“It’s as plain as the compound eyes on my face,” said the sartorial insect as he became aggressive and angry, “Why do you need a ‘scope?”
It was a good question but the Bug Night-er was getting older. It was more difficult to see and he wanted to be sure to get this identification correctly.
“I know,” said the Bug Night-er, “I’m sorry but if I get this identification wrong, I will let down everyone—the White Coats will be upset and our data will not hold up for the Report to Congress.”
The insect was intrigued. He forgot his anger and released the Bug Night-er. “Report to Congress?”
“Yes,” said the Bug Night-er, “We are working as citizen scientists.”
He went on to explain that the invertebrate population in the river, including insects, reveals a long-term picture of river health including water quality and habitat conditions. It turns out that each creature tells a story and collectively, they speak volumes about the conditions.
The insect was more than mildly interested but not enough to overcome his instincts.
“How about I give you a better view of my mandibles? Will that help you identify me?” asked the insect as he took hold of the Bug Night-er with his tarsi and drew closer, his breath hot and overwhelming, “How do you like this story?”
Learn more at MerrimackRiver.org.