Wednesday, December 7, 2011

One Year Later.....

I posted the "Introduction" to this blog on December the 12th of last year, and I thought I might share some numbers and thoughts as a way of marking this anniversary of sorts.  (December the 12th is 5 days away, but this seems a good thing to do on this rainy, cloudy day.)

First let me say that I've been stunned by the response this blog has received.  I had no idea that so many people from all over the world were interested -- like me -- in learning as much as they can about aquatic insects, and that so many people would appreciate the photographs that reveal how beautiful these creatures can be.

The numbers:

As of yesterday (12/6), the total pageviews for this blog stood at 17,451, with pageviews from people in 108 different countries ( yes, I did mean all over the world).  The country with the highest number of pageviews? -- the U.S. with 10,503 -- no big surprise.  After that comes Canada with 847; Romania with 776; the UK with 654, and Russia with 246.  (Rounding out the top 10 are India, France, Brazil, Australia, and the Netherlands.   The month with the highest number of pageviews was last month, November, with 2,908, and the highest number for any one day (sorry, I don't remember the day, but it was in October) was 195.

The top 5 entries that have been viewed of the 205 entries I've posted -- excluding the latest posting that people see when they sign on -- were (and this does suprise me!): 1) "The Pupae of Diptera (true flies) and Trichoptera (caddisflies)," February 11th -- 576 pageviews; 2) "The 'Other' Diptera (true fly) Families," January 30th -- 516 pageviews; 3) "The 'Other' Freeliving Caddisfly," February 19th -- 319 pageviews; 4) "The 'Other' Stonefly Families," January 13th -- 308 pageviews; and 5) "Flatheaded Mayflies (family: Heptageniidae)," January 8th -- 298 pageviews.  (Hmm... you all seem to be fascinated with "the other"!)

I'm truly gratified for the interest you've shown in this blog.

Some thoughts:

I assume it's clear from my writing that I really enjoy what I'm doing: the trips to the streams, where I always find something of interest and get to go to beautiful places; taking the photos, which still shock me with their beauty and their detail (thank you macro lens); the microscope work and identification work that I get to do when I get home; and then editing photos and posting the blog.

This project has morphed as the year has proceeded.  My original intent was to focus on "stream reports," simply noting what I was finding with changing seasons, and writing up focussed studies of families and genera of the insects that I had studied.  But the photography has become a major interest for me as I try to get better and better live pictures, and, with the new resources available on the internet, I'm moving more and more -- where I can -- to insect ID at the level of species.  When this is successful, it's very rewarding.

I've made two discoveries this year which have both surprised and delighted.  The first -- I'm amazed by the number of Perlodid genera we have in our streams and the number of species of Isoperla I've found.  The genera: Clioperla, Diploperla, Helopicus, Isogenoides, Yugus, Remenus, and Isoperla.  The species of Isoperla: I. nr. namata, I. holochlora, I. nr. holochlora, I. similis, and at least two species that no one to date has ID'd.   And I expect to find even more unidentified species of Isoperla next spring by looking at streams that are more and more remote.  Steven Beaty has told me that our region (North Carolina and Virginia) is the "epicenter" of Isoperla production in the world (that's the "world," not just the U.S.).

The other thing with which I've been surprised and delighted is the number of species of small minnow mayflies that inhabit our streams.  The genera I knew: Acentrella, Heterocloeon, and Baetis.  But I had no idea there were so many species in this part of Virginia: H. amplum, H. curiosum, A. nadineae, A. turbida, B. intercalaris, B. pluto, and B. flavistriga -- and they're be more that I missed.

It's been a wonderful year, and I look forward to learning more new things next year and to sharing what I learn with those of you who continue reading this blog.

(The photos: "before and after" shots of a small winter stonefly -- Capniidae, genus Allocapnia.)

1 comment:

  1. I don't think that adult stonefly is allocapnia. Based on the lack of a cross vein connection veins R and Sc in the forewings and lack of prominent cerci, it's probably a leuctrid.