This year the theme insect at bugfest was…. drum roll please! ANTS!
Naturally our team had to help out! Completely voluntary and we were more than happy to be apart of this event. We brainstormed our events and what we wanted to showcase at the event. I feel like we came up with something truly awesome! And we were never at a loss of visitors at our tables.
People loved learning about the fire ant raft. Fire ants are special because they will actually grab hold of one another during a flood and create a raft. This can last for several days until they make it safely to another patch of land. The raft is very buoyant and will not sink.
We also had a section where people could look at the characteristics of different ants to try and compare the characteristics with their own personality traits to determine there spit ant. Thanks to Dr. Sorger, you can now find your spirit ant at the website below.
Visitors were able to try and identify different ant species by viewing mounted ants under a stereoscope and using a dichotomous key created by Dr. Sorger. One of my students was able to come and volunteer at our station and this was one of her favorite stations since we do not have stereoscopes at my school and she has never had the opportunity to look into one. It warmed by heart to see how excited she was and reminded me yet again why I do what I do.
Another station included information on how to identify if an ant is a fire ant, since in this area fire ants are the main ants that sting. We included a section that explained the pain index of different insect stings which showed that the sting of the bullet ant is by far the most painful sting a person could encounter. Fortunately, we do not have those ants in this area.
Bugfest was a huge success! If you missed it, you definitely missed out!
But don’t worry, there is always next year 🙂