biology zoology blog benno meyer rochow jamaican cave flies

Jamaican Cave Flies

Jamaican cave flies got rhythm!

Is it surprising that I hope the Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt will hold his world records over 100 and 200 m for many years to come? Is it surprising I have a soft spot for Jamaica? I suppose not, because two of my daughters were born there. But Jamaica is not just Usain Bolt: Jamaica is famous for rum, reggae and rhythm (and bauxite, but we’ll ignore that for now). —>—>

biology zoology blog benno meyer rochow insects in books

Booklife

No, not “living books”, but what “lives in books”!

Books can be full of life – and what an avid reader I was as a teenager and young man! But I don’t just mean the characters in the works of Maupassant, Gogol, Dostojewski, and many others; oh, and not to forget Moby Dick’s author Herman Melville. No, I have something else in mind: especially old and dusty books can present a veritable “habitat”, in which the food chain starts with the pages (or the glue that holds them together) and supports a variety of organisms. —>—>

zoology biology benno meyer rochow science blog forensic entomology

The Insect Crown Witness

Crucial testimony without words

Many years ago I spent several highly enjoyable and educational months on the Trobriand Islands (nowadays also referred to as Kiriwina Islands) off the coast of the south-eastern end of Papua New Guinea. The islands became famous, because of Bronislaw Malinowski’s 1929 ethnographic book “The Sexual Life of Savages in North-Western Melanesia”. Local residents over there display a considerable knowledge concerning insects and their lives and on several, occasions I was warned not to drink from this or that stream because a particular insect had been sighted on or near the water, indicating a poor status of the water’s drinkability. I was also warned not to proceed any further into the jungle, when a particular species of fly was spotted that occurred when an animal corpse was somewhere nearby. —>