Labupdate's Blog

Just another weblog

friday blues

this afternoon, my volunteer and I have finally got to look at some flies :). i have a large selection building up on my desk and it is good to finally start identifying things…i think that once i retire i will have more time to do this pleasant activity rather than meetings and paperwork….we got some gorgeous robber flies


September 4, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

killing mosquitoes

I have just been up into the tower to check on my mosquitoes and we have four more adults! I had to kill two more today and pin. We kill them in killing tubes which have a plaster of paris base onto which we pour some ethyl acetate which is the killing agent. As they die their legs straighten up and tuck under their body – they are just neatening themselves up for the pin 😦 – i don’t like watching them die..

i had a two hour meeting today on tidying up the module within our database that is involved with loans. We send thousands of loans the majority of which come from entomology. at any one point there are thousands of insects in the post 🙂 But as with all things here the legacy was such that all departments did things slightly (……) differently. This is being rectified at the moment but slowly and with lots of cross department wrangling about what should be/shouldn’t be on the system. Our lives revolve around this database and it contains millions of records and we have to clean them up and remove all the dirty data 😦

I had a visitor in this morning from Ireland looking at Chironomids (non-bitting midges). Upon discussing the weather (it was raining) he described the problems with sampling rivers in Ireland at the moment in as much that you can not as all of the banks have disappeared – opps.  Sampling mosquitoes is always going to be more successful

September 2, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

a new week

well nearly the end of today 🙂

so far – i got absolutely soaking cycling in to work, i’ve had one pupal death and three larval deaths over the weekend but i have three adults which are now pinned (mosquitoes :)) , a meeting on the databasing system, visitors,  and several loans to prepare…..on my desk i have a load on new flies that a colleague has given me from his garden as well as some from Cameroon that a student dropped off (albeit he has bugs confused with flies….)

But the Tajiks are at the London School to study some techniques so at least i can relax. The mini-bus went back today and no one has screamed at me because of the damage…..We took the Tajiks to a Salsa club on Friday night to show them some of London and it was their first night club!! and then on Saturday (and Sunday and Monday) we were in to monitor the mosquito larvae that are developing in one of the labs in the tower. We have a little production line. Bowls at the front for the very small larvae, once the develop to about the 4th in-star stage (just before they pupate) we separate them out into their own breeding tubes. Then when they pupate we remove the skin and store in alcohol, to which we will add the pupal skin when the adult emerges. Once the adult has emerged we have to leave it for 24hours to let the genitalia rotate into place 🙂 . It’s all going well.

We have a new visitor in Diptera today from Spain who will be with us for a month. It is all becoming a rush at the moment as we are beginning to shut down the hatches to the collection in preparation for the move. It feels like this ominous event looming towards us…..

September 1, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment