Insects – The Little Things That Run the World
By Blake Dinius, Plymouth County Entomologist
Just this past September, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service declared 23 species in America to be extinct.
In 2018, the New York Times published on the “insect apocalypse,” a term that has come to represent both documented and anecdotal declines in insect populations around the world.
When we think of examples of endangered species, our minds often jump to animals from distant lands: pandas, tropical birds, rhinos, big cats. But Plymouth County is home to several protected species of insects:
- Buck Moth (Hemileuca maia), special concern
- Frosted Elfin Butterfly (Callophrys irus), special concern
- And, Barrens Tiger Beetle (Cicindela patruela), endangered
These species need our help just as much as any others.
Insects make up 77% (or more) of all animal life. They fulfill vital roles for keeping our planet functioning, such as pollinating our flowers, serving as food sources for birds, decomposing wastes, and cycling nutrients.
While some agree with the Times article, others say that “it’s not as bad as it seems.” This is hopeful, but is it true? The correct answer to this question is critical.
Join our program on Tuesday, April 12 at 7pm where we will review the literature surrounding this nuanced and (still developing) topic of entomology. We will also review ways that you can make your own yard a safe haven for nature. Whether rare or common, in the words of E. O. Wilson, insects are “the little things that run the world.”
Blake graduated with a degree in Biology from University of Massachusetts – Boston. Soon after, he began a 7-year career in insect research where he directed studies on bees, lacewings, springtails, earthworms, and other critters. He helped to develop guidelines and practices that are currently being used world-wide in the world of ecotoxicology.
As an extension educator, Blake serves the county by delivering science-based education in the form of actionable items – Information that you can put into practice and rely on.
Blake offers programs on anything entomology-related: From pollinator gardening to tick bite prevention to educational butterfly walks.
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