‘Adult Reesa vespulae’, a portrait in watercolour by Jessica MacLean, 2020.
Aanischaaukamikw exterior. Photograph: Mitch Linet.
Larvae found on bandolier bag
|Tamarack decoy on log, on display at Aanischaaukamikw|
Aside from looking for pests in quarantine, we have pest traps placed throughout the building. Next time you visit a museum, see if you can spot these traps. Sticky traps are placed in inconspicuous locations around the building. The purpose of a trap is not necessarily to exterminate the pests, but rather to collect a sample of the pests in each area in order to identify those that are particularly dangerous to the collections and monitor their numbers. The first day of the month is ‘Bug Day’ for me at work. With my logging sheets, I go around picking up last month’s traps; counting the numbers and types of pests; and placing a new trap. Traps are placed where the wall meets the floor, with the opening parallel to the wall, as pests have limited vision and crawl using the seam as a guide. I add the new data to an on-going graph of pest populations over time. Currently, our maintenance staff has taken over the task while I am working outside the community and seem less enthusiastic than I am about this essential task – maybe this blog will make checking the pest traps more exciting! I admit, it is tedious and creepy-crawly work, but the information collected is vital to the safety of our collections, and an important aspect of good collections stewardship.
|Red Zone - No food or drink is allowed in rooms in the Red zone.|
Luckily, we have an amazing environmental non-profit organisation in our region called FaunENord. They ensure the sustainable development of the Nord-du-Québec by offering consulting services and developing projects in the areas of integrated land use planning, to consider the needs of environment, education and ecotourism. One of their biologists was able to identify these larvae as R. vespulae and offered some helpful advice. They had a small infestation in their larger entomological specimen collection a few years back. The R. vespulae apparently preferred to eat their moths and butterflies, but had also sampled some of their dragonflies, larger beetles, and bumblebees. FaunENord pointed me towards an article on the diet and habits of R. vespulae.
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Click links to download pdf to colour: Adult R. vespulae Larvae and casing, R. vespulae