Insect Talk

February 7, 2020

It was very good to see over 20 people come to hear Denis Crawford speak on the importance of insects, and to enjoy his amazing photography of “creepy crawlies and bloodsuckers”.

Did you know that the world has 5,500 species of mammals, 10,000 of birds, 40,000 vertebrates and 1.25 million invertebrates, of which 1 million are insects?  Understandably we didn’t hear about all 1 million species but looked at some moths, bees and ants. Lots of fascinating snippets: I never knew that there was a moth that only feeds on dead grass trees. How specialised is that? What do insects contribute to the environment? They pollinate flowers, recycle and bury dung, eat or parasite other insects, provide food for other animals, disperse seed (and in various intriguing ways), aerate the soil. A reduction in insects would massively impact on flowering plants, lessen the food available for fish, bats, mammals and birds, there would be much more dung lying around, and carcasses and other organic waste, we’d have  no silk, honey, cochineal …. Where would our agriculture and horticulture be? There was some discussion of bushfires and insects, the loss of so many bees, both commercial and native, the fact that ants are the first colonisers after a fire.

Denis  has a blog and a Facebook page and a YouTube channel. Look for his name or “one minute bugs”

After his talk most of us retired to the Halls Gap pub for a meal and further discussion. Thank you Denis.