Today I am on my way to London, to the Natural History Museum for the Annual General Meeting of the Phasmid Study Group.
They are a group of people who are dedicated to the study of Phasmids – Stick and Leaf Insects.
This meeting is a good opportunity to meet new people, find out some more information about Phasmids (I am always hungry for more knowledge – you can never learn or research too much!) and get some new livestock. There is a species exchange which takes place at the end of the meeting. I am taking some stick insects with me to exchange.
This is a good opportunity to introduce new bloodlines if there are species I already have, and to possibly get some new species for my collection. New blood is useful for cultures. Inverts have much simpler DNA than mammals, so inbreeding is not as much of an issue, (plus most species now in captivity come from an initial pair or small group collected in the wild) however I do try to ensure that they are not inbred too much so it does not weaken the genes. So I try and get species from different people to try and make sure I have a wide mix of genes from different breeders. The same applies with the rest of our animals!
The Phasmid Study Group site can be found here. The membership is just £12 per year, which goes towards finding research in to Stick and Leaf Insects. For this you get access to the PSG newsletter, which is full of useful information about Phasmids! There are also competitions and crosswords, care sheets and articles. Definitely worth a read!
I am looking forward to today – it should be very interesting!