RE: [beemonitoring] Bees and Roadkill
This recalls when I observed house sparrows in a parking lot in Gatlinburg Tennessee years ago, hopping up onto car radiators in back of their front grills, scavenging dead insects. Many road-killed insects are trapped and killed and carried away on various parts of the car, perhaps fewer, now that they are more streamlined. You’d have to have two roadblocks to determine how many for a given stretch of road. Sounds like an experiment in the making.
Donald C. Weber, Research Entomologist & Lead Scientist
USDA Agricultural Research Service
Invasive Insect Biocontrol & Behavior Laboratory
Bldg. 011A, Rm. 107, BARC-West Beltsville, MD 20705 USA
I just came across a small study of road-killed insects in Japan:
While I think there are some possible errors in their calculations of mortality/ km (they estimate 5000+ insects per KM, but don't account for days not sampled or loss due to scavenging, capture by car, size of insect, or non-detectability by observer) it none the less documents that many more insects are killed along roads than I would have expected.
This study documented only moderate numbers of Hymenoptera in their totals, but their citations indicate that Hymenoptera can make up much larger portions depending on the habitat along the road.
This study is also intriguing in that the researchers simply walked along the edge of the road and picked up dead insects...which I would have thought would have been difficult to do (and probably represents a gross underestimate of the real kill).
I think that similar projects would make wonderful student projects, but suggest the following:
Address the scavenging loss by using marked or known dead insects in sections of roads.
Address detection rates by having 1 observer seed an area with dead insects and having another count them, using several size classes.
Sam Droege sdroege@...
w 301-497-5840 h 301-390-7759 fax 301-497-5624
USGS Patuxent Wildlife Research Center
BARC-EAST, BLDG 308, RM 124 10300 Balt. Ave., Beltsville, MD 20705
A little road not made of man,
Enabled of the eye,
Accessible to thill of bee,
Or cart of butterfly.
If town it have, beyond itself,
'T is that I cannot say;
I only sigh,--no vehicle
Bears me along that way.
Bees are Not Optional
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- --- In email@example.com, wrote:
>Fire ants will quickly dispose of dead insects in the South of the US.
> Another source of error is scavenging on dead insects. Once I was driving down a gravel road in Iowa and noticed tettigoniid grasshoppers (mainly Orchelimum vulgare, which I was studying) feasting on acridid roadkill â" most large female acridids had a scavenger!
Dave Green, Ret. pollination contractor
- I've seen the early and evening crew of ravens cleaning up roadkill in many places in the north. The majority of specimens were odonata, bumble bees, beetles and large flies, but these volumes changed in the accompanying habitat adjacent to the road such as open field, forest or wetland. Even forest fire areas produced more buprestids than anything else. Of course I collected several specimens and was always surprised at the species I collected on the road when all day I hadn't seen them in their particular habitat.Gord Hutchings
From: firstname.lastname@example.org [mailto:email@example.com] On Behalf Of pollinator2001
Sent: Monday, 11, February, 2013 16:08 PM
Subject: [beemonitoring] Re: Bees and Roadkill
--- In firstname.lastname@example.org, wrote:
>Once I was driving down a gravel road in Iowa and noticed tettigoniid grasshoppers (mainly Orchelimum vulgare, which I was studying) feasting on acridid roadkill â€" most large female acridids had a scavenger!
> Another source of error is scavenging on dead insects.
Fire ants will quickly dispose of dead insects in the South of the US.
Dave Green, Ret. pollination contractor
>This recalls when I observed house sparrows in a parking lot inI have seen this too with a Mockingbird that had obviously learned to
>Gatlinburg Tennessee years ago, hopping up onto car radiators in
>back of their front grills, scavenging dead insects.
watch each car as it came in and that grabbed butterflies off my
grill before I could even get out of my car. I don't know how one
would count the bees that ended up this way.