The Auckland Branch of the Entomological Society caters for people with an interest in insects and other terrestrial arthropods; collectors, photographers or observers.
The inaugural meeting of the Auckland Branch was held in September 1975, and membership is now in excess of 100, including professional and amateur members, junior and senior citizens. Membership is mainly local, but in areas outside Auckland, where there is no local branch, members enjoy the contact of others with the same interests.
Evening meetings are usually held on the Tamaki Campus of the University Auckland in the Landcare Research building, which is at 231 Morrins Road and by the third entrance into the University campus along Morrins Road. Parking is available on the road and in the car park. Meetings start about 7.30 pm, note the electronic doors will be opened from 7.20 to 7.40 pm. Visitors are welcome. The meeting begins with a popular display table which allows members to share their insect finds and have access to the identification and diagnostic skills of various professionals in the group. Each month a speaker is arranged with slides or films. Tea and coffee are served at the end of the meeting. One evening meeting each year is an annual dinner with an after dinner speaker on a light-hearted entomological flavour.
Field trips or light-trapping trips are held regularly during the summer, mostly to local areas using private transport. Occasional trips and meetings are combined with other local natural history groups. For several years the Branch has spent a weekend on Ruapehu studying alpine insects.
Demonstrations in aspects of entomology are sometimes organised for amateurs wishing to further their studies. These workshops include topics such as mounting and rearing techniques, insect drawing and photography and identification sessions. Handouts on various aspects of entomology have been accumulated as an educational aid.
The committee prepares a programme of the year’s events which is printed and sent to members. At least three newsletters a year are distributed, giving reminders of the term’s activities and general news or announcements in the entomological field. The newsletter includes a one page item on a ‘Featured Invertebrate’.
A sales table is held at least three times a year. Items for sale include posters and greeting cards, insect books in print at wholesale rates, a limited supply of mounting equipment, and other entomological items as they become available.
Branch members are able to receive a copy of The Wētā, (news bulletin of the Entomological Society of New Zealand, which contains articles on research, new insect finds, book reviews and news items), and circulars from the parent body. They are encouraged to attend the annual three-day conference held around Easter in a different centre each year.
The membership fee for the Auckland Branch is currently $12 year, or $20 year including the receipt of The Wētā.