Under the Patronage of H.E. Sheikh Nahayan Mubarak Al Nahayan

 The ENHG
Al Ain Chapter

Newsletter

The Emirates Natural History Group, Al Ain Chapter, PO Box 18057, Al Ain      October, 2005– Issue #229

 
 
THE IBRAHIM ZAKHOUR TRIPLE CRESCENT TRILOGY:
EPISODE ONE – THE SEARCH FOR DONKEY SHIT
 
Scroll VI of The Sith Lord,
Robert Fay
photos by Dino Savva
A long time ago (well Thursday 6th October, 2005) in a land far, far away (well, just over the border in Oman), an intrepid group of ENHG summit seekers attempted to scale Jebel Qatar, so named after Jabba the Hutt’s long lost cousin’s birthplace. Eleven plucky hikers met at the unspeakably early hour of 06:30 am in the morning, before noon, hideously early in the day, and with no chance of a lie-on. With our Grand Master, the Yoda-like Bill Jones, looking suspiciously more like Chewbacca than the linguistically challenged green midget, who is proficient in the ways of the Force, we set off to conquer Jebel Qatar….

Bill was enthusiastically determined to use his skill in the ways of the Force to point out the various local wildlife to our party, but he didn’t reckon on the curse of the Irish jinx, the ginger haired Sith lord, Robert Fay, whose presence on any outdoor excursion will categorically thwart any budding David Bellamy or Richard Attenborough. And sure enough, despite Bill’s delusional optimism of spotting Arabian Oryx, mountain leopards, bactarian & dromederian camels, tawny owls and mountain eagles, the only wildlife our party actually saw were; 1 gecko which had hitched a ride from the Buraimi Hotel in Geoff’s car, 1 tiny lizard no bigger than a thumb nail, 1 dead goat and a few ants. The Sith Lord strikes again.


           The Sith Lord with apprentices on Jebel Qatar summit –2005 CE

‘But the mountain still had to be climbed and thanks to Bill’s spooky eidetic knowledge of the labyri-nthine ways up to the top, we were treated to an ever changing kaleidoscope of terrain mosaic. We got a taste of a water eroded wadi, treacherous scree, shady overhangs, and a descent down the narrow, claustrophobic “Chimney”, which shaved an hour off our return leg. And the view from the top was tremendous – an agora-phobic’s dream.
Some of our party won-dered how Bill could pick his way through such

This broadsheet is published free to families in the Al Ain area. If you are a member planning an activity with a natural history theme please notify us so that others can join you. Everybody is able to contribute to ENHG and Emirates recordings. For more on our activities please visit our website <www.enhg.org> or join our e-mail discussion group at ENHG@Yahoogroups.com. The Group meets at 7.30pm on the 2nd & 4th Tuesday of the month, usually at the Intercontinental Hotel. New Members are welcome.

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The ENHG   Al Ain Chapter Newsletter…                            October, 2005– Issue #229

THE SEARCH FOR DONKEY SHIT cont…


                    “Look out for the donkey shit and ignore the goat shit”
similar terrain and paths so effort-lessly, without the aid of a high tech GPS satellite transponder, or a cartographical contour contrast (CCC), i.e., a map to you and me; and repeatedly asked our wadi guru how he managed this naviga-tional feat. His mantra like answer never varied: “Look out for the donkey shit and ignore the goat shit”. At first, we thought that this was a touching concern for the state of our footwear. However, further questioning revealed that Bill relied on the scatological output of feral donkeys as his own version of Ariadane’s thread.
Apparently, these feral herds of asses (did the 11 humans climbing a mountain in 30+ degrees of heat constitute another herd?) are unerring in finding their way up and down the mountain, and the excrement of the more navigationally challenged goats is to be avoided like red herring. Indeed, the desiccated carcass of the dead goat mentioned earlier as one of the wildlife highlights is testament to the folly of following goat shit!!

And so it was that 11 humans could be seen climbing Jebel Qatar on Thursday morning, eyes down and olfactory senses heightened in the elusive search for fresh donkey droppings. And of course, needless to say, we never actually saw any live feral donkeys, despite Bill’s assurances that only two weeks prior, he’d seen the largest feral herd ever. In the end we were left wondering, if, like Hansel, Bill wasn’t surreptitiously discarding donkey turds along the path to create the illusion of wildlife, and to make asses out of the humans searching for the contents of asses’ asses. However, more careful analysis of Bill’s mantra reveals a worrying case – isn’t is scary that with the exception of David Bellamy, anyone could tell the difference between donkey shit and goat shit??

     “The Chimney”
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The ENHG   Al Ain Chapter Newsletter…                          October, 2005– Issue #229

THE SEARCH FOR DONKEY SHIT cont…

In all, there and back again took about 8 hours, and was a very enjoyable early October jaunt up a mountain, being wonderful to escape the hustle and bustle (well, almost) of Al Ain, to get a dose of fresh air (despite the donkey shit) and a dash of exercise. Oh, and lest I forget, not more than ten minutes from reaching the cars, we did indeed spot two majestic vultures hovering above in the thermals of the azure sky. I take it all back Bill!!

Thanks to the committee of the ENHG for organizing this climb and especially to Bill Jones. We’re looking forward to the next one.


UAE Weevils Identified at the Natural History Museum, London
article by Mike Gillett
photos by B. Reimer
On the 20th October, I had to visit the Natural History Museum in London to pick up some historical museum furniture that we had bought on e-bay. As my son Conrad has just moved to the Museum to do his MSc in Taxonomy and Biodiversity, it was an opportunity to meet up with him and with Max Barclay, the Museum’s beetle curator. I was keen to see some of the collection holdings of an American group of scarab beetles - the Phanaeini or rainbow dung beetles - and some of my other favourites, the ground beetles of the tribe Carabini.
In a way, the scarabs were disappointing as much of the material was out on loan to Dr. W.D. Edmonds, the American authority on this group. He is actively revising the interesting necrophagous genus Coprophanaeus. I should have been forewarned about this because my own material on this group from NE Brazil is also about to be sent to him for study. One other beetle that I was keen to see featured in my last-but-one talk to the Al Ain ENHG. It is Burchell’s Ground Beetle (Aplothorax burchelli) from St. Helena thought to be possibly extinct. I had never seen it and in my talk, I was only able to show its image from a 1982 postage stamp. Let loose in the collection, I was able to find a drawer with about 10 specimens. I was surprised to find that at about 3 cm, it was somewhat bigger than I had anticipated and despite its overall black colouration, its relationship to the much more colourful northern hemisphere Carabus and Chilean Ceroglossus was apparent. Shortly afterwards, I saw another friend, Howard Mendel, and was amazed to hear that he is shortly off to St. Helena on the Museum’s behalf. His mission? To attempt to rediscover Burchell’s Beetle and another endangered endemic insect, the St. Helena Giant Earwig, Labidura herculeana, at 8 cm, the world’s largest. I know that he will have an exciting trip and wish him lots of luck and success.
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The ENHG   Al Ain Chapter Newsletter…                          October, 2005– Issue #229

UAE Weevils cont…

One other thing that I did when planning my trip to the Museum was to sort out some specimens of UAE weevils that I had hitherto been unable to identify. Unfortunately, I was unable to access part of my collection for specimens, but I did take some 30 odd specimens representing five different species with me. Weevils are those beetles that have their head produced into a snout or, more correctly, rostrum. They are exclusively phytophagous (vegetarian) and usually, but not always small in size. The family name is Curculionidae and it is the largest family of animals in existence, even though several other families such as Attelabidae and Brentidae have recently been split from it. There are about 50 species found in the UAE, but they are not well known. However, one large member of the family is becoming better known and features quite often even in the UAE press. It is the Red Palm Weevil, Rhynchophorus ferrugineus, which was accidentally imported into the UAE and elsewhere in the region some 20 years ago. This highly damaging pest of date and other palms has spread from its original home in southern Asia to the whole of Middle East and North Africa and has even reached Spain.

 

Ammocleonus hieroglyphicus (Olivier)
Hypolixus rubicundrus South
Hypolixus nubilosus Boheman
Neocleonus sannio Herbst
 
The large number of weevil species makes their identification that much harder than for other beetles, but luckily weevils, like most other large groups, are subdivided into subfamilies and tribes. Before I left for the Museum, I already knew that four of my UAE weevils belonged to just one of these tribes, the Cleonini, and the fifth to a related genus called Lixus. Even with this information, the task would have been daunting if it had not been for Max’s help. He certainly knows his weevils and his advice helped me to make positive identifications for all four cleonines:
The Museum has numerous specimens of all four taxa and it was exciting to find several specimens with familiar collector’s names attached such as that of Harry St. John B.
Philby, the British explorer and arabist. In the end, time ran out and I was unable to complete the identification of the Lixus specimen, but this is a difficult genus. However, I have been encouraged by my small successes and I plan another visit to NHM before I take up my new job in the Caribbean in January. Next time, I will return with the Lixus, another cleonine, Larinus, found on Echinops globe thistles at A’bul and other weevils including two black and white species that mimic bird droppings.
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The ENHG   Al Ain Chapter Newsletter…                          October, 2005– Issue #229

Iftar Dinner 2005 Hosted by the Zayed Center for Heritage & History

article by Brien Holmes

On behalf of the members, I want to express my thanks to Barb Reimer who accepted the challenge this year to organize our annual Iftar Dinner, held for the third year in a row at the Zayed Center for Heritage and History. Close to 70 were on hand for the meal provided by the Al Ain Intercontinental Resort . . . the hotel staff under the excellent supervision of our good friend Pinto. That the evening went as smoothly as it did was evidence of the superb manner Barb organized the event for us. Thanks.

I also wish to thank Dr. Hassan Al Naboodah for all of his help and for his sincere enthusiasm! When I went to see him about the event in September, he had already booked the date and was looking forward to hosting the ENHG members! A special word of thanks for the traditional (local) sweets he provided as well as his generous gift of copies of the recently completed book containing all of the presentations made at the first Al Ain archaeology conference!

Last, but certainly not least, a sincere thank you to Dr. Abdullah Khuwaileh who stepped in on very short notice to be our guest speaker. His personal and often humorous remarks were very much appreciated.


The Zayed Center for Heritage and History hosted the fifth annual ENHG Iftar dinner
Photo by Steve Ehrenberg
MURPHY TURNER - REMEMBERED
by Bob Reimer
At the November meeting of the ENHG committee, it was decided to forward funds donated at the memorial service and by others in memory of Murphy to the Afghanistan Girls' School Project run by Solace International (http://www.solaceinternational.org), one of the ideas suggested by Becky. I have written to the director suggesting that if there was going to be a Murphy Turner Memorial in the internet center being built in one of the schools, these funds be used for that project. Otherwise, the amount funded a classroom supply kit, a teacher supply kit for one year and 31 student supply kits for one year. If others who did not have an opportunity to participate wish to donate to the same project, it is easy to do so online. I used the shipping name "In Memory of Murphy Turner" to flag the gift appropriately.

The committee also decided to purchase or have built a map cabinet to house the maps Murphy collected so diligently. A plaque will be attached to remind people of this generous, quiet spirit. He will be remembered by those who came to know him here in Al Ain. Rest assured, we will toast him at the Christmas-eve-in-the-desert celebration for many years to come.

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The ENHG   Al Ain Chapter Newsletter…                             October, 2005– Issue #229

October Field Trips

articles and photos by Bob Reimer

Jazira – October 7, 2005
Our first October field trip was to a favourite site, Jazira. This lovely little oasis was an excellent choice since it is uninhabited and we were likely to have it to ourselves. The wadi has several aspects to enjoy, especially for the newcomer. There is a good variety of vegetation in the well-kept oasis with the date palms, mangoes, bananas and pomegranates. The abandoned village features a little mosque and a variety of decaying traditional homes. The graveyard is covered by aloe vera. I enjoyed stalking the insect life in the oasis photographing damselflies, bugs, hoverflies and butterflies. After the oasis visit, the group headed for the pools where many enjoyed a refreshing swim or wade. A highlight of our time at the pools was watching the wadi fish fight over Will’s donated watermelon. A great day to start Ramadan.


            the blue-banded ishnura damselfly

the wadi fish fight over watermelon                 
Mutaredh Archaeological Site – October 13, 2005
We were fortunate to have to opportunity to visit a working archaeological site in Al Ain. Our friends at the Al Ain Museum invited us to their dig at the Mutaredh oasis near Jahli fort. The structures at the site likely saw multiple periods of occupation and appeared to be important buildings from the past century. Pots, tools and jewelry were found at the site and some were still in situ. The museum staff gave an interesting interpretation of what was being found and how the structures had been built. Thanks to Dia’eddin Tawalbek, Director of Archaeology, and Ibrahim Al Lababidi, Lab Supervisor of the Al Ain Antiquities and Tourism Department for this interesting tour.

                            the Mutaredh oasis near Jahli fort

The excavated mosque                         
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The ENHG   Al Ain Chapter Newsletter…                            October, 2005– Issue #229

October Field Trips cont...

Sunrise on Jebel Mahdah and walk at Al Khubayb – October 14, 2005
A surprisingly large group gathered early in the morning at Buraimi Hotel for the trip up Jebel Mahdah to view the sunrise. Because of the small parking area at the top, we piled into three vehicles and headed out. The road to the top the telecommunications site near the top of Jebel Mahdah is paved, but rains have eroded deep gullies making some of the ascent challenging. We arrived on time to settle on the plateau facing east some 450 meters above the wadi plain. As the sun peeked through the Hajar mountains at about 6:17 AM, shutters snapped furiously capturing the majestic vista. We had agreed to meet those who didn’t want to get up so early at the Mahdah fort at 7:30 AM so we headed down the Jebel at 7:15. Geoff Cosson led another group that met arrived at the meeting spot perfectly timed at 7:25 just as we arrived.

From Mahdah, we headed out towards Aboul. Rather then head into a familiar area, we chose to turn right just before Aboul and make a rare visit to the wadi just to the south, Al Khubayb. Al Khubayb appears to have been occupied for quite some time although it would appear that no one lives there now. The oasis is still tended though. As we drove in we could see evidence of stone walls and houses, terraced fields and a falaj. A small two-story fort commands the entrance to the oasis area of the wadi. We followed the falaj back to the wadi then further back to where a deep bowl had been carved in the rock by two converging streams. On the way back out, we stopped to take a closer look at the older falaj that had at one time brought access water from the oasis to the terraced fields a kilometre about a kilometre away. As some scrambled up the slope, I spotted a group of tiger beetles by a pool. Tiger beetles are notoriously hard to photograph because they are strong fliers and move very quickly. Fortunately I was able to get some good photos and then one settled into feeding along the edge of the pool. I was able to get some great shots but the session was cut short by shouts of “Yallah, Bob!!” from Brigitte. After the trip, I sent representative photographs off to our coleopterist, Mike Gillet. He was very pleased with the photos telling me that I actually had two species, and that the feeding one was a rare species, Lophyridia diania, previously only seen at Aboul and otherwise a rare inland species in Iraq and Iran. I was able to send him coordinates and pinpoint the location on a map, but didn’t think this was significant since the site was only a kilometre from Aboul. Mike responded that “since the known range of diania in A'bul is basically only from the small dam to about halfway down to the ford near the entrance gate (i.e. about 100m) the new record is significant. Makes me think that diania will turn up elsewhere. I remember that it was about 6-7


            the sun peeked through the Hajar mountains at about 6:17 AM
years before I found elongatosignata [the other species photographed that is now classified as common] in Khutwah despite looking for it many times. Might even be that diania will be found in the UAE sector of the mountains, especially as this would be nearer to its main range."

this stack of rocks - a djinn marker,or 
                   just a trail marker?
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The ENHG   Al Ain Chapter Newsletter…                             October, 2005– Issue #229

October Field Trips cont...

Jabeeb – October 21, 2005
Jabeeb is a favourite spot for two reasons: introducing newcomers to camels and interesting archaeology ranging from the recent past to iron age sites. Since the building of the border fence, many camel farms were moved from Oman to Jabeeb leading to one of the largest concentrations of racing camels in the UAE. The first stop was to see the camels which were, as usual, present in abundance. The next stop was the gatch pit to see the remains of wells and hearths. A number of large chunks of pottery were found that were evidently from very large vessels, perhaps as much as 1 metre high by 1 metre in diameter. We then moved on to a site that often yields pottery and remains of copper pots. Brien and Brigitte used the opportunity to demonstrate the copper testing kit. The site yielded a mass of decayed copper which was collected, then Brien crushed it with a mortar and pestle then put the crushed material in a glass bottle. Brigitte first added hydrochloric acid (HCl) to the bottle. If copper is present in the material, the hydrochloric acid will react with the copper to form copper salts (CuCl2). She then added ammonia (NH4OH) which, if copper is present, will form a blue precipitate of cupric hydroxide. The appropriate smoky reaction occurred and the liquid turned blue demonstrating the presence of copper. (For more information see http://home.att.net/~cat6a/metals-XIV.htm. Some interesting information on detecting copper deposits from orbit can be seen at http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/Study/ASTERProspecting/). A number of members also had fun at the site chasing a toad-headed agamid (Phrynocephalus arabicus) trying to get pictures of it.


                                  Collect samples
The move off the graded track to the sand proved problematic with the large number of vehicles on the trip. The last couple of cars had to be extracted. Those that made it through looked around a recent site with a lot of scattered material. This week the site yielded a typical haul of pieces of glass bracelet, spent ammunition, some small coins and a lovely bead

Crush sample                    

                                         test crushed sample

      Add hydrochloric acid then ammonia to check for
      typical copper reaction.
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The ENHG   Al Ain Chapter Newsletter…                              October, 2005– Issue #229

October Field Trips cont...

Subaitah – October 28, 2005
Subaitah is one of Jerry Buzzell’s favourite oases, so during the week a number of trip planners got the note: “Enough fooling around. It’s time to go to Subaitah. I’ll lead!” Subaitah is a well-tended oasis with a challenging falaj walk and some interesting archaeology. Lemons in the oasis were in fruit, but the rush of irrigation water that is often noted in the spring was absent as many of the plants are resting for next year. Oman lizards (Lacerta jayakari) were seen on the way into the oasis on the outside of a house and on the way out next to a field wall. I was seduced by the dragonflies around the cistern on the way out and then the bee flies that were darting about near where the falaj enters the oasis, so that by the time I got out to near the end of the falaj, the group was returning. Many people commented on the frequent presence of masses of snail shells next to the falaj. These are freshwater snails. They are special interest of Gary Feulner of the Dubai NHG, so samples were sent back for him with some guests who joined us from the Dubai group.


A number of Oasis Skimmer dragonflies (Orthetrum Sabina) (shown) and Carmine Darters (Crocothemis erythraea) faired around the settling pond. Both species tolerate poor water quality. Does that say something about the quality of water at Subaitah? (Giles, 1998, Tribulus 8.2)
This Oman Lizard played hide and seek on a courtyard wall on one of the buildings. (Jongbloed, 2000, Wild About Reptiles, p. 59)
 

The falaj at Subaitah is built into a steep slope. In a number of spots, the mountain wall overhangs the falaj requiring great care to navigate.
While most snail shells appeared to be white, these still
retained some colour. Or are they a different species?
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The ENHG   Al Ain Chapter Newsletter…                            October, 2005– Issue #229

October Field Trips cont...

article and photos by Robin Henry

Subaitah – another perspective
A group of 30 keen explorers turned up for our most recent walk into Subaitah. We were pleased to have with us a couple from the Dubai Branch of ENHG who had driven down for the day. For those who haven't been there, Subaitah is at the end of a smaller version of the Grand Canyon (much smaller), which has an almost vertical wall on one side and a less acute wall on the other. A well constructed concrete falaj extends for what must be nearly a couple of kilometres up the wadi. All 30 of us walked along the falaj to a water source where we sat for a while and recouped prior to our return. A couple of brave souls put their feet into the water, totally disregarding the likelihood of crocodiles, sharks and other potential hazards. The rest of us just sat about and relaxed as you can see from photos one and two.


                         The old village and reservoir
During our walk we passed through a small village with an intermediate water tank and signs of recent inhabita-tion, but no inhabitants either animal or human. Photo three shows part of the village. Palms grow there and also several citrus and fig trees.
The falaj contained numerous creatures throughout its
 

close encounters of the falaj kind                    

                              The group relaxing in the shade by the water
length that many of us thought looked like common garden variety frogs, but which, we were told by an apparently authoritative source, were in fact toads. Not only did we have a great walk and good company, but we learned that all frogs aren't frogs!
Several people encountered wasps and one or two very small lizards were seen scurrying out of the way of the 30 pairs of feet, some of whose owners needed to hang on to the hanging wall adjacent to the falaj.
Jerry conducted a short debrief after our walk before we mounted our vehicles and headed back to Al Ain, another great adventure under our belts and about which we could write home."
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The ENHG   Al Ain Chapter Newsletter…                            October, 2005– Issue #229

Field Trip Guidelines


Just by way of a reminder, here are the field trip guidelines for ENHG outings. We don’t like to insist, at the last minute that someone ‘should not accompany the group” because we don’t think they are wearing appropriate clothing – this is a volunteer group – so please, volunteer to read the following – and then, if in doubt, don’t wear it – cover up and protect your skin from the sun! – Wear solid shoes or boots – not flip flops or sandals.
A. Dress Code
o Observe the usual courtesies in a Muslim country.
o Loose garments made from cotton or natural fibres are preferred for comfort (heat and movement). Long-sleeved shirts and long pants provide the best sun protection, protect against scrapes and scratches and are culturally sensitive.
o Shorts should extend below the knee if they must be worn.
o Women wearing shorts or a sleeveless top should bring a shawl and/or shirt to ‘cover-up’ if necessary.
o It is recommended that you wear a hat, headscarf or other covering.
o Suitable footwear is particularly important. Backless shoes do not afford sufficient protection or support. Members have been stung in the toe by wasps while wearing sandals, so they are not recommended.
B. Essential Provisions
o Heat exhaustion is always an important consideration. It is recommended that EACH individual carries two (2) litres of water for personal consumption.
o It is also prudent to use a sunblock.
o Try to carry your possessions so that you are comfortable and your hands are free.
o Please do not leave valuables (phone, cash etc) in your vehicle; regrettably there are break-ins at some villages.
C. General Fitness
o Our objective is to include as many people as possible in each of our activities.
o Certain medical conditions may mean that you are not able to participate fully. Some field trips are more strenuous than others.
o If you have a medical condition, or doubts about your fitness to participate, it is vital that you advise the trip leader beforehand. Once we are aware of your condition, you will be able to participate and we will only intervene if you experience difficulties.
o Diabetics should bring sugar lumps and asthmatics must bring their inhalers.
o Whatever the level of your involvement, we try to see that each field trip is rewarding and interesting for all concerned.
D. Preparation
o Review the convoy driving guidelines if you will be taking your own vehicle on the trip.
o It is strongly recommended that you check the website and Internet to gain an insight to the area or subject being visited.
o If you have a question, please contact a Committee member or send an email to the group members at enhg@yahoogroups.com.

YOU WILL THANK YOURSELF FOR FOLLOWING THESE GUIDELINES IF YOU EVER HAVE TO HELP SOMEONE ELSE BACK TO THE CARS BECAUSE THEY SLIPPED OR FELL OR WERE EMBARRASSED BY LOCALS.

PREVENTION IS WORTH TEN TIMES MORE THAN REPAIR!

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The ENHG   Al Ain Chapter Newsletter…                            October, 2005– Issue #229

Field Trip Guidelines cont...


The above map shows most of the important ENHG locations in Al Ain. We meet twice a month at the Intercon Hotel, We have a Resource room at the Al Ain English Speaking School (AAESS). We meet at the Buraimi Hotel quite often before going out on weekends. The al Ain National Museum is a meeting place and also a great place to visit! We take news of any great new finds to the curator of the museum, Dr. Walid.
The Recycling Center for paper and metal is at the AAESS (gate closest to town).
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The ENHG   Al Ain Chapter Newsletter…                          October, 2005– Issue #229

The ENHG Insect Collection

article & photos by Matthew Elliott

"Participants in the ENHG’s bug evening are introduced, in the course of their initial visits, to its magnificent collections of arthropods and insects. While species such as jewel beetles and death’s head moths draw the eye through their spectacular appearance, others delight by their names alone. To most a curious story of behaviour can be attached or some strange feature explained. Dr Brigitte Howarth pointed out a smallish picture wing fly whose wings bear a pattern resembling another, smaller fly and thereby deceive predators into lunging at the wings rather than at the creature itself.

After observation with the naked eye, the collection may be examined in detail either through microscopes or Bob Reimer’s fine close-up photography. Newcomers, however, do not merely watch but learn to record, handle and affix specimens. Like pictures they need to be hung correctly in order to be observed and studied to their best advantage. And as with antique paintings, the specimens’ pigments change with the passage of time: some remain brilliant while others alter or fade. Views differ about how best to preserve such delicate creatures. Sometimes one wavers between drastic restoration (gluing fallen heads or limbs with insect cement) and conserving the remainder.

The bug evenings help to diffuse affection, fascination and respect for these wonderful beasts as well as expertise in how to recognize, record, preserve and present them. The young Luke Howarth, a formidable bug-hunter, usually appears early on with some new specimen which he has picked up at or on his way to school while Brien Holmes may be counted upon to enliven the event with his presence and anecdotes."


      This mounted wasp is a species of the Genus, Bembix
 

Close-up view through the microscope of a parasitic wasp. 

The large beetles are Buprestidae, or jewel beetles, but the collection includes many families of insects,
including Diptera, in the row behind the beetles and Lepidoptera in the back row .
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