Wednesday, December 21, 2016
Our Arthropod housemates.
Now I know more about what is in the haze of particles I see illuminated by the horizontal rays of the rising sun flowing through my Fort Lauderdale condo in early morning. I pass on, under the "random curious stuff" MindBlog category, an accounting by Madden et al. that shows the ubiquity of insects detected in settled dust samples collected from inside homes. They used a DNA-based method for investigating the arthropod diversity in homes via high-throughput marker gene sequencing of home dust. Settled dust samples were collected by citizen scientists from both inside and outside more than 700 homes across the United States, yielding the first continental-scale estimates of arthropod diversity associated with our residences. Here is a graphic (click to enlarge), in which (A) shows the Genera detected, (B) shows orders detected in at least 5% of homes. The Y-axes indicate the percentage of homes (of 651 homes with arthropods detected) where those arthropods were detected.