My observations both at the beach & here at home in Christchurch of these beach dwelling insects have been tremendous fun and highly interesting to say the least & I have become very fond of them all. To watch a Sand Scarab Larva in particular slowly haul itself up & down the beach for a purpose which as yet we know little of, can produce a mixture of emotions. With me, it was wonderment mixed with curiosity and humour, for it is quite extraordinary to watch.
Their timing of the tides for one thing, is on the whole, quite impeccable. (apart that is from the one Sand Scarab Larva I came across rising up to return to the sand dunes in the morning!)
Your observations are important & will ultimately be appreciated by the very people who will eventually study these insects in laboratories & under microscopes & under saline drips, to finally determine precisely what it is they are having to carry out, & for how long. For the time being there is little to do but speculate & of course even that has its place. Speculation, or theorising is merely another introduction to the eventual determining ‘why.’
In time, what our tiny insect friends reveal to us may be of use to mankind in some way. We shall need to wait & see.
All the best in your searching, – Graham.
A notebook & pencil
Respect for out maritime friends
A flask of hot whatever to drink
Containers: eg. Plastic film canisters with plastic bags in them for specimens
Video camera (if you are fortunate enough to have one)
No fear of seagulls
A reasonable dollop of determination
The ability to enjoy a lengthy walk
A love of Nature
A lightweight reflective blanket
A few energy bars
A whistle in case you need to attract someones attention
Perhaps a small 1st aid kit if you are far from civilization
A cool pocket knife
A compass in case you come across a wandering grub or larvae heading back to the dunes after submersion in the sea.
A field guide to assist in identification of sea shore life and plants also
Binoculars if you have room
A small torch
A decent hat
A tent if your going to make the most of it
………& a backpack to carry the lot in.
Your mission, should you decide to accept it, will be fraught with many unnatural difficulties and complications. Please bear in mind that the most imperative prerequisite is merely enthusiasm & observational technique for the task in hand.
For the single person who may consider themselves a Naturalist or a lover of all Nature has to offer, whether of school age or having managed to acquire adulthood, this is a chance to make a dream come true.
Not only are you essentially free to come & go as you please (when time permits that is) but you also have the capability of acting on instant decisions unhindered perhaps by the responsibilities of usual family life: ie. the normal daily complications encountered in the rearing of possibly several young human beings & seeing to it that they have what it takes to survive the drive of life.
Where one + one make three or more
For the family person this is a mission of another sort & to have been a juggler in a former life would certainly be a distinct advantage to your overall success rate both at home & abroad & assist in the preservation of one’s sanity.
Your primary considerations of family and the obligations involved therein most definitely deserve first preference in your sector of priorities as to do otherwise would be downright thoughtless & selfish.
Not only will you need to suss out the beach ‘goings-on’ of all or any of these maritime insects & maybe battle the cold & deprive yourself of sleep, but ‘needs -be’ will necessitate the living of a double life.
Hence, you are in effect a double agent.
Quite how you arrive at a decision to search & observe the intertidal zone on the beach of your choice may require deep cogitation; perhaps even long hours of meditation but if the mind is willing I’m sure everything else may soon fall into place.