Tag Archives: Animals

Long-whiskered catfish and Pencil catfish

Two catfish are distributed throughout Las Cruces streams. The long-whiskered catfish (Rhamdia rogersi) is present in Río Java and several small streams, including Quebrada Culvert and the upstream Quebrada Culebra. The other,  the Pencil Catfish (Trichomycterus striatus), I have only caught in Río Java.

Here, minnow traps were used to collect crabs and both species of catfish were caught as by-catch.

Additionally, while we collected the pencil catfish in 2013 and subsequent years, it doesn’t look like I ever published any images—so here are a few old images of Trichomycterus.

Stream-side spiders at Las Cruces

Two common, stream-side spiders at Las Cruces. Trechalea extensa is large and hangs out on boulders, dangling it’s fore-legs in the water at night to potentially attract prey, such as small fish. Patricia Esquete’s student’s, Neola and now Macy, have been studying their ecology the past couple of years.

The other spider, probably a nursery web spider (Pisauridae) like this one from Palo Verde,  creates a silken tether on a branch and dangles from it, skating on the moving stream surface and likely capturing floating prey as it moves downstream.

Parasitoid pupae from a caterpillar

Parasitoid larvae, probably from a wasp, have emerged from the black wounds of this caterpillar, perhaps a hesperidae butterfly, and pupated.

Check out the trachea (the branching gas exchange organs observed through the skin of the caterpillar) and the punctures from the larval exits!

Common basilisk

Macy, an REU student this summer (not pictured), discovered a large male Common Basilisk (Basiliscus basiliscus – aka Jesus Christ Lizard) under a rock while surveying for spiders. They get their name from “running” on water to escape, but this individual seemed to be too cold and wedged in hiding. I pulled it from the rock and we took some photos—only Juliet, my student, and another research mentor, Patricia, braved holding it.