In the tradition of my ecology forebears, especially Wallace, every once in a while I get a chance to collect and pin cool insects. I am thinking of extending my research project to also look at primary consumers (things that eat plants), and especially, grasshoppers along with a few other grass-dwelling predators, such as this mantid. Another researcher and I went out a few nights ago, took a quick survey of what was around and abundant and then I set to the task of pinning them for long-term preservation. There’s something gloriously nitpicky and relaxingly tedious about pinning insects. It’s both a creative outlet and a great time to focus carefully on a single task for several hours and zone out to an audio book (this one was Hunt for Red October). With any luck we’ll get the insects identified and added to the collection here at Mpala.