Cranberry Lake Biological Station

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student research, biology, Adirondacks


Some of the most notorious insect pests in the world are members of the family Tabanidae. At the Cranberry Lake Biological Station, several species of Tabanidae’s occupy the area and use the students for blood meals, before depositing their eggs on plants overhanging water. To investigate solutions to this parasitism of CLBS, we placed an experimental trap alongside the standard Malaise trap at two locations, in an attempt to determine their habitat preferences and time of peak activity. We recorded the number of flies in each trap every two hours, over a twelve hour period. We also conducted a search for Tabanid eggs, in hopes of seeing if there is any preference of plant species and location, and how many clutches were invested by the female Tabanids into a single oviposition location. Because the experimental trap caught significantly more butterflies than any other insect, they were removed from the study to prevent further unnecessary casualties. It was discovered that the time of peak activity averaged around 5:00 pm, and that weather played a vital role in the levels of this activity. We also determined that there is a significant difference in adult habitat and oviposition location preferences, more commonly choosing stagnant over fast running water.


Second Place Shields Award Recpient



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