Tuesday, June 23, 2009
Insect Life on Asssateague
I was briefly on blogging hiatus, because my wife and I were on Assateague Island, a national park known for its wild horses. One of the things that fascinated me about Assateague was its island ecosystem. Since building is strictly limited on the island, most people on the island, like me and my wife, must camp in tents. Since we didn't have an RV, our only bathroom facilities were several hundred yards from our campsite. At each bathroom facility, there is a community bulletin board illuminated by a fluorescent light. If you look closely at any of the bulletin board, you can see an amazing diversity of insects attracted by the fluorescent light. It's as if you can see the evolution of insect species right before your eyes. In fact, I even found on Google Scholar a scientific paper about the distribution of tiger beetles on Assateague and other nearby less inhabited islands. Most people focus only on the insects at Assateagues that bite them, but if you look closer, you can see a range of insects that you would never see in your own backyard.