Vol 105 (2008)

Journal of the Entomological Society of British Columbia


Cover Page

COVER: Boreus reductus Carpenter (Mecoptera: Boreidae)

Boreids (order Mecoptera) are interesting for two traits, they are often found wandering the surface of snow from late November until May, and they can jump. a feat they achieve using metatibial extension and resilin to store energy in the thorax before a leap. Their common name of "snow fleas" is both apt and prescient, given that recent molecular studies have placed them as close relatives of the true fleas. Their biology is poorly known and most texts state that both adults and larvae "live in moss". This example is a female of the species Boreus reductus (Carpenter 1933). The image was taken a few hundred metres from the junction of the Coquihalla Highway and Highway 1 at the west end of Kamloops in March 2007. An Olympus E-l DSLR with a Zuiko ZD 50mm macro lens coupled to two 25mm extension tubes was used. The magnification on the sensor (18mm x 14mm) was x1.5. This image is a crop of the original image, the length of the insect from frons to tip of ovipositor is approximately 4 mm. Lighting was with a 1980's vintage Vivitar 283 flash with a homemade 10cm by 15cm cloth diffuser. The most important part of the field equipment was a set of chest waders.