10 June, 2021

We meet at Michel Autran’s wine cellar at 9 a.m. Tanguy Perrault is here as well, he’s Anne-Cécile Jadaud’s husband and the winemaker Thomas did his internship with when he was at wine school. We’re here to learn about biodiversity, specifically about insects in the vineyard. There are two men I don’t know yet. One works for a local union of winemakers promoting biodiversity in the area (50/50 state- and privately-owned), the other is a biologist who will give the workshop. A screen and table haven been set up – on the table are a laptop and a tiny projector. Mind you, I learned French at school, for four years. In the early 1990s. The workshop is in French. Here are my notes, I take the notes in French, simply noting what the various slides say:

Fonction écologiques des insectes

1a. Biodiversité 1b. Géneralités sur les insectes 1c. Biologie et écologie des insectes 1d. Principaux ordres d’insects e. Méthodes d’inventaires 2a. Inventaire de l’entomofaune de la parcelle  2b. Zoom sur les espéces bio-indicatrices 2c. Lieu entre les pratiques et les insectes

So, »what does biodiversity mean?«, my notes say, in German. Various eco systems (ecosystèmes ) > various species (espèces; which interact in all sorts of ways). I start mixing German notes with French ones.

Notion de rareté

»Isn’t it crazy how butterflies propagate (pheromones)?«

Azure de la sanguisorbe! (The explanation of how this insect propagates takes several minutes)

»La liste rouge« > »La liste rouge regionale«

(In French you use the word ›Hotspot‹ like you use it in German)

Hétérogénéité spatiale: everywhere there are ›hotspots‹ in which certain species appear in bigger numbers

Extinction de masse > déclin de 76% d’insects volants en 27 ans sur les airs protégées allemandes > the reasons are e.g. pollution through light! This actually is the second most important reason. Human beings like to feel secure at night (most of the break-ins take place during the day, actually)

Histoire évolutive. 1. Dévonien – apparation des insectes 2. Trices – apparation des plantes à fleurs

Classifications: There are three sub-divisions of insects > 1.3 billion insects make for two-thirds of the species on this planet. France has 40,000 species, the department of Indre-et-Loire 17,500

Morphology: 1 paire d’antennes, yeux comporés, 3 paires de pattes ostraculées, 2 paires d’ailes. Tête (head), thorax, abdomen

Métarmorphoses: There are three stages of changing. Oeuf > cheuille > chrysalide > imago.

Relations interspécifiques: providing nourishment or a site de ponte (a location to place eggs at)

Phénologie: période de vol

Migrations: e.g. in spring vanessa cordui comes to Europe, from North Africa, up to Scandinavia – goes back in autumn

Relations interspécifiques: We look at the orne (?) tree on/in/for which four kinds of insects work

Préalable: trés nombreuses méthodes d’échautillonnage à l’image de la diversité d’insectes. Où? Moeurs, habitants… Quand? Phénologie, stade de développement. Comment? Capture pour identification, identification visuelle, auditive… Pourqoui? Inventaire, local/approche, atlas

Princèpaux ordres: 1. Coléoptères are the order most diversified. You recognize them because of their élytres épaisses et cornées, e.g. lady beetle/lady bug. Extremely important for the eco system. 2. Lépidoptères: de jour ou de nuit? (The second most diversified order.) 3. Diptères: syrphes, mouches, moustiques. 4. Hyménoptères (guêpes, dourdrons, abeilles, fourmis…) 5. Hémiptères (puncises, cercques, cicadelles, cigales…)

Odonates: A. Zygoptères (demoiselles) B. Amisoptères (libellules)

Méthodes actives: 1. Battage 2. Faudage 3. Filet á papillon 4. Troubleau 5. Tanisage

Méthodes passives: 1. Plégeage lumineaux 2. Piège à phéromones 3. Plège intercpetion 4. Milellée 5. Piège Barber 6. Tente malaise

(Break)

We are advised to check out obs37.fr (37 stands for the Indre-et-Loire department) where you can search for insects and birds and send in sightings – an algorithm will tell how good a sighting is, human experts will then take another look (»validation des données«).

Time for action: Now we are supposed to catch insects and identify them. The lecturer gives us plastic tubes in which we can put the insects we catch. He says that they can survive for approximately 40 hours in these tubes – we keep them for a few minutes at the most.

Turn right to enter Michel Autran's wine cellar

Turn right to enter Michel Autran's wine cellar

The table, the laptop, the projector

The table, the laptop, the projector

Taking a break

Taking a break

Looking for insects

Looking for insects

Thomas Puéchavy looking for insects

Thomas Puéchavy looking for insects

A cigale

A cigale

Another cigale

Another cigale

The tutor holds a tiny dragonfly's wings between his fingers (and lets it fly shortly after)

The tutor holds a tiny dragonfly's wings between his fingers (and lets it fly shortly after)

Looking at insects

Looking at insects

Spotting an insect

Spotting an insect

Looking at insects in tubes (released shortly afterwards)

Looking at insects in tubes (released shortly afterwards)