Orthoptera

Tuesday December 12th

MCZ 101, 26 Oxford Street, Harvard University
07:30 PM

Things that go thump in the night:
Vibrational communication in the
New Zealand giant weta

Daniel R. Howard and Carrie L. Hall

University of New Hampshire

New Zealand giant weta, copyright Sabine Bernert

Dr. Daniel R. Howard and Dr. Carrie L. Hall, of the University of New Hampshire, present a talk on communication and vibrational signaling in the New Zealand giant weta, which ranks among the most massive insects in the world.

Communication via substrate-borne vibration is common in many insect groups, with vibration often serving as a secondary or tertiary channel of a multimodal signal. The New Zealand giant weta (Orthoptera: Anostostomatidae: Deinacrida) are a group of eleven rare insect species belonging to an endemic genus whose communication systems remains poorly understood. Our field observations of intraspecific interactions in one species, D. rugosa, provided us with preliminary evidence that individuals of this lowland species produce some form of substrate-borne vibrational signal in unknown contexts.

Here we present specific findings from behavioral trials with D. rugosa that identified: 1) the acoustic structure of vibrational signals, 2) the biomechanics of signal production, and 3) the primary social context in which vibrational signals are produced, and allowed us to infer the function of vibrational signaling in the species. We then compare these findings with subsequent research on the alpine-dwelling D. connectens and the arboreal D. mahoenui. Deinacrida megacephala female

Implications related to potential noise effects of substrate-borne vibration on threatened and endangered insects are discussed in the context of both these charismatic insects, along with more familiar groups found closer to home.

The talk is free and open to the public. The meeting is readily accessible via public transportation. Parking is available in the Oxford Street Garage with advance arrangement, as described here, or (usually but not always) at spaces on nearby streets. Everyone is also welcome to join us for dinner before the talk (beginning at 5:45 PM) at the Cambridge Common, 1667 Mass Ave., Cambridge.

CEC meetings are held the second Tuesday of the month from October through May. The evening schedule typically includes an informal dinner (5:45 to 7:15 PM) followed by our formal meeting (7:30 – 9:00 PM). The latter begins with club business and is followed by a 50 minute entomology related presentation. Membership is open to amateur and professional entomologists.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

7:30 PM

Singing Leaves: The stories and songs of the crickets and Katydids

MCZ 101, 26 Oxford Street, Harvard University

John Himmelman: Author, Speaker and Illustrator

“It begins in April with the calling of the Spring Field Crickets. By late summer the night chorus of insects has reached its crescendo, dominating the aural tapestry of field, yard and forest. The songs then fade gradually until we’re left with the lone sputtery trill of the Carolina Cricket playing us into winter”

Mr. Himmelman will introduce the audience to both the insects that produce these wonderful songs and the adventures undertaken to find and record them in the eastern US. His talk will be accompanied by photos, audio recordings and his outstanding artwork.

John is author/illustrator of Cricket Radio: Tuning in the night-singing insects and Guide to Night-singing Insects of the Northeast.  He has also authored and illustrated many popular children’s books. A selection of his work will be available for purchase following his talk.

The talk is free and open to the public. The meeting is readily accessible via public transportation. Parking is available in the Oxford Street Garage with advance arrangement, as described here, or (usually but not always) at spaces on nearby streets. Everyone is also welcome to join us for dinner before the talk (beginning at 6 PM) at the West Side Lounge.

CEC meetings are held the second Tuesday of the month from October through May. The evening schedule typically includes an informal dinner (6 to 7:15 PM) followed by our formal meeting (7:30 – 9:00 PM). The latter begins with club business and is followed by a 50 minute entomology related presentation. Membership is open to amateur and professional entomologists.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

7:15 PM

Katydids of South Africa: An exploration of a nearly unknown fauna

Harvard University Herbarium, 22 Divinity Ave, Harvard University

Piotr Naskrecki, Harvard University

Piotr Naskrecki has traveled the world investigating invertebrate biodiversity, capturing beautiful images of the natural world and studying katydids. Dr. Naskrecki will address the club to discuss his NSF-funded orthopteroid survey work in South Africa. The talk will include a biogeographical and historical overview of the country’s katydid fauna and highlight some of the interesting species radiations that have been uncovered.

This will be a bit of an unusual meeting night. We will begin our meeting a little early in order to nominate and vote for new club officers. Our meeting will be held in the Harvard University Herbarium seminar room (information about the meeting location is found here), which is not far from our normal meeting room in the MCZ. There is no pre-meeting dinner this month. In lieu of dinner CEC members may be interested in attending a lecture by Michael Canfield entitled: The Secrets of Field Notes: Capturing Science, Nature, and Exploration. This talk is hosted by the Harvard Museum of Natural History, is held in the Geological Lecture Hall and begins at 6 PM.

Cambridge Entomological Club talks are free and open to the public. The meeting location is readily accessible via public transportation. Parking is available in the Oxford Street Garage with advance arrangement, as described here, or (usually but not always) at spaces on nearby streets.

CEC meetings are held the second Tuesday of the month from October through May. Meetings begin with club business and this is followed by a 50 minute entomology related presentation. Membership is open to amateur and professional entomologists.