Yesterday’s sort session was much more in line with what I think of as a “traditional” sort session – separating a Malaise trap sample into subsets of arthropods, across all orders. This particular trap was set up in my back yard (partial fulfillment of my first New Year’s resolution!) in the spring and summer of 2013. This photo from deep in my archive shows this very trap being set up in April 2013:
The trap yielded typical forest-dwellers, like Eucnemidae, Throscidae (I think?), Elateridae, Cerambycidae, Cynipidae, and a smattering of flies, collembolans, parasitoids and other hexapods. We even found some stoneflies (maybe Leuctridae) that moved uphill from Slab Cabin Run. The coolest find, for me anyway, was the three pirate spiders (Mimetidae: Mimetus sp.). I suspect they were there to prey upon the orb weaver(s) that like to set up in my Malaise traps.
One thing I did differently this time was to add to my pointed specimens a label that describes how it was pointed. It looked something like this:
Bristol board point, Tombow
MONO Aqua Liquid Glue
I realize now I should put the date the specimen was pointed, so that someone doesn’t assume it was 2013. Last year I wrote about adhesives used in point mounts, and how we don’t have any ideal options. I have been using polyvinyl alcohol quite extensively since then, and I do love its working properties and its potential for long term stability. Labeling our point mounts will allow for future testing. I think it’s something we should all be doing, even though we have limited label space on a pin.