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The Top of the US Bank Tower is Now a Science Experiment

LA proved itself to be an exciting hotbed of "urban biodiversity" earlier this year, when a Natural History Museum (NHM) study made the "unprecedented" discovery of over two dozen totally new types of flies living here. Now, NHM scientists have decided to look into what kinds of insects hang out at the top of what's currently the tallest building in the West. KPCC says that entomologists have set up a tent-like Malaise trap on the roof of the US Bank Tower for what will be a month-long look into high-flying bug life.

Scientists admit they don't really know what they'll catch in their tent-trap 1,000 feet up in the sky, or "how or why" bugs would head up here. But even when they were installing their bug-catcher, there were a few interested insects flying around. "It's like being on a giant mountain, and yet it's just this big chunk of metal and concrete, so we don't really know what the insects think of it," said NHM entomologist Emily Hartop. Scientists will be checking their trap weekly for the duration of the study. This project is part of the same three-year BioSCAN project that found all those new fly species.

The 72-story US Bank Tower is set to get a new touristy observation deck and restaurant on its sixty-ninth through seventy-first floors, so knowing what kind of bugs are up there might be useful in the near future.

See the installed trap, with a human next to it, for scale:

· Tallest building in the West now features tallest insect study [SCPR]
· Inside the Construction at the Future Tallest Tower in the West [Curbed LA]
· 30 Totally New Bug Species Discovered Living in Los Angeles [Curbed LA]