KSN - Vol 12, No 3 - What Good are Insects?Volume 12, Number 3 - February 1966

What Good are Insects?

by John Breukelman

ABOUT THIS ISSUE

Published by The Kansas State Teachers College of Emporia

Prepared and Issued by The Department of Biology, with the cooperation of the Division of Education

Editor: John Breukelman, Department of Biology

Editorial Committee: Ina M. Borman, Robert F. Clarke, Helen M. Douglass, Gilbert A. Leisman, David F. Parmelee, Carl W. Prophet

Online format by: Terri Weast

The Kansas School Naturalist is sent upon request, free of charge, to Kansas teachers, school board members and administrators, librarians, conservationists, youth leaders, and other adults interested in nature education. Back numbers are sent free as long as the supply lasts, except Vol. 5, No.3, Poisonous Snakes of Kansas. Copies of this issue may be obtained for 25 cents each postpaid. Send orders to The Kansas School Naturalist, Department of Biology, Kansas State Teachers College, Emporia, Kansas.

The Kansas School Naturalist is published in October, December, February, and April of each year by The Kansas State Teachers College, 1200 Commercial Street, Emporia, Kansas. Second-class postage paid at Emporia, Kansas.


With one exception, the pictures were drawn by Dr. Robert J. Boles, whose drawings and text have appeared in many previous issues. The drawing on page 14, reprinted from the first issue, was drawn by Dr. Robert F. Clarke, who was then a senior student in the Department of Biology.


What Good are Insects?

by John Breukelman

Most people think of insects as pests to be swatted, stepped on, poisoned, trapped, sprayed, sterilized, fumigated, or otherwise abolished at every possible opportunity. Most of us have heard or used the expression "insect pests" so often that we have either forgotten about the beneficial species or have never even learned that beneficial insects exist. Actually, most species of insects are beneficial to the "economy of nature" and therefore to us. Fewer than one per cent of the thousands of species of insects are definitely known to be harmful or destructive.

Most of us are quite familiar with the destructive species. They are the well advertised grasshoppers, chinch bugs, mosquitoes, fleas, lice, roaches, aphids, thrips, weevils, scale insects, termites, botflies, bagworms, and many more. But in this issue of The Kansas School Naturalist we shall ignore the pests and concentrate on the far more numerous insect species that are directly and indirectly beneficial. Instead of thinking of the 15 to 20 per cent of the annual food crop damaged by insects, we shall take note of the other insects without which we would have almost no food crops at all. We shall think of honeybees, fig wasps, carrion beetles, mayflies, midges, dragonflies, ladybird beetles, silkworms, and others so valuable to us that without them our society could not even exist in anything like its present form.

Brayton Eddy, in an Audubon Nature Bulletin published in 1946 and reprinted six times, had this to say:

There is a feeling on the part of many people that if Noah, in the long, long ago, had held up a No TRESPASSING sign and denied insects entrance to the Ark, we would have been spared a heap of trouble. But they are mistaken. Noah knew what he was about. Insect lives are so closely enmeshed with our own lives that we cannot do without them.

POLLINATORS
As pollinators alone, many insects are deserving of our protection. Suppose they had perished in the flood. . . what then?
The chances are that today we would be largely dependent upon bananas for breakfast, if we wanted to enjoy a staple fruit. Because the pollen of oranges, plums, figs and apples, blackberries, raspberries, grapes and sweet cherries is moist, it cannot well be carried by the wind. But it does adhere to the bodies of visiting bees, wasps, flies, moths, and butterflies which, in their ceaseless quest for nectar, are inadvertently used as pollen distributors. Except in the case of bananas, which have dry pollen, insect services are important in the formation of self-sterile and self-fertile fruits.
In commercial orchards, honeybees are employed as pollinating agents because their activities are subject to man's control. Their bodies are hairy and their hind legs modified to carry the precious dust. They are inclined to work one type of blossom to the exclusion of all others so long as the nectar flow is abundant. One colony of honeybees to an acre of orchard, under favorable flight conditions, has been known to increase the apple yield by 350 per cent. With fruit scarce in an insect-free world, except for bananas, what choice of vegetables would there be for luncheon? Corn, because corn is a grass and grasses are wind-pollinated. On the other hand tomatoes, peas, beans, cauliflower, squash, onions, cabbages and most other food vegetables will not set seed or bear fruit to any great extent without the aid of insects. They could be pollinated by hand, or perhaps stimulated to produce by other artificial means, but the cost to the consumer would be staggering.
By dinner time, in an insect-free world, a meat course would be welcomed. Pork is plentiful because pigs eat corn, also beef and mutton because cattle and sheep are grazing animals, but the latter meats would be of inferior grade because the best forage crops are lacking. Legumes, such as clover and alfalfa, require insects for the mass production of seed! Poultry and marine fish are on the menu; but you search in vain for those fresh-water game fish which are dependent upon aquatic insects or insect-eating organisms for food. There are no flowering plants to adorn the banquet table. In fact, it is doubtful if there were any before the advent of insects. Coffee, tea, cocoa and the best soft drinks are lacking; also chocolates, salted nuts and after-dinner smokes. Silk stockings do not grace my lady's lower appendages, and neither cotton nor linen tablecloths are possible. The charm of subtle music and gay plumage has largely gone from the garden because most songbirds have disappeared along with their favorite food...
By pollinating legumes, such as clover and vetch, insects provide us with desirable cover crops to anchor topsoil against erosion. Within this valuable soil we would be unable to maintain the yield of our orchards, gardens, forests and plains except at prohibitive cost. Because legumes also have nitrogen-fixing bacteria in their roots, they enrich the soil and thereby cut down 9n the need for certain commercial fertilizers.

In addition to pollination, so aptly described by Eddy, insects are valuable for the products they supply, for use as food by other animals and in some countries by people, for soil improvement and in some cases soil building, as scavengers, as predators or parasites attacking other insects, in weed control, in scientific research, for hobbies, and in appealing to creative interests in art and music. Frost, in his general book on insect life, includes an extensive list of references to insects useful to man, either directly or indirectly.

INSECT PRODUCTS

We get many useful products from insects-honey and wax from bees, china wax from a scale insect, shellac from the lac insect, the red pigment cochineal ("lipstick red") from a scale insect that lives on various species of cactus, silk from the silkwork moth, and tannin and turkey red from insect galls produced by plants. A species of scale insect of which occurs on trees about Mount Sinai secretes a flaky edible material thought by many to have been the biblical manna of the children of Israel.

The world of honey manufacture is one of small size and large numbers. A honeybee is only a half inch long and it takes hundreds of them to weigh an ounce, but there are as many as 50,000 in a single hive. Teale says in his book about bees that:

In an isolated section of Wyoming some years ago, research scientists of the U. S. Department of Agriculture installed several beehives. The nearest source of nectar was an irrigated alfalfa field, eight miles away. The bees soon found the flowers and began making sixteen-mile roundtrip flights to bring the nectar home. Calculations revealed the amazing fact that these half-inch insects were flying nearly 300,000 miles in storing up a single pound of honey. Even in regions where flowers abound, a pound of honey represents a combined flight mileage of approximately 50,000 miles, the equivalent of two circuits of the globe!
Thus one bee, working a lifetime, could never produce a pound of honey. As many as 37,000 loads of nectar may go into the production of this amount of concentrated sweets. According to the noted British scientist, J. Arthur Thomson, worker bees from one hive will visit more than a quarter of a million blooms in a single day. Returning home, with their tiny wings supporting a load of nectar equal to half the entire weight of the bee, my insects travel at a speed of about fifteen miles an hour. On long journeys, the laden bees stop for occasional rests. Sometimes, in crossing lakes and rivers, bees become exhausted, fall into the water and drown.

But honey is not the only important product of bees. Teale says in the same book that:

Beeswax, in fact, is just as strange and interesting a solid as honey is a fluid. Its unusual properties have made it useful in an infinite number of ways in the world of men as well as of bees. This wax is employed in lubricants, in salves, in ointments, in harness Oils, in phonograph records, in sealing wax, in furniture polish, and in some types of varnishes. Electrical coils sometimes use it as an insulator. The finest candles are made from beeswax. And, at the present time, more than half a million pounds a year go into the production of comb foundations which apiarists place in the hives, permitting the bees to build up the sides of the cells and thus save valuable time for nectar hunting. In fact, so varied and extensive is the demand for beeswax that the production in the United States is insufficient to meet the need.

USE AS FOOD

There are so many kinds of insects, and they and their products are so easily obtained it is not surprising that insects provide much food for many different kinds of animals. Insects, including their eggs and larval stages, comprise an important part of the diet of many of the valuable forms of wildlife. Mayflies, stoneflies, midges, and other insects are important as food for trout and other fishes. Indeed an abundant supply of insects is essential to the sport of fly fishing. Mealworms are raised and sold in large numbers for feeding birds and various kinds of laboratory animals. Many carnivorous animals, such as skunks and foxes, rely heavily on insects for food, as do many game and song birds.

Insect-eating birds are especially susceptible to damage by DDT and other poisons used as insecticides. The poisons accumulate in the bodies of the insects and remain after the insects die.

KSN - Vol 12, No 3 - honey bee illustration

The honey bee illustrates the ways in which the parts of an insect's body, especially the legs, are developed for special functions. The hind leg, with its pollen packer and pollen basket, is an outstanding example of the specialization of a single organ.

 

Adults and eggs of water boatmen are collected in large numbers and used as food by man in Egypt, Mexico, and various other countries. They have been imported into England for food. In India and other Asiatic countries the dried bodies of locusts are ground into a powder which is used somewhat like flour. In certain parts of Africa large termites are roasted and eaten as we eat peanuts. I have seen toasted grasshoppers, pickled bee larvae, and various other insect products on the shelves of super¬markets in many cities. Would you like to try eating some insects?

SOIL CONDITIONING

Huge numbers of insects live in the soil in one or more of their developmental stages, or lay their eggs in the soil. It has been estimated that more than 90 per cent of all insects spend at least a part of their lives in the soil. Most of these penetrate only to the upper two or three inches of the soil, but some beetle larvae have been found as deep as six feet below the surface. Such insects as ants and beetles carry on a continuous process of soil cultivation, bringing subsoil to the surface and burying organic matter within the soil. Soil insects also leave their organic bodily wastes and eventually their own dead bodies, thus further enriching the soil. Their burrows enable water to penetrate more readily and also help the circulation of oxygen and other gases through the soil.

KSN - Vol 12, No 3 - mayfly illustration

The mayfly is one of many species of insects that live nearly their entire lives in water. The immature stages of such insects as mayflies, stoneflies, caddisllies, midges, and even mosquitoes, provide an important source of food for fishes.

 

SCAVENGERS

A scavenger is usually defined as a species that feeds on waste material, resulting from the decomposition of plant or animal matter or on the waste products of animals. Insects are among the most important of the scavengers. In the Audubon Nature Bulletin mentioned above, Brayton Eddy continued as follows:

About 17 per cent of all insect species are scavengers. One of their tasks is to keep Nature's premises neat and clean. In India alone scarab-beetles are said to bury 60,000 tons of decaying matter daily. Burying beetles, scarcely an inch long, with black and red markings, are clever at disposing of the dead. They will even bury rabbits and squirrels, giants compared with themselves, by digging the earth from beneath them.
Often they work cooperatively. Four such beetles in fifty days were observed to inter 3 small birds, 4 frogs, 2 fish, 1 mole, 2 grasshoppers, the entrails of a small fish and 2 pieces of ox liver. Like dogs, they will often lay by far more than they can readily consume. Carrion beetles, certain ants and blow-fly-maggots are also noted land scavengers, whereas seaside earwigs work along the tidal zone. And there are large scavenger beetles which live in fresh water.
Although insects are important scavengers in their own right, they are perhaps even more valuable in the general economy of Nature as aids to bacterial and fungus decay. By tunneling through the bark of dead trees and the skin of dead animals, they provide dark and damp pockets in which these lesser organisms can quickly pursue their work of disintegration. Without this service the earth in time would become strewn with a vast accumulation of dead, unchanging bodies within which would be locked the elements essential to green plant growth and even to our own existence. Anyone who has visited a region after a forest fire or a hurricane, then visited it again several years later, can appreciate the importance of quick reconversion in which insects play so prominent a part.
We are not accustomed to think of borers and termites as beneficial. They are not when they destroy live trees, lumber or buildings; but when they attack dead trees, they are simply hastening the breakdown of the old for re-use in Nature's building-up process.

PREDATORS

About one sixth of all the known species of insects are predators, that is, they attack and eat other animals. Many of these, such as ground beetles, are highly useful since they prey largely on other insects that are harmful to man's interests. Among the best known insect predators, and also among the most valuable to man, are the ladybird beetles, also known as lady beetles or lady "bugs." These prey on aphids (plant lice) scale insects, spider mites, the eggs of many harmful insects, the larvae of the corn ear worm and the cotton leafworm, and many other harmful species. Both the larvae and adults of the lady birds are predatory. Individual ladybird larvae have been observed to eat from 11 to 25 aphids per day, and adults from 16 to 56 per day. In California and elsewhere, certain species of lady¬birds are collected in great numbers and also raised commercially to distribute in citrus fruit groves for protection against scale insects.

KSN - Vol 12, No 3 - praying mantis

The praying mantis is a member of the Order Orthoptera. which includes also such pests as many of the grasshoppers and crickets.

KSN - Vol 12, No 3 - hellgrammite

The hellgrammite, which is the immature stage of the dobsonfly, is an important fish food, and also a favorite form of bait for fishing.

KSN - Vol 12, No 3 - caterpillar

This caterpillar has been parasitized by a braconid and will therefore not live to damage field and garden crops and to reproduce.

KSN - Vol 12, No 3 - ichneumon

The ichneumon is sometimes feared by people who think the long "drill" is a stinger. It is really the ovipositor of this helpful insect.

Another valuable predator is the praying mantis (which is also a preying insect) so called from the attitude in which it holds its forelegs, as though in prayer. The mantis feeds largely on flies, grasshoppers, and various species of garden insects. The prey is grasped and held by the large spiney forelegs. The mantis has been widely introduced, and egg masses are often collected and sold for the establishment of new populations in gardens and fields.

Probably the most widely distributed of the useful predatory insects are the ground beetles. These prey upon other insects, in both their larval and adult stages. Most species (there are more than twenty-five hundred species in the United States) run around on the ground in search of prey or hide under rocks, logs, and trash, to lie in wait for prey. They are particularly fond of soft-bodied caterpillars, which can be caught easily. Ground beetles are most active at night, but are also seen during the daytime.

Other valuable predatory insects are dragonflies (also commonly known as mosquito hawks), many species of ants, and many species of wasps.

PARASITES

Many species of insects are parasites, that is they live in or on the bodies of other animals. Some of these insect parasites have proved useful in the control of other species of insects. So important are they that the United States Department of Agriculture has grown a variety of parasites to use against such destructive insects as the Oriental fruit moth and European cornborer.

A wasp of the family Braconidae, often referred to as the militant noctuid parasite, lay its eggs in the bodies of caterpillars. A Single female may lay as many as a thousand eggs, as many as fifty to seventy in a single caterpillar. In about five days the eggs hatch into larvae which feed on the tissues of the caterpillar. After about nine days of growth the larvae emerge to form cocoons. Braconid flies are thus useful in the control of cater¬pillars that damage many species of crop and garden plants. Braconids have on occasion been raised commercially and distributed in garden areas.

Perhaps you have seen an ichneumon fly drilling holes into the bark of a tree, and have thought that the insect was damaging the tree. Actually, the ichneumon was searching the tree trunk for trails of boring insects, most likely the tunnels of horntail larvae. These larvae do considerable damage to the wood of elm, maple, oak, sycamore, and many other species of trees. The ichneumon is the chief natural enemy of the horntail, so we have here an example of one insect controlling another of the same order. The horntail and ichneumon are both members of the order Hymenoptera, which includes the ants, bees, and wasps.

WEED CONTROL

Insects can be of great value in the control of noxious weeds. In the Pacific Coast states the poisonous Klamath weed threatened to destroy grazing areas in the Western ranges. In an attempt to control Klamath weed, a species of beetle which feeds only upon Klamath weed was introduced from Australia. The beetle proved effective in the control of the weed, but does not live well near roads and highways. Thus a narrow margin of Klamath weed grows along the roads, invading the ranges whenever beetle populations decline. However, the beetle reproduces rapidly and soon pushes the invading Klamath weed back to the highway margin.

A similar method of control has been used on prickly pear cactus in Australia. The cactus, which was introduced from Mexico for livestock feed, overran extensive areas of grazing range. All control methods failed until an insect that normally feeds on the prickly pear was introduced, the Cactoblastis moth from Argentina. From 1928 to 1930 a great number of eggs of the moth were distributed in prickly pear cactus territory, with result that by 1933 the last dangerous area of prickly pear had been cleared. While prickly pear cactus has not been eradicated from Australia, it no longer does any serious damage.

SCIENTIFIC RESEARCH

Insects have long been used in science and in the applications of science, such as medicine. From prehistoric times various species of insects were reputed to have medical properties. One preparation, extracted from the bodies of bees, was used in treating diphtheria, scarlet fever, dropsy, erysipelas, and hives. Today, most of the medical preparations formerly derived from insects have been replaced by synthetic chemicals, but many forms of insects are regularly used for scientific purposes.

You may remember reading in your biology textbook that a pure long-winged (L) fly with ebony body (g) mated with a vestigial-winged (1) gray-bodied (G) one produces all long-winged gray-bodied offspring in the first generation, these traits being dominant, and that these first generation hybrids, when inbred, produce a 9:3:3:1 ratio of long gray, long ebony, vestigial gray, and vestigial ebony flies in the second generation. These are of course traits of the small but important fruit fly Drosophila often seen about decaying and fermenting fruit. It has been suggested that someone should build a much larger than life sized monument to this small fly (less than a tenth of an inch long), which has contributed more than any other species to our knowledge of such basic aspects of heredity as sex determination, linkage, sex-linked inheritance, to name but a few. You may thank Drosophila for contributing enough to the science of genetics to repay for the damage done by its cousins, the housefly, deerfly, and clusterfly. Drosophila is used in thousands of experiments in the transmission of heredity traits, the effect or radiation on heredity, and other similar problems. It has a life cycle of less than two weeks, is small, and is easily reared in tremendous numbers in the laboratory.

The lowly cockroach has been used in hundreds of experiments in physiology. It is easily raised in large numbers, thrives on a great variety of diets, responds well to many kinds of experimental stimuli, and is subject to only a few diseases.

HOBBIES

While most insects that are collected, identified, and mounted are taken by persons with scientific interests, many are collected by hobbyists. The insect collecting hobby ranks along with those of camping, bird watching, water skiing, hunting, and fishing. It attracts thousands of individuals to the outdoors and forms the basis for a considerable industry. The insects collected most often by hobbyists are of course the showy butterflies and moths, the beetles with their iridescent colors, and other larger forms.

There are many insect hobbies other than collecting. The flea circus is not just a figment of the imagination-trained fleas actually exist and are taught to perform. In the Orient, cicadas and crickets are put in small cages and sold in markets. In Japan there is a celebration week known as "The Festival of the Singing Insects." The biological supply houses sell insect breeding chambers, insect observation homes, ant nests, observation bee hives, and collapsible insect cages. To be sure, most of these are used for scientific or educational purposes but many are bought by people who like insects solely as a hobby. Insect photography can be one of the most interesting as well as the most rewarding of nature study hobbies. You will need a camera that can be focused sharply on objects as near as an inch or two to the lens, for most insects are small.

Hillcourt, in his book on nature activities gives suggestions and aids for many other insect hobbies. Partridge also suggests activities that can be carried on during various seasons of the year.

ART AND MUSIC

The bodies and products of insects have entered into the arts of many peoples. Insects are mentioned frequently in the writings of poetry and philosophy, secular and sacred, popular and classical, ancient and modern. The folklore of nearly all peoples includes stories about insects. The Bible and the holy writings of other religions contain many references to insects. The Egyptians selected the scarab as the symbol of their sun God. American Indians used designs based on insects, sometimes in highly conventionalized form, on their baskets, pottery, blankets, and other products. Insect designs of many kinds have had prominent places on coins, both ancient and modern. We find the patterns and coloration of insects and insect parts in the designs on china, silverware, paper water marks, and postage stamps.

In music we have Flight of the Bumblebee, The Dragonfly, Dance of the Mosquito, Minuet of the Fly, Song of the Flea, and Beetle's Dance.

All the above examples could be multiplied manyfold - only about one per cent of the known insects are harmful - and you may be interested in finding other examples of benefits we derived from insects. From the broad viewpoint, insects play an important role in nature, benefiting not only man but many other kinds of animals and many kinds of plants. We should keep this broad viewpoint in mind whenever people urge widespread general insect control. Such control, which may become possible with the development of chemical insecticides, will be highly undesirable. Large-scale insect destruction nearly always causes far more harm than it can prevent, because insects are so important, indeed essential, to so many valuable aspects of the living world.

HOW DO YOU COLLECT INSECTS?

There are many ways to collect insects. You may pick them up by hand, catch them with an insect net, or in a variety of traps.

The simple cloth insect net may be used to catch most flying insects. Nearly everyone has seen some happy "bug hunter" chasing a butterfly or dragonfly. Traps of various sorts are simple to construct and effective to use.

The simplest trap to construct is a sheet of white material draped from a tree with a light bulb behind it. Hanging a bulb over a pail of water will collect many insects. A piece of paper attached to a wall, with the outer end bent into a V will funnel insects into a collecting jar. A mixture of molasses and sugar or syrup and sugar will attract moths if placed on trees on a summer evening.

One of the best places to collect insects is in the flowers of your garden or yard. Flowers attract moths, butterflies, bees, ants, wasps, flies, and even beetles and true bugs. Many different kinds and sizes of insects may be found with a little effort.

Shores of ponds and streams are good places to find dragonflies, damselflies, whirligig beetles, water striders, toadbugs, scavengers, and water boatmen. Other insects, such as butterflies and moths, may be found here also.

Many beetles and true bugs may be found on the ground; under leaves, boards, and stones, or in rotten logs or dung. Many beetles are associated with decaying flesh, along with fly larvae.

KSN - Vol 12, No 3 - insect net illustrations

The dimensions of this home made insect net fit the ordinary coat hanger, but the same kind of net can be made in any desired size.

 

Parts of plants, other than flowers, have many insects associated with them. Many insects may be found resting, laying eggs, or using the plants for shelter.

The most productive place to collect numbers of insects is around a light in the summer. Many flying, crawling, or hopping insects collect around a light and are easily picked up. As many as fifty species of insects may be collected in a single evening.

KSN - Vol 12, No 3 - night bug collection illustration

During what part of the night do you think this device yields most insects - early evening, near midnight, or just before daybreak?

THINGS TO DO

  1. Collect the insects from the home garden.
  2. Collect the insects from a field or woods.
  3. Compare the insects from the garden or woods.
  4. Construct an insect observation cage.
  5. Start and maintain an ant colony.
  6. Collect the butterflies from your school yard.
  7. Find a butterfly pupal case and follow its development.
  8. Imbed the insects from your area in plastic.
  9. Visit the insect collection at a college or university.
  10. Make an insect net. The one shown is made of a wire coat hanger, a piece of cheesecloth or other open-weave cloth, and a broomstick handle.
  11. Make an insect cage. The following instructions are quoted from the December, 1958 issue of The Kansas School Naturalist:


MATERIALS
two round cake pans or pie tins
screen
wire or staples
plaster of Paris
small branch

PROCEDURE
Make a cylinder of the screen, of the right size to fit into the pan or tin to be used. Overlap the edges of the screen and fasten with wire or staples.

Make a mixture of water and plaster of Paris and pour into one pan or tin. At the point of solidification, press the screen cylinder into the plaster of Paris;also insert the branch into the plaster of Paris, in the position it is to occupy after the plaster hardens.

Use the other pan or tin to put on top of the cylinder, to serve as a lid. Modifications of this type of container can be made by using different shapes and sizes of pans. Small containers which children can take with them on field trips can be made from pint ice cream cartons, or similar containers.

KSN - Vol 12, No 3 - window bugs illustration

A bit of history - this picture, which is pertinent to the present issue of The Kansas School Naturalist, appeared in the first issue, entitled "Window Nature Study," October, 1954. Not all of these insects are beneficial. but they are all "window insects" which may be seen in any school, for as the first issue said, "Schools differ in almost every way you can think of ---cost, construction, size, age, location, landscaping-but one feature they all have is windows. These are of many types and sizes, but they all have glass, most of them can be opened, and many of them are screened. Their function is to admit light and air, but this is not all. Windows provide excellent nature study laboratories.


IT IS NOT TOO EARLY TO START THINKING about the 1966 Workshop in Conservation, which will be conducted in two sections. As in the past, the Workshop will cover water, soil, grassland, and wildlife conservation, with emphasis on conservation teaching. There will be lectures, demonstrations, discussion groups, films, slides, field' trips, projects, and individual and group reports. The first section, during the first three weeks of the first summer term, is open to any interested person; there are no prerequisites. The second section, during the second three-week period of the first summer term, is devoted almost entirely to the production of teaching aids. Enrollment is therefore limited to those who already have an established interest in conservation education and some teaching experience.

Exact dates, fees, and other details will appear in the next issue of The Kansas School Naturalist. For further information write the director, Mr. Scott D. Hagen, Department of Biology, State Teachers College, Emporia, Kansas, 66802.

IF YOU HAVE A SPECIAL interest in birds, you may wish to join the Kansas Ornithological Society and be one of business people, lawyers, doctors, housewives, teachers, farmers, students, and others who have little in common except a love of nature, especially birds. The membership secretary is Miss Amelia J. Betts, Box 43, Baldwin City, Kansas, 66006. She will be happy to send you a sample copy of the Bulletin and give you information about the Society. Regular dues are $2.00 a year; student membership, $1.00. The annual meeting of the society is usually in May, and there is also a fall field day each year.


REFERENCES

Eddy, Brayton. 1946. What good are Insects? National Audubon Society, New York. 4 pp.

Farb, Peter. 1963. The lnsects. Time Inc., New York. 192 pp. (One of the Life Magazine Nature Library Series).

Frost, S. W. 1959. Insect Life and Insect Natural History, 2nd ed. Dover Publications, New York. 526 pp.

Hillcourt, William. 1950. Field Book of Nature Activities. G. P. Putnam's Sons, New York. 320 pp. (Includes a 49-page illustrated section on collecting, identifying, rearing, photographing, mounting, and preserving insects.)

Insects. 1952. Yearbook of the United States Department of Agriculture, Government Printing Office, Washington 25, D.C. 780 pp., 72 plates. (Includes several chapters on beneficial insects.)

Teale, Edwin Way. 1940. A Book About the Bees. Dodd, Mead & Company, New York. 208 pp.

Zim, Herbert S. and Clarence Cottam. 1951. Insects. Simon and Schuster, New York. 157 pp. (A Golden Nature Guide)

The long quotation from Brayton Eddy, "What Good are Insects?" is used by the courtesy of the National Audubon Society. This is one of a series of Audubon Nature Bulletins available at 15¢ per copy. A complete list of titles may be obtained from the National Audubon Society, 1130 Fifth Avenue, New York 28, New York. Some of the more recent Bulletins are Water Pollution Control, Our Threatened Air Supply, Life in Fresh Water Marshes, Mosquitoes and Other Flies, Ants and Their Fascinating Ways, Ways of Wildlife in Winter, Birds - Their Adaptations to Ways of Life.

 


AUDUBON SCREEN TOURS

The Department of Biology presents the ninth AUDUBON SCREEN TOUR SERIES in 1965-1966. This series consists of five all-color motion pictures of wildlife, plant science, and conservation personally narrated by leading naturalists. Two of the films for the 1965-1966 season remain; they will be presented in Albert Taylor Hall at 7:30 p.m. on the dates listed below. Both group and single admission tickets are available; for further information write Dr. Carl W. Prophet, Department of Biology, KSTC, Emporia.

H. Charles Laun, The Alpine Tundra, March 30, 1966.

Robert C. Hennes, Between the Tides, April 22, 1966.


"Statement required by the Act of October, 1962; Section 4369, Title 39, United States Code, showing Owners hip, Management and Circulation." The Kansas School Naturalist is published in October, December, February. and April. Editorial Office and Publication Office at 1200 Commercial Street, Emporia, Kansas. (66802). The Naturalist is edited and published by the Kansas State Teachers College, Emporia, Kansas. Editor, John Breukelman, Department of Biology.


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