Hands on nature

Local youngster got their hands on a huntsman as part of a Bug Blitz in Traralgon last month.

The Bug Blitz at the Railway Conservation Reserve was organized by the Latrobe Catchment Landcare Network. The two-hour session included getting up close to local spiders and insects, as well as collecting water bug samples.

Marnie Ellis, West Gippsland Catchment Management’s Landcare Facilitator, said the kids really enjoyed the sessions with John and Erin from the Bug Blitz Trust.

“They were able to handle a huntsman spider and some leaf insects, and John talked to them about some of our more dangerous spiders, like the red back and funnel web,” said Marnie.

“Then the kids went searching for creatures in the grassland area within the reserve, which the Bug Blitz Trust photographed and helped identify.”

The event also included a one-hour water bug sampling session.

“During the session, Erin taught the kids how to test the pH of the water,” explained Marnie.

“They also collected water bug samples and looked at them under the microscope before releasing the bugs back into the water.”

Parents and children came along on the day, with 28 children taking part in the sessions.

“We were excited to see so many younger children involved,” said Marnie.

“The average age was around six or seven years old. We’ve had some great feedback from the parents as well. I think a lot of them enjoyed it as much as the kids.

“I really want to thank all the local families that came along and to John and Erin from Bug Blitz, who created such fun and fascinating sessions.”

Bug Blitz is a not-for-profit initiative, integrating scientific, educational and creative opportunities to stimulate an active interest in biodiversity.

Bug blitz activities
Local youngster found out about spiders and other terrestrial bugs at the Bug Blitz at Traralgon Railway Conservation Reserve on 23rd February.
A Meadow Argus Butterfly was one of the creatures identified in the reserve grasslands.
Water bug sampling
Collecting water bug samples was a popular activity!
Bug blitz activity
Testing water pH and identifying the bugs collected was part of the fun at the Bug Blitz.