about, at least in the short run. You might wonder why the government asked for such a report in the first place, but the fact is that many other provinces and states have “statused” their odonates, and Alberta was simply jumping on the dragon and damselfly biodiversity bandwagon.
Gordon spent only one summer there, working in a lab made out of an old army truck— a great lumbering vehicle with a tarp on top to prevent leaks. Inside, Gordon filmed the predatory strikes of larvae, and the research was completed quickly and efficiently. As Gordon recalls, he and David virtually subsisted on rabbit stew, made from snowshoe hares shot by the Hughes boys. Gordon finished his PhD in 1963 and tried to live up to the terms of his scholarship by going back to England to become an economic entomologist.
Fortunately, a good student came along—Bill Sawchyn—and NSERC generously gave me an equipment grant to purchase 4 growth chambers with temperature and light control. Bill had a thorough knowledge of the prairie slough ecosystem, having done a MSc with Ted Hammer on Diaptomus [a crustacean]. We were also fortunate to have the great help of the late Norman Church who had expertise in diapause, having worked on wheatstem sawfly. Bill prepared a very good thesis, which was examined by Phil Corbet, then at Waterloo University, I believe…Unfortunately, the work was not carried on, in part, I think, because of its seasonal nature and also because as other students came along, I found myself focusing more on the insect endocrine system, and its role in growth and reproduction.