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ENTOMOLOGY - Winter field study?

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ENTOMOLOGY - Winter field study?

Postby Squirrell » Wed Feb 15, 2012 1:34 am

Hello, I'm an aspiring professional entomologist and would like a career in zoological, medical, veterinary, agricultural or forensic entomology, but for now I'm not specialising as I haven't even started my BSc yet! (Though I am going to study BSc microbiology this year in hope that it may help to study medical entomology later - I have an interview in my choice uni next Wednesday so wish me luck! :) )

Well, that's enough of an introduction. I was just wondering if there is anything one might suggest studying at this time of year? The world is buzzing any time between May and September, but it's difficult to find any ento-action through the winter months. I'm aware many galls are active this time of year, and for many alternating-generation species, the parthenogenetic females are active. Would anybody be so kind to recommend any studies, and where to look?

For a little clarity:
- I'm in West Sussex, in the UK, about 20 miles south of London.
- I'm 19, and not yet living alone. I will be moving out this summer, but for now I'm unable to keep any species for any great length of time.
- I'm limited in resources. I have the essentials; pen, notebook, magnifying glass, microscope.
- I am educated in entomology, but by no means an expert; so if you are going to suggest something please be clear about exactly what you're suggesting, using terminology one at my level will understand.
"Every cell is a triumph of natural selection." Carl Sagan
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Postby JackBean » Wed Feb 15, 2012 7:13 am

Do you think it's good idea to start with microbiology and then switch to entomology?
http://www.biolib.cz/en/main/

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Postby Squirrell » Wed Feb 15, 2012 11:49 am

I also applied for Biology Hons, but I was unsuccessful. Had a bad year at home last year, and it affected my work at college and I ended up only aiming for a pass. I'm very capable of distinction and this year I'm going to achieve it, but it turned out that's not enough. (Diploma)

Many of the modules in the course will link well into entomology, and I'm not really worried too much about it as I want a Ph.D. in Entomology and I can always go for a MSc in-between, to smooth the transition.
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Postby sachin » Wed Feb 15, 2012 4:59 pm

Good and Odd choice........
Good because you have selected an unique subject. and Odd because very few choose it.
For beginning you should start interacting with experts (Entomologists) worldwide. You can simply join groups such as http://tech.groups.yahoo.com/group/bugclub/
http://www.nhm.ac.uk/ look for http://www.nhm.ac.uk/natureplus/index.jspa

Take suggestions from experts and try to contact them. Also keep up your spirit on about insect studies. Also keep posting photos and questions in this forum. I would like to interact with you as a senior in Entomology... 8)
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Re: ENTOMOLOGY - Winter field study?

Postby Darby » Fri Feb 17, 2012 1:54 pm

The streams are full of insects this time of year, overwintering - more insects than at any other time. If you can get a drift net and don't mind sticking your hands into near-freezing water (I've done it, they get used to it much faster than you would expect), or a bucket you can carefully place whole rocks into, there are lots of larvae to sample.
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Re: ENTOMOLOGY - Winter field study?

Postby Squirrell » Fri Feb 17, 2012 10:45 pm

Darby wrote:The streams are full of insects this time of year, overwintering - more insects than at any other time. If you can get a drift net and don't mind sticking your hands into near-freezing water (I've done it, they get used to it much faster than you would expect), or a bucket you can carefully place whole rocks into, there are lots of larvae to sample.


This is wonderful. I assume May fly and Dragonfly larvae are the more common finds? I will definitely be trying this tomorrow.
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Postby sachin » Sat Feb 18, 2012 8:13 am

Try to takes pictures too..!
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Re:

Postby Squirrell » Sat Feb 18, 2012 4:49 pm

sachin wrote:Try to takes pictures too..!


I wish, but I don't have a camera. :(
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Re: ENTOMOLOGY - Winter field study?

Postby animartco » Mon Apr 09, 2012 4:04 pm

I realise this is a bit late for winter but for future reference... slugs tend to be around all year I find, and there are lots of caterpillars and springtails in the roots of grasses. Also you do get unusual things cropping up under human junk, even more so in winter because there are not so many of the more active insect predators about. I regularly get a large nest of what look like small leatherjackets under my dustbin.
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