Tuesday, 26 January 2010

The Phasmid Study Group and Livestock Exchange

I will write about the recent PSG Meeting once I have had a chance to photograph some of the species that I bought back from there. There are some photographs of the meeting online already: PSG Winter Meeting and AGM 2010.

The one thing that I would like to say outside of that report is a comment on the availability of livestock. The group has traditionally been the source of many species entering culture in Europe, mainly through the collecting efforts of its members. This has also helped develop the collections of many museums, in particular the Natural History Museum, London. In turn this has helped to facilitate the large amount of recent taxonomic work on this order.

The over-arching principle of this process has been free-exchange. You bring your surplus to the meeting, or send it to the livestock coordiantor, and in return you can get different species. This works well to an extent. it is also open to abuse, with people taking livestock and never contributing any in return, or taking livestock and selling it to others. I imagine a fair few people take species they don't have the experience to keep and the culture suffers as a result.

So, I aks all of you (not just PSG members), do you think anything can be done to help this situation? Please reply with ideas or comments, or e-mail me.