Who doesn’t know them, the little stars of Aotearoa – glow-worms? Titiwai, their Māori name refers to lights reflected in water. Who hasn’t been mesmerised by their sparkling light, visiting a cave or seeing them in the bush during a night walk? Insect Curator Julia Kasper talks about her research on the iconic critter with the glowing bum.
Because they are small and don’t come in big numbers, they’re often overseen and most people don’t even know of their existence. Invertebrates curator Julia Kasper introduces New Zealand native bees, and explains why they are so important, their biggest threats, and what is being done to help.
In 2018, Curator Invertebrates Julia Kasper put out a call on Te Papa’s blog looking for enthusiastic code crackers to decipher Hudson’s handwritten collection records with her post, Help crack the insect code. Approximately 80 people contacted Te Papa and asked about more information and how they could help with the research, and now Julia is hoping for more volunteers.
Did you know there’s an endemic species of mosquito that exclusively occurs in New Zealand’s thermal pools? We don’t know much about this species, so in October and March, bug expert Julia Kasper made it her mission to find it – a mission that included a harness and a gas monitor, ʻin case of toxic gas eruptions’.