1 The Worldly Antenna of International Issue 4 June 2008 Number 2 International updates! Hello members and families! Introduction WPZ Brookfield Dallas Zoo RWPZ Giddens School Bellevue Montessori Snohomish Papua New Guinea Calendar We are excited to share with you this issue of The Worldly Antenna. We've compiled some news as well as ideas for nighttime arthropod explorations for families to try together at home. Summer is finally here in Seattle and we're excited to get outside and explore the bug dramas that are happening every day. A recent study just added 2,000 bee species to bring the total number of known bee species to 19,200 (American Museum of Natural History, htm). If you want to investigate bee species in your neighborhood, you can participate in the Great Sunflower Project (http: //www.greatsunflower.org/). The project will send you sunflower seeds, you plant and grow the sunflowers, and then document the species of bees that come to visit your flowers. You can report your data to the Great Sunflower Project. Enjoy your summer bug investigation! Sincerely, Erin and Katie International Coordinators
2 Woodland Park Zoo Page 2 At our April session, we explored how bugs care for each other -- mother thornbugs keep their nymphs safe from predators and some species of ants care for aphids so they can drink the tasty honeydew that the aphids expel. So for our combined craft/snack we made thornbugs and aphids on a stick (Bugles crackers and green grapes stuck onto celery with cream cheese)!
3 Dallas Zoo Page 3 Dallas Zoo is back for another season! The season includes: Roles of Bugs in the Garden, Bugs and photography, Family Hunt/Black lighting, Centipedes vs Millipedes, Decomposers and Arthropod Architecture. This year we started off with the Roles of Bugs in the Garden. It was a very hot day, but the kids got a chance to tour a butterfly garden, an herb and vegetable garden and the butterfly exhibit while discovering what roles the bugs play in each. It was exciting to watch them step into the role of a scientist and investigate the difference between predator, prey, pollinators and decomposers in the gardens. After our tour it was snack time and what better way to tie in the days topic than with Dirt (pudding, cookies and gummy worms). And they finished their day decorating a flower pot and creating their very own garden to take home. This is our smallest group yet with 24 participants, but the kids spirits are high as they gear up to learn about the exciting world of bugs. As always, the Dallas Zoo is looking for pen pals. As their leader I like to tie in a particular theme with a writing assignment. Plus it helps connect our kids with others around the country who share their common interest in bugs.
4 Papua New Guinea Page 4 Sue Tallarico of the Tree Kangaroo Conservation Program took a trip to Thailand and sent these photos and stories! "The deep fried bugs were from the markets in Bangkok. Looked like mostly crickets, grasshoppers, beetles, and mealworms in various sizes...we saw some local school children, some adults, and even some young monks ordering up some bugs." "We saw the beetle and many like him flying around and buzzing in and out of the forest. They looked bright blue when the sun hit them. These beetles were seen at the Doi Inthanon National Park in Chaing Mai Province, home to Thailand's highest peak of 2465m. This areas is special and had many endemic species because of its high altitude...endemic species that live at specific altitudes are some of the species that may be deeply effected by climate change. Many species of insects are already being found higher up on mountains than in past years...and soon, they may not have any higher up to go and may be all competing for the same smaller area! This is why we need to act fast and slow down climate change! "
5 Papua New Guinea Page 5 The last bug photo that Sue shared from Thailand is a mystery bug! Here is what Sue wrote about it - can you help Sue identify the mystery bug? your ideas to "We were walking around a garden area in the national park outside of Chaing Mai and one of the local village women brought this insect up to us. She also took us to one of the trees and showed us the larval form which generally looked like a black caterpillar type grub! She said that a researcher from the US was in their village studying this insect in previous years." Sue examines a BIG moth in Thailand Photos courtesy Sue Tallarico and Toby Ross, Tree Kangaroo Conervation Program
6 Outdoor Arthropod Explorations Page 6 Observing Bugs at Night! A nice summer evening is the perfect time to head out for a family bug hunt! Many insects are attracted to light at night, so by inspecting lights around your yard or neighborhood at night, you can find out what type of insects live near you. You can also let the bugs come to you by setting up a blacklight bug observatory in your backyard. You can use a small blacklight (available at science stores or from the internet for $20 or less) and a light-colored sheet. If possible, hang the sheet up in your yard (draping a sheet over a clothesline works well) and hang the blacklight in front of the sheet. Bugs that are attracted to the light will land on the sheet where you can see them more easily (a small flashlight will help) or you can capture them to observe them temporarily. What questions do you have about nocturnal insects? How could you investigate those questions by observing bugs at night in your neighborhood? You can share your discoveries in the next Worldly Antenna newsletter by ing them to More ideas for investigating bugs at night: Nighttime Bug Watching This praying mantis was attracted to alantern on the dinnertable in a safari camp in Kenya! Photo by Katie Remine
7 Bug Games! Shisima Page 7 Shisima is a "board" game from western Kenya, though it is often played by drawing the gameboard in soft dirt. "Shisima" translates to "body of water" and the game pieces are called "imbalavali" which translates to "water bugs" -- the movement of the pieces during play resembles the quick skimming of bugs over the surface of a body of water! Using an octagonal shape with spokes, each player moves their three playing pieces, trying to make a straight line running through the middle of the board. This is one of many types of row games or "alignment games," which include tic-tac-toe and a variety of other games from around the world. You can make your own shisima game by drawing the octagon and spokes (in the dirt, on a piece of paper, on cardboard) and using three light-colored and three darkcolored plastic bugs as pieces. If you're in Seattle, you can also come play Shisima at Woodland Park Zoo; you'll find a Shisima board engraved into the concrete floor of the Banda Hut in African Village! For instructions on how to play and more about Shisima, see this page from the Elliott Avedon Museum and Archive of Games at the University of Waterloo in Canada: VirtualExhibits/rowgames/shisima.html Shisima play begins with the pieces arranged as shown above. Taking turns, each player moves one piece along a line to an empty space. To win, one player must get their three pieces into a straight line, with one of their pieces in the center of the board. Pieces cannot jump over other pieces. A tie is called if the same sequence of moves is repeated three times. Mt. Kilimanjaro (in Tanzania) seen from Kenya
8 Calendar Page 8 "Hey Little Ant" Essay ChallengeU Thanks for everyone's great submissions to the Hey Little Ant essay challenge. You can see the winning entries here: Ants on sagebrush Photo by Katie Remine Submission and Publication Dates for 2008 Leaders, please compile submissions for The Worldly Antenna from your and have them in by the Submission date below. You can send stories, photos (high resolution), drawings (scanned), ideas for bug club activities, or bug explorations for Bug Club families to try together at home. Send your submissions to We look forward to your contributions! Submission Publication June 9 June 22 September 15 September 28 December 1 December 14