Advertisement

Where have all the insects gone?

Discussion in 'Environment' started by Veganite, Jul 5, 2018.

  1. Veganite
    Balanced

    Veganite Super Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2017
    Messages:
    1,129
    Location:
    Vancouver, BC
    Ratings:
    +549 / 1 / -2
    Lifestyle/Diet:
    Vegan
    I've often wondered this, myself. I remember the bug splatter on my parent’s car windshield when I was a kid. It just about made gas station windshield washing mandatory. I remember camping trips where the night would come alive with bugs. Mind you, I still see mosquitoes and black flies when camping, but the bulk of the bugs at night have definitely diminished since I was a young man.

    Where have all the insects gone?

    Entomologists call it the windshield phenomenon. "If you talk to people, they have a gut feeling. They remember how insects used to smash on your windscreen," says Wolfgang Wägele, director of the Leibniz Institute for Animal Biodiversity in Bonn, Germany. Today, drivers spend less time scraping and scrubbing. "I'm a very data-driven person," says Scott Black, executive director of the Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation in Portland, Oregon. "But it is a visceral reaction when you realize you don't see that mess anymore."

    Full Article
     
    • Like Like x 1
  2. Sax
    Surfing

    Sax Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2018
    Messages:
    198
    Location:
    Jefferson City, MO
    Ratings:
    +117 / 1 / -1
    Lifestyle/Diet:
    Vegan
    I don't own a car so can't attest to the windshield phenomenon. But being relatively new to the midwest I can assure you some places are absolutely teeming with insects. Giant moths, praying mantises, fireflies....deafeningly loud hordes of cicadas...stick insects, dragonflies. There are some seriously cool insects out there! No doubt habitat destruction and pesticides have culled their numbers. I've heard in some cases they're going extinct faster than they can be discovered/taxonimized.



    https://www.theguardian.com/environ...of-loss-great-insect-die-off-sixth-extinction
     
  3. Veganite
    Balanced

    Veganite Super Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2017
    Messages:
    1,129
    Location:
    Vancouver, BC
    Ratings:
    +549 / 1 / -2
    Lifestyle/Diet:
    Vegan
    @Sax
    That was an interesting read.

    I do know from my age perspective, I've seen a huge decline in insect roadkill since I was a youngster, and I definitely see the windshield phenomenon as real. It's really hard to forget how thick our windshields used to get. I'd say that figure of an 80 per cent decline is pretty close to accurate.
     
  4. Kellyr

    Kellyr Active Member

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2018
    Messages:
    160
    Ratings:
    +128 / 0 / -0
    Lifestyle/Diet:
    Vegan
    That's pretty amazing. Something I've never even thought about, to be honest. We never had thick coatings of dead bugs all over our windshields, but there would usually be a couple that ended up there at least when traveling in the mountains, and now that I think of it, that doesn't seem to happen quite as much.

    As was mentioned above - habitat destruction and pesticides likely play a role, as well as climate change.

    Maybe putting a positive spin on it - vehicles are a lot more aerodynamic than they used to be so perhaps more bugs are getting swept over our vehicles instead of smack into our windshields.
     
  5. Veganite
    Balanced

    Veganite Super Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2017
    Messages:
    1,129
    Location:
    Vancouver, BC
    Ratings:
    +549 / 1 / -2
    Lifestyle/Diet:
    Vegan
    That theory was mentioned in the second paragraph (below) of that article. By the sounds of the Land Rover, it doesn't seem as likely as habitat and pesticides might be. There's no question the phenomenon is noticeable to me. It's unbelievably shocking, really. It never even really occurred to me before reading this article.

    "Some people argue that cars today are more aerodynamic and therefore less deadly to insects. But Black says his pride and joy as a teenager in Nebraska was his 1969 Ford Mustang Mach 1—with some pretty sleek lines. "I used to have to wash my car all the time. It was always covered with insects." Lately, Martin Sorg, an entomologist here, has seen the opposite: "I drive a Land Rover, with the aerodynamics of a refrigerator, and these days it stays clean."


    *
     

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice