Tag Archives: insect

To Houston and Back: A story of a marine biologist and bugs

Emily Field FSU Coastal & Marine Lab
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Emily holds a net that will soon be full of marsh bugs. Later, at the lab, she will identify the many insect species that live amongst fiddlers and periwinkles, species more often associated with the habitat.

IGOR chip- biodiversity 150

Several weeks ago, I went to Houston to meet Thomas Decker, a tech in Steve Pennings’ lab at the University of Houston. Thomas graciously offered up his time to help me with my insect identifications. I have absolutely zero background in entomology, the study of bugs and other creepy crawlies most people squirm about. So how did I end up spending hours puzzling through an identification book on insects, a book with so many unfamiliar terms that I was constantly flipping to the glossary and various diagrams? Silly me, I decided that I needed to include the terrestrial part of my salt marsh community. Which meant I have spent quite a bit of one-on-one time with a dichotomous key on insects. A dichotomous key is a “choose your own adventure” style guide to identification. Continue reading