First Day of Class

(La Selva) A kind of slower day, being that we spent a lot of time in the classroom and learning logistics, rather than doing a whole lot of fieldwork. A significant part of being a good coleopterist (a person who studies beetles, whose scientific name is Coleoptera) is being able to obtain them, and coleopterists have come up with a multitude of clever ways to do so. Aside from just pecking around here and there under logs and leaves, one can obtain a large number of species by using traps, sifting debris, or whatever, and part of the object of the course is to familiarize us with those methods. So, we had a lecture on collection methods, a lecture on taxonomy, a demonstration of some of these methods, and then deployed a class experiment using those methods. I’ll say more about that in another post.

Sitings: Tonight, another student caught a praying mantis that mimics a twig, I saw two species of toucans (Keel Billed and Chestnut Mandibled [above]), lots of great butterflies and moths, and a turkey-like bird called a Chachalaca (really fun to say). No snakes today, but after I posted last night, we saw a Bird-Eating Snake (Pseustes poecilonotus) just outside the dorm.