Posts categorized as Bugs, insects and spiders

Last week Te Papa Botany curator Leon Perrie and I attended the Uawa BioBlitz in Tolaga Bay. Organized by the Allan Wilson Centre and Groundtruth, the BioBlitz was an intense 24 hours of species discovery. Scientists from a variety of organisations were joined by members of the local community, including kids from the Tolaga Bay… Read more »

Insects of Takapourewa / Stephens Island

  • A ngaio weevil nibbles on a ngaio leaf at night on Takapourewa, January 2015. Image: Colin Miskelly, Te Papa
  • A pair of Wellington tree weta on Takapourewa, January 2015 (male on left). Image: Colin Miskelly, Te Papa
  • A female Cook Strait giant weta on Takapourewa, January 2015. Image: Colin Miskelly, Te Papa
  • Takapourewa / Stephens Island from the north, with the lighthouse in the foreground. January 2015. Image: Colin Miskelly, Te Papa

Te Papa vertebrate curator Dr Colin Miskelly recently led a team that visited Takapourewa / Stephens Island Nature Reserve, to select and gather up 100 fairy prion chicks to move to Mana Island near Wellington. This is the fourth in a series of blogs about the project and the wildlife of Takapourewa. Takapourewa holds a… Read more »

There’s a vagrant in our bath

I went back later that day and took a better photo. Sadly Mr Vagrant passed away the next day when my flatmate ran a bath R.I.P. 18/12/14, Photograph by Jonathon Kelso.
Photograph taken for work purposes

My role at Te Papa revolves around creating opportunities for our visitors to engage with Te Papa content. I was part of the team that developed the DeClassified exhibition, which you can check out on level 3 at Te Papa. This exhibition has an additional interpretive layer which enables people to contribute data to scientific discoveries… Read more »

Help us make discoveries

Garden two-spined spider, Poecilopachus australasia. Auckland. rfdawn CC BY-NC

Interested in the ‘outdoors’? Want to learn more about the animals and plants around you? Want to make discoveries? Perhaps even find a new species? Want to help (1) Te Papa with its scientific research and (2) New Zealand better understand and manage its biodiversity? Sounds like the citizen science projects accompanying the DeCLASSIFIED! exhibition… Read more »

A Collection of Beach-Loving Beetles

The L.H. McDowall collection of sand scrabs.
Photo credit: Phil Sirvid, Te Papa.

Te Papa’s entomology collection is now home to 66 native sand scarab beetles (Pericoptus sp.) from the estate of L.H. McDowall. In the 1960s, McDowall illustrated insect guide books such as ‘Native Beetles’ and ‘Native and Introduced Butterflies and Moths’. A collection of her original illustrations was also recently acquired by Te Papa. The beetles… Read more »

Colossal New Addition to Te Papa’s Scientific Collections

  • Storage11
  • Powder Coated Cabinet
  • Jar and pail storage at Te Papa's collections facility. Photo: Rick Webber, Copyright Te Papa.
  • jars

Today we’ve been hearing about the most recent addition to Te Papa’s scientific collections, a new colossal squid Mesonychoteuthis hamiltoni. We’re playing host to a dozen or so media representatives as well as our own live-streaming film crew, who are following intently the activity of five visiting squid scientists from AUT, led by Dr Kat… Read more »

Are wingless fliers Nature’s best hitchhikers?

Left: A louse-fly carries a hitchhiking louse from a Japanese crow, attached to one of the fly’s abdominal hairs. Right: detail of same louse. Photos by Rokuro Kano, Tokyo, Japan. © Rokuro Kano

by Ricardo L. Palma, Curator of Terrestrial Invertebrates Evolving without wings, humans dreamed about flying for thousands of years… but only just over 100 years ago they invented a heavier-than-air machine which could fly and take them to the skies. However, long long ago, natural evolution had already provided the opportunity to fly to creatures… Read more »

Newtown Kindergarten studies spiders at Te Papa

  • Examining the spiders in the resin blocks, Photographer: Newtown Kindy, © Newtown Kindy
  • Phil and his tarantula! Photographer: Newtown Kindy, © Newtown Kindy
  • Sharing stories, Photographer: Newtown Kindy, © Newtown Kindy
  • Meeting Rebecca and Phil at Te Papa, Photographer: Newtown Kindy, © Newtown Kindy

This blog provides an excellent opportunity not only for us to share with you, but  for you to share with each other. How do you use our museum as a learning resource? What do you find to be best practice? Why are museum and gallery experiences important for your tamariki? Our latest story comes from kaiako (teacher) Charlene from Newtown… Read more »

A Sheep in Wolf’s Clothing

A couple of colleagues pointed out there was something a little odd about the spider I thought was a juvenile redback spider in Scott Ogilvie’s post. This spider, named Fabergé – as in Fabergé egg, for her ovoid shape and pretty pattern-  is nothing of the kind despite my initial impressions. I got so carried… Read more »

My spidey sense is tingling

The spider in question. Happily sunning itself on my curtain. © Te Papa

When you find an ‘odd’ looking spider on your curtain, what is your normal response? Hopefully it’s not to kill it! Maybe it’s to catch it and it and take outside? Or maybe more of a Paul McCartney approach and let it be. Well I was faced with that decision last weekend and took a different… Read more »