Some results of a night stroll at Las Cruces during the NAPIRE mentor workshop.
Spider eating beetle
Spider eating beetle
Adrea, a recent PhD graduate from UCLA, is mentoring three students in the NAPIRE program with projects on Ithomiin butterflies—a diverse group of clear-winged, neotropical butterflies that form breeding aggregations and tend to roost together. One of Adrea’s students, Katie, is investigating predation risk of roosting butterflies using models of two species that she’s constructed. Here, Katie checks her model butterflies for damage inflicted by predation attempts on the models.
Adrea catches a butterfly
Katie looks for evidence of predation
A model with damage from predation
Adrea discusses model damage with Katie
Cristian admires a large grub
The brown, scleratized dots on the side are spiracles, which lead to their respiratory tracts.
Look at those mandibles!
Cristian and Lindsey explore a grub
Genitalia of a male
Comparison of horn size across individuals
Along a thin, elevationally-restricted band on the trails of Las Alturas, dead and dying male rhinoceros beetles lie in the leaf litter. These may be the males of the species posted here,
A Tabanidae deer fly captured by a mist net (set up for bats) as it buzzed around myself and other researchers at Las Alturas field station. Several small, red and orange mites have colonized the fly, including the fly’s compound eyes. It was somehow satisfying to see these possible parasites on the flies…as they are parasites of humans and other vertebrates.
A large female Rhinoceros beetle (Scarabaeidae), probably of subfamily dynastinae (courtesy of Cristian, our entomologist NAPIRE mentor this year) attracted by a black light at Las Cruces.
A small, juvenile, belostomatid awaits prey in Quebrada Cerro.
A Ctenidae wandering spider (Cupiennius salei from Cristian).
The caterpillars below have likely consumed all available resources in one place and are moving together to find more food or pupate. The video isn’t well focused, but it does illustrate the pile of caterpillars moving as one ‘slug’ across the stair.