Me and my buds!

Those of you who have followed this blog for any length of time have seen repeated references to my friends and colleagues, Chris Brown and Rich Thoma. Rich and I have been collecting insects together for almost 25 years now (since shortly after we bothed first moved to the St. Louis area), and Chris has joined us in the fun for the past ten years as well. It is rare when all three of us can get out in the field together – meshing hectic professional and family lives with the sometimes coincident, sometimes divergent insect collecting goals of three fathers can be challenging. Nevertheless, at least once or twice a year we manage to converge on a date and enjoy each other’s company out in the field. I don’t think I’m ever happier than when I’m in the field (well, except when one of my daughter’s nestles into my lap to watch a movie!), and the chance to share that experience with close friends of like interest is especially gratifying.

Chris is quite an accomplished insect photographer himself, having been at it for much longer than I’ve known him and providing me great coaching as I’ve begun testing the waters myself. Recently, he sent me some photos from our 2009 field trips to the lowlands of southeastern Missouri and the Loess Hills of northwestern Missouri. Those were two exciting trips, revealing new localities for Cicindela scutellaris, the discovery of Cylindera celeripes in Missouri, the rediscovery of Ellipsoptera macra, and even a new state record robber fly.  The sharing kind of guy he is, he’s granted me permission to post them here (plus one taken by Rich Thoma).

Rich (left) and Ted scan 2-track through sandy ground in the southeastern lowlands looking for tiger beetles.

Ted and Chris take a break from looking for tiger beetles in a sand prairie relict. Photo by Rich Thoma.

Ted attempts to extract an adult tiger beetle from its daytime burrow in a sand prairie relict.

Ted scans the open sand in a sand prairie relict for adult tiger beetles.

Ted fishes for a tiger beetle larva in a sand prairie relict.

Ted photographing the robber fly, Ospriocerus abdominalis, at Star School Hill Prairie in the Loess Hills of northwest Missouri.

Distant view of Ted (small spot in center) photographing Ospriocerus abdominalis at Star School Hill Prairie.

Copyright © Ted C. MacRae 2009

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About Ted C. MacRae

Ted C. MacRae is a research entomologist by vocation and beetle taxonomist by avocation. Areas of expertise in the latter include worldwide jewel beetles (Buprestidae) and North American longhorned beetles (Cerambycidae). More recent work has focused on North American tiger beetles (Cicindelidae) and their distribution, ecology, and conservation.
This entry was posted in Asilidae, Cicindelidae, Coleoptera, Diptera and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

10 Responses to Me and my buds!

  1. jason says:

    You meant the title to be “Me and my homies!”, didn’t you? It’s OK to admit it.

    This is really neat to see, Ted. There’s something about the shared experience that is indeed gratifying, I’m sure (I’m a loner in that regard, so I really don’t know). I’m sure it’s also helpful to have more than one pair of eyes focused on discovery.

    Oh, that fishing for beetle larva picture? I’ve seen that before. Only I remember it being a chimpanzee fishing for ants. No insult there; just an observation on the tool and technique which strikes me as compelling.

    (And BTW: The do-rag is da bomb! You’re stylin’, my friend.)

    • “Me and my homies!” – I be down with it!

      The chimpanzee tool use analogy is closer than you think – I even bite the tip of the grass blade to fray it and get it wet before inserting (I’m not above learning things from monkees on National Geographic :P)

      That do-rag has been standard head gear for the past 15 years or so. I forgot it during the southeastern lowlands trip (April, first collecting outing of the year) and I felt naked. My sense of style has evolved further, as I’ve ditched the fishing shirt in favor of tiger beetle Ts.

  2. Nice to see some shots of you in action.

    By some sort of bizarre coincidence, I had just posted a picture of one of my buds at Voyages…
    🙂

  3. It’s nice to see you in your element, Ted! Looks like you were having fun.🙂

  4. Allison says:

    Ted MacRae, in the flesh! So nice to see you doing what you love.

  5. Chris Brown says:

    Fun post, Ted. Glad to be one of the trio.

    You’re giving me the itch for the field season and it’s way too early for that!

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