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Posts from the ‘In the Field’ Category

Weevil Course 2014 – Running Notes

A running post with links to literature and on-line resources, presentations, identification support, and other information accompanying The Weevil Course 2014 (second installment) held from August 05-13 at the Southwestern Research Station in Portal, Arizona. Course related photos are posted on Flickr here.

1. Links to key course/identification resources

2. Miscellaneous course presentations

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Around Guatemala in 15 days

What occurs to you when you hear the name Guatemala? Thirty-odd years of ‘civil war‘? The land of the Maya civilization? The famous Spanish colonial city Antigua? Or perhaps the 37 volcanoes for those who are geology-oriented? For we entomologists, it is beetles and bugs! But we have seen more than that during our recent field trip to the beautiful land of Guatemala. We drove across the country and collected in nine departmentos (states) in about 15 days (Fig. 1). This is a brief account of the trip.

Collecting localities in a 2014 Guatemala field trip.

Figure 1. Collecting localities in Guatemala. Click to open in Google Map.

The unique and complex geological history and biogeographic constituents of Guatemala have attracted us to make it our destination. We wanted to collect specimens of weevils in the Exophthalmus genus complex. We were hoping to find species that may have an affinity to Caribbean lineages. Because it was possibly historically connect to part of the land masses in the Caribbean, Guatemala seems the right place for finding our weevils.

The trip was joined by ASU Franz Lab Postdoc Guanyang Zhang, Graduate Student Andrew Jansen, and Manuel Barrios, a guatemalteco (Guatemalan), who is a student of molytine leaf litter weevils and currently pursuing a PhD degree at the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM).

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Tropical Field Biology – Panama 2014 in Review

Here is a summary listing of all taxonbytes blog posts related to the Tropical Field Biology – Panama 2014 trip. The collected Flickr images are here. Plans are underway for another installment in 2015.

Also read New study abroad program draws ASU undergrads to Panama, written by Sandy Leander for the ASU News.

Tropical Field Biology – Panama: Days 17 to 19 (End)

I am reporting on the final three days for the Tropical Field Biology – Panama 2014 trip. On Wednesday (Day 17), about half of the group had an opportunity to visit an Embera Village. This included an exciting canoe river trip to the village and learning about body paint, dance, and other cultural practices. About 5% of the Panamanian people are indigenous and live on “comarcas” with special political status. Another group went to the Altos de Campana National Park to explore its beautiful cloud forest habitats, serenity, and significantly cooler climate.

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Tropical Field Biology – Panama: Days 14 to 16

Likely the penultimate Panama Field Biology 2014 blog post, with updates from Days 14 to 16. Sunday morning (Day 14) was spent in part to recover from the physical strains of BCI as well as Saturday night’s Gamboa social happenings (read: Coffeehouse and/or Gamboa Resort). However our main focus for both Sunday and Monday (Day 15) was to push the individual research projects to the point of (or at least nearing) completion.

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Tropical Field Biology – Panama: Barro Colorado Island

A new update from Panama. Friday and Saturday (Days 12 and 13, respectively) were reserved for the long awaited trip to Barro Colorado Island (BCI). The featured image shows our two dedicated teaching assistants – Meghan Duell and Sal Anzaldo – on the balcony of the BCI Visitor’s Center where many famous tropical biologists have stood before.

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Tropical Field Biology – Panama: Days 8 to 10

Another three-day summary update from the field in Gamboa, Panama – days 8 to 10. Days 8 and 9 (June 15-16) were dedicated primarily to advancing our research projects. Reformulating hypotheses, testing methods, collecting observations and data, conducting interim analyses, and deriving new ideas to test based on the previous work.

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Rhynchophorus palmarum – the South American palm weevil

Weevil natural history news from Gamboa, Panama. We are continuing to look for weevils that can be observed feeding and reproducing in the field. One such opportunity is starting to develop because we discovered a fallen palm tree of the species Oenocarpus mapora which is very common on the Cerro Pelado at Gamboa. On the fallen log we first spotted two specimens of Metamasius hemipterus, and today a female of the South American palm weevil Rhynchophorus palmarum. The female was feeding, possibly also hiding, near the central core of the broken off stem. A short video of this female is available here. We will monitor the log for more dryophthorid weevils and possible mating activities.

Post in development..