How to recognize an insect IX. Butterflies and caddisflies.
Mati Martin’s series of insects has reached to butterflies, the most numerous and perhaps best known group of insects – the genus of butterflies, the Lepidopterans. There are several ways to classify the butterflies. Hobbyists prefer to make difference between day butterflies and others, the noctuids. It’s also very common to classify butterflies according to their size: Microlepidoptera and Macrolepidoptera. The author prefers the system based on the type of connection between front and back wings, as well as the type of mouthparts. He takes a closer look at Glossata (i.e Eriocranidae, Hepialidae), the moths (i.e Gracillariidae, Tineidae, Adelidae, Hyponomeutidae, Gelechiidae, Coleophoridae, Psychidae, Pterophoridae, Sessiidae, Tortricidae), butterflies (Papilionoidea, which include Papilionidae, Pieridae, Nymphalidae, Lycaenidae, Hesperidae), large night moths (i.e Lasiocampidae, Bombycidae, Saturniidae, Sphingidae, Arctiidae, Noctyidae, Geometridae), and the caddisflies (Trichoptera).
Who was the godparent of Soomaa?
Andres Tõnisson brings clarity to the development history of the toponym Soomaa. Usually the toponym is associated with professor Teodor Lippmaa, whose research interesed on the flora of Pärnu County in the 9130ies. However, in his book from 1935 he already refers to the name Soomaa, based on the landscape classification by Johannes Gabriel Granö, who published his article “Estonian landscape units” in 1922 in the magazine “Estonian Nature” and can be therefore considered the godparent of the toponym.
The curative wealth of Estonian earth: curative mud and mineral water
Kairi Põldsaar and Marge Uppin describe the backbone of domestic resortology: the affluent and high-quality resources of curative mud (peloids) and mineral water. Curative mud has been used to cure different illnesses for quite a few decades in the spa therapy at Värska, Saaremaa, Haapsalu and Pärnu. In addition to mud, the local mineral water is used at Värska and Pärnu. The article looks at the composition of mud and mineral water, focusing on the curative qualities of both. The mud resources are huge, especially at Värska. When talking about mineral water, we have to focus on the content of mineral compounds. As a rule, the mineral content (salinity) is higher in the deeper layers. The authors point out that based on our resources and related qualities, Estonia could become a leading country in the research involving balneology, but also medical geology, environmental health and medical hydrology.
Estonian Nature enquires
Irja Saar explains why some mushrooms which were previously considered edible have now been proclaimed poisonous.
Lennart Lennuk writes about the new exhibition “Tempo and rhythm” of the Estonian Museum of Natural History.
Tiit Kändler’s essay: Roads form the metabolism of nature
Interesting Estonia: The limestone bridge of Konuvere
Jürgen Kusmin introduces one of Estonia’s most beautiful bridges – the Konuvere bridge – that can be viewed close to the Tallinn‒Pärnu highway. The bridge, built in 1861 and restored in 2006, crosses the Vigala River and is 107 m long. It is a dignified example of Estonian limestone architecture and constructional heritage.
Interview: Wish there was more people interested in butterflies in Estonia
Toomas Kukk has interviewed Erki Õunap, a lepidopterist.
The garners of the Estonian collections of natural history: the story of a leafhopper
Olavi Kurina takes a look at a specimen of a leafhopper collected from the Taimyr Peninsula by Juhan Vilbaste: the holotype of the species is kept in the insect collection of the Estonian University of Life Sciences. Vilbaste, one of the best researchers of Hemitera in the world at that time, caught the species in 1967, and named the new species Hardya taimyrica, referring to the location it was caught from.
A black box on fish’ head: what is that strange machine?
Mehis Rohtla’s object of research – the fish otoliths ‒ enable to study the age of a fish as well as its biography: environmental conditions and migration history. An otolith, also called statoconium or otoconium, is a structure in the saccule or utricle of the inner ear, specifically in the vestibular labyrinth of vertebrates. The saccule and utricle, in turn, together make the otolith organs. They are sensitive to gravity and linear acceleration, much like the black boxes of airplanes. Otoliths store information about the whole life of a fish. They can tell us about the age and growth speed of a fish, the chemical composition of water around the fish and water salinity information. Using these data, the scientists can make conclusions about major migration routes of different fish species, thus playing an important role in estimating and protecting the fish resources. The author summarizes the main results gained from Estonian studies.
The autumn school of teriology, “Familiar and foreign”
Jaanus Remm incites to discuss the thin border between the domestic and foreign species in our nature.
Wanted: rough horsetail
Mirjam Nutov calls the readers on to let know about the findings of the rough horsetail (Equisetum hyemale), in order to help the entomologists to study a rare butterfly species – the noctuid Xylomoia strix. It appears that the larvae of the noctuid are monophagous species, feeding exclusively on the rough horsetail, and therefore, in order to protect the noctuid species, we need to protect the habitats of the horsetail. The article provides an overview of the biology of the horsetail species and its relation to the rare noctuid species.
Gallwasp on the oak stem – a new species in Estonia
Kaljo Voolma and Jaan Kõlli make acquaintance with a new species Andricus testaceipes which forms nutgalls on oak bark. The first appearance of the species was identified in spring 2012 near Põlva. Two years later it can be said that the species has settled in, as there were more and more nutgalls on oak barks. The authors give an overview of the species biology and call on for letting them know about new findings of the phenomenon.
Geologists gather for the 10th time to the autumn school
Liina Laumets gives an overview of the annual autumn event of geologists. It is the perfect chance for young and older geologist and those interested in geology to get together, exchange ideas and thoughts make and listen to presentations and take part of the accompanying excursions and field trips. The 10th autumn school took place at Jäneda, focusing on Phosphorus.