As part of my research question I am trying to demonstrate that because of the high productivity in the glades (remember?) we’ll find more primary consumers (herbivores) and secondary consumers closer to glades than farther away. Well, the lizard stuff is looking good but it’s time now to start sampling those consumers in the shape of insect herbivores, particularly grasshoppers.
It turns out getting good density estimates of grasshoppers is hard. We started out by just hand catching all of the grasshoppers within a 1 meter square… not easy. So we decided to use this extremely fancy tool – a bugvac!
Only $200 will buy you a sawed off craftsman (now “aftsman”) dust buster with a special attachment on the front, basically a tube with a mesh cage to ensure the bugs are plastered to the wire and not minced in the machinery. Slick design eh? “An elegant weapon for a more civilized age”
Well, it turns out to be completely ineffective. After much waving about and enthusiastic sampling I didn’t manage to catch a single grasshopper. I decided on another tactic: spot a grasshopper and then move in with the bugvac. Much to my disappointment the grasshoppers seemed mostly bored by this strange new wind source. Some would hop away others would just stay put.