From the monthly archives: "December 2010"

Location: Barrington Tops National Park, Australia
November 30, 2010 6:26 pm
This insect was found in Gloucester Tops, Australia in November at 1200m. Is it a moth? It was about 50mm in length.
Signature: Lis

Splendid Ghost Moth

Dear Lis,
This certainly is a moth, but we would need to do some research to identify the species.  We are posting your letter just before going to bed and hopefully we will be able to provide an identification tomorrow.

Karl provides the Identification
Hi Daniel and Lis:
It’s a lovely moth with an appropriately lovely name. It looks like a male Splendid Ghost Moth, Aenetus ligniveren (Hepialidae). It ranges from southern Queensland to Tasmania.  You can also check out here and here for more photos and information. Regards.  Karl

Dear Daniel,
Thanks for your assistance in identifying the moth, you have a great site and a very useful facility.

Location: Albany, NY
November 30, 2010
Thank you for the springtail identification. Um, oops! I don’t think my boss will make me get rid of my plants though thankfully.
We work at AMC in Cell Biology and Cancer research. We have several projects going on here including some Alzheimers research, but my boss likes to look at calcium signaling in the cells and what genes affect it. The worms are transparent, easy to care for, easy to maintain and easy to modify genetically so they make great subjects. The grad students have several projects that they juggle and as a technician I usually have projects that require checking brood size, defecation cycle and crossing strains. I also make and seed the plates with E. coli and try my best not to add any extras, such as microscopic insects. It is a really cool job and our PI is a lot of fun to work with.  I have attached random pictures from our files. I wish I could tell you what strains they are, but they are unlabeled. The green worm is being examined on a GFP microscope. Thanks again!
Cara D.


Hi Cara,
Thanks so much for sending us your photographs of Nematodes and explaining about your work in the laboratory.  According to the University of Nebraska Nematology website:  “Nematodes are the most numerous multicellular animals on earth. A handful of soil will contain thousands of the microscopic worms, many of them parasites of insects, plants or animals. Free-living species are abundant, including nematodes that feed on bacteria, fungi, and other nematodes, yet the vast majority of species encountered are poorly understood biologically. There are nearly 20,000 described species classified in the phylum Nemata .  Nematodes are structurally simple organisms. Adult nematodes are comprised of approximately 1,000 somatic cells, and potentially hundreds of cells associated with the reproductive system . Nematodes have been characterized as a tube within a tube ; referring to the alimentary canal which extends from the mouth on the anterior end, to the anus located near the tail. Nematodes possess digestive, nervous, excretory, and reproductive systems, but lack a discrete circulatory or respiratory system. In size they range from 0.3 mm to over 8 meters.


P.S.  We are having problems posting your photo taken with the microscope as we cannot convert the file.  Hopefully our webmaster can assist.

Nematode under Microscope