Grand Lake Meadows
 


 

 

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Home > Who : Animals > Insects
 
Insect on flower, courtesy of Brigitte Noel
Insect on flower, courtesy of Brigitte Noel
Female mosquito, courtesy of Wikimedia Commons
Female mosquito, courtesy of Wikimedia Commons
Warbler with insect, courtesy of Brigitte Noel
Warbler with insect, courtesy of Brigitte Noel
Dragonfly, courtesy of Brigitte Noel
Dragonfly, courtesy of Brigitte Noel
Monarch Butterfly, courtesy of Brigitte Noel
Monarch Butterfly, courtesy of Brigitte Noel
Insects
 
Without doubt the most plentiful and annoying insects in the Meadows are mosquitoes. They are a wonderful food source for swallows and other birds and for bats like the Eastern Pipistrelles that inhabit the silver maple forests. Well-known New Brunswick author and historian Esther Clark Wright wrote this humorous descriptive passage about the mosquitoes of the region:
 
Rather furtively, behind islands and among intervals, the Jemseg slips into the St. John River. {Also} . . . it is possible to reach the St. John by a side channel winding through the interval. These side channels, quiet and smooth, overhung with alders and elms and willows around which grow a tangle of vines and wild flowers, seem remote from the busy life and incessant traffic of town and country. They are the haunt of ducks and frogs, and, alas, mosquitoes.
 
In June the mosquitoes are a pest: even in August, it is advisable not to disturb the meadow grass where whole battalions of them may be lurking. Should you be a Colwell or a Dykeman or a Foshay, your forefathers might have purchased for you immunity from the poison of the mosquitoes, but should you be of alien blood, you could expect stinging and swelling for months to come, unhappy reminders of Jemseg mosquitoes.
 
Hundreds and thousands of other insects live in the Meadows but no comprehensive study or catalogue of them has been made. However with the water, the marsh, shrub meadow and flood plane forest there should be interesting and diverse communities of them.
 
The study and identification of Dragonflies and Damselflies (Odonata) is a fairly recent preoccupation for naturalists in this area. Apparently the Grand Lake Meadows has a healthy and diverse population of them and two species occurring here- the Spine-crowned Clubtail and the Skillet Clubtail- are candidates for a “species-at-risk” assessment.
 
Numerous butterfly and moth species (Lepidoptera) occur in the Grand Lake Meadows. Of particular interest is the Monarch, an amazing migrating butterfly that may be at risk in its wintering area in Mexico. The Monarch larvae feed on the milkweed plant (Asclepias) and there are different stands of them in old fields within the Meadows. These, of course, should be protected and encouraged.