An Entomologist will come to our March meeting bringing several cases of insects under glass and a variety of other insects for presentation. The insects under glass will be set out in the meeting room before the talk begins. As part of the presentation, the entomologist will use the insects under glass to illustrate the vast numbers of insects that are found on earth, and spend a few moments talking about each one’s natural history. Topics discussed include: species name and order (age appropriate); where and how does it live; what does it eat; how does it avoid being eaten; is it considered a pest or is it useful to people; and other interesting things the insect does. Insect will include Odonata (dragonflies), Coleoptera (beetles), Hymenoptera (bees and wasps), and Lepidoptera (butterflies and moths) are just some of the insects seen during the presentation.

Richard Thoma - A short biography.
President of the Webster Groves Nature Study Society (WGNSS) and avid entomologist will be the featured speaker. Richard earned a bachelor’s degree in Biology from Washington University and a Master’s degree in Ecology, Evolution and Systematics from Purdue University. With these degrees he has built a career in the scientific field, currently working at Monsanto as a protein biochemist. Presently, Richard has a collection of over 7000 specimens. Specifically, he is interested in the topic of “Mimicy”, where an edible insects looks like another insect or animal that is poisonous or has some other protection from predators. Recently he lead an effort to survey the insects living on glades at LaBarque Creek Conservation Area. In addition, he lead the entomology group of WGNSS to help the Missouri Department of Conservation update the insect section of the Species of Concern Checklist.

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