From June 23rd to the 30th Charlie Engelman, umich student video producer, will be coming out with a daily short insect video filmed in the insect collections room with Mark O’Brien. See Charlie’s YouTube channel for more. We will add each video below as they appear.
June 23: Butterflies & Moths
In this video we take a look at some of the largest moth and butterfly species in the entire world. The Atlas Moth and Birdwing Butterflies definitely take the cake. We also look at the Black Witch Moth, another nicely patterned large species that sometimes gets lost in the north.
June 24: Scarab BeetlesThese are some of the most fantastic looking beetles in the entire world. Clad with enormous horns, the male individuals engage in combate over females. Extremely awesome specimens.
June 25: Horse Flies!
Today we're checking out some of the biggest fly specimens we have here in the University of Michigan Museum of Zoology insect collection room: Black Horse Flies, Tabanus stratus. You might see these guys when visiting the beach. Females are blood suckers and males are nectar feeders with eyes that take up their whole heads! Truly awesome insects.
June 26: Harlequin Beetle
Insect week day 4! Today Mark's showing us a really fantastic Harlequin Beetle. This guy has a pair of front legs that are considerably longer than his body, and a pair of super long antennae to match. Mites and pseudoscorpions ride along on this insect as it moves throughout the jungle, so it's pretty much the bus of the insect world.
June 27: Sphinx Moths!
Today We're looking at Sphinx Moths. This might just be the darkest group of insects out there. One specimen, the "Death's-head Hawkmoth," has an image of a skull on its back. If you remember the movie poster for Silence of the Lambs, this is the kind of moth they used. Another specimen has a tongue almost three times longer than its body! To finish it off we have the Hummingbird Sphinx Moth. The scales on these guys gradually fall off during flight, making their wings appear skeletal and see-through.
June 28: Insect Adaptions to Avoid Predation
Today we investigate ways that insects are able to avoid becoming a delicious meal - by wearing fancy costumes of course! Some have evolved specific morphologies, or body shapes, that mimic the vegetation around them, helping them hide. Others pretend to look like more harmful insects. Another group flashes certain color patterns that animals associate with distateful meals. These are all some pretty spectacular adaptions the insects have evolved to help them stay alive.
June 29: Insect Collection Manager (Part 1)
Today we finally get to sit down and chat with Mark O'Brien, insect collection manager at the University of Michigan Museum of Zoology and narrator of Nature Time Insect Week. Mark works to maintain one of the largest university-owned insect collections in the entire country. He also knows an incredible amount of information about these creatures.
June 30: Insect Collection Manager (Part 2)
This is Part 2 of our interview with Mark O'Brien, insect collection manager at the University of Michigan Museum of Zoology and narrator of our Insect Week series.