Did you know there is a huge variety of moths in South Australia? Currently on iNaturalist at least 668 species of moths have been observed in SA. An easy way to see some of this amazing diversity close up is to string up a sheet and a light after sunset and observe the moths (and other insects) you attract.
Participants observing the moths at the Moth night picnic (right Bruce Baker) .
On the 25th of March the team from Ferox Australis and Rossi from the Bee Hub collaborated on their third moth night at the Bee Hub at Brownhill Creek.
The night began with mingling over drinks and a picnic dinner of salad, local cheese and honey and home-made pizzas cooked fresh by Sophie in the outdoor kitchen. Meanwhile, the kids had fun exploring the Bee Hub property by trying out a nature scavenger hunt, climbing trees and swinging on the tree swing.
As the sun was setting everyone gathered in the picnic area to hear from the Ferox team. Nicole shared some key findings from her recently completed PhD research on nature-based play and learning in South Australian schools. Nicole explained that there are a number of benefits of nature-based play and learning for children; however, there are barriers that can get in the way of its use at school. These barriers include lack of time due to a crowded curriculum and limitations in teachers’ knowledge and confidence in using nature-based activities. She stated that these barriers need to be mitigated and enablers like supportive leadership and local champions to encourage the use of nature-based play and learning can help.
Nicole sharing her PhD research with the group.
Seamus gave the group an introduction to ‘what is citizen science?’ and described the important role citizens can play in contributing to science while also learning about biodiversity and the environment. Stephen then introduced the iNaturalist platform which allows anyone to contribute to citizen science by simply sharing observations of biodiversity. Participants’ observations form a database that can be used for research. The platform is also a great way for users to learn about the species they are observing. You can find information on how to use the iNaturalist platform here.
Finally, it was time to check out what had been attracted to our lamps. We observed a number of different species that we had not seen at our last moth night in January. A highlight was the striking Black-and-white Tiger Moth (Ardices glatignyi). You can check out our other observations here.
Black-and-white Tiger Moth (Ardices glatignyi), observed by Bruce Baker.
Larissa and some of our youngest participants checking out the moths.
The event wrapped up with a night walk along Brownhill creek to explore what else we could find after dark. There was plenty of activity, including a Badge Huntsman Spider (Neosparassus diana) and a koala!
The Badge Huntsman Spider (Neosparassus diana) was observed by Seamus.
Overall, a great evening was enjoyed by all. We are looking forward to our next moth night at the Bee Hub on April 29th. If you'd like to join us keep an eye on The GAINBioblitz Facebook page for the event, or join us at Mylor on April 9th.
iNaturalist projects you may like to join
City Nature Challenge 2022: Greater Adelaide April 29th 2022 - May 2nd, 2022.
Great Southern BioBlitz 2022 - Greater Adelaide October 28-31st 2022