This is a timely first blog post for me. Thursday 22nd April sees the launch of Bugwise for Schools. it will be the culmination of two major projects for investigating invertebrates - Web2spider and Plant2pollinator.

Bugwise for Schools aims to get you and your students out of the classroom and discovering more about the spiders and insects you share the space with! Most students have a fascination for spiders and insects and it this sense of awe, combined with natural curiosity, that Web2spider and Plant2pollinator will encourage.

Having workshopped Web2spider for more than two years now, I cannot walk past a web without stopping and doing a quick ID. I am more than besotted by the beauty of webs and the continually amazed at the resilience of the inhabitants. Expect your students too to be obsessed or should I say ensnared!

As I had recently finalised the content of Plant2pollinator, I was on the look out for insects which have provided pollination services for native plants around my home. I was drawn to this Melaleuca and on closer inspection found flower wasps on the mauve bottlebrush. It was a first for me - both to see that particular Melaleuca in bloom and to notice a flower wasp. Further inspection revealed flies and dusky grey butterflies making the most of the nectar.
Even as the weather cools, there is plenty of insect and spider activity; as the garden orb spiders (Eriophora sp) begin their decline, the fantastic orb webs are at their largest. Spray them with a fine spray of water and take a photo…that must be inspiration for some wonderful artwork.
Sign up soon and send in your spider web, spider and insect photos as an attachment to a comment on this blog or upload on to the Australian Museum Flickr site and be part of a real-time virtual exhibition.

BugWise Backchat blog is updated weekly.