See some of Ari’s images from his visit to Mercantour National Park in the French Alps.
All images courtesy of Ari Daniel Shapiro
It’s not surprising that the two species discovered by Jean-Michel Lemaire are both
beetles. It’s estimated that one in four species on Earth is a beetle. Scientists don’t agree on how many different kinds of beetles there are. There are at least 350,000 described species, ranging in size from beetles small enough to fit between grains of sand to massive beetles in the family Dynastinae, with species named after rhinos, elephants, and the Greek hero Hercules. Many more beetle species, tens of thousands or perhaps even millions, await description.
In the podcast, Pierre Queny is a specialist in aquatic beetles. These beetles have adapted to life in fresh water. Some of the families of aquatic beetles include the
whirligig beetles, often seen spinning on the water’s surface, and the great diving beetle, which preys on other aquatic insects, tadpoles, and small fish.
Explore some of the other species mentioned in this week’s episode. Ephemeral
mayflies are an ancient lineage among the insects, with about 2,500 species worldwide. There are more described species of dragonflies and damselflies, about 5,500 worldwide. Participate
Are you a citizen scientist with a passion for biodiversity?
You might enjoy the challenge and fun of a
BioBlitz, a 24-hour species inventory. Experts and enthusiasts fan out over a given area, and document as many species as they can, from fungus and frogs to worms and warblers.
Upcoming BioBlitz events:
The next U.S. BioBlitz, sponsored by National Geographic and the U.S. National Park Service, is taking place
March 28-29, 2014, in the Golden Gate National Recreation Area in California. There is another BioBlitz coming up in June 14, 2014, in Idaho’s Deer Flat National Wildlife Refuge.
Check out the BioBlitz
resources here on EOL, including instructions for having a BioBlitz in your own backyard.
Wherever you live, you can join the
Coleopterists Society, an international society devoted to the study of beetles. Their website includes their online journal, information on meetings, and other resources.