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Tropical Field Biology – Panama: Day 7

It is Day 7, the end of the first week. The project routine has settled in. It is an overcast, rainy Saturday in Gamboa. We are mostly out in the field – near the Schoolhouse, at the Frog Pond, in and around the Wood Lock, or as far out as Río Limbo on Pipeline Road – and making observations, tests, and adjustments to individual project ideas.

The after-lunch lecture was on tropical arthropods and insects; including their diversity, evolutionary origins, and a more detailed treatment of the “true bugs” (Hemiptera) and wasps, bees, and ants (Hymenoptera).


Amphix cincta (Endomychidae) at the Gamboa Wood Lock.

There was a night excursion to “El Charco”, an old rainforest patch some 7.5 km southeast of Gamboa, where we walked trails along the river looking for amphibians and reptiles and set up mercury and UV lights and a sheet to observe nocturnal insects. Driving back to Gamboa Dale spotted a young fer-de-lance on the road. Everybody stopped to admire the gorgeous snake from a safe distance.

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