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lunes, 4 de octubre de 2010

Discovering & Recovering

It has been a cracker of a week!! The team here at Laguna Blanca have been discovering and recovering species left right and centre! The week kicked off with a new species of frog being discovered in the reed beds of the lake, not only that but a few day’s later two juveniles were found in the reeds right outside our house!!! I can’t tell you the excitement that zipped through our veins! This little guy has been living in secret and now he can finally be exposed to the scientific world! Amazing! But the excitement does not stop there, oh no!! Just 4 nights ago we were sitting on the porch having a chat with some tourists and flying around our heads was this pretty little yellow/light lime green moth.....nothing too amazing you might think but you couldn’t be more wrong as it’s none other than Catharisa cerina a moth that has not been seen since the 1930’s! Once in 2005 it was briefly spotted in Laguna Blanca but that is it. And to our absolute amazement we have seen them every night since fluttering around the moth light out the back of the house.....4 in total! This is a very special find not only because it has not been seen in all these years but there has only ever been 7 documented. We know nothing about its life cycle, habitat preferences (just to add to the confusion we have found them close to both the cerrado and Atlantic forest), its reproduction or what the male looks like! Nothing!!! Then just to round things off, another female moth, Titaea orsinome, was found last night, it has only been documented twice before in Paraguay and both were males. This is a beautiful and rare emperor moth of the cerrado....what U-turn that has been since starting my week with a scorpion taking a piece out of me!

A few days have passed since I began writing this blog and of course things have only got more exciting!!! I came back from frogging in a little spot we like to call frog paradise just 3 nights ago to find everyone surrounding the Catharisa cerina........they were laying eggs......I grabbed my camera super fast and got some cool footage of this amazing moment!! Fabulous! Nothing of this sort has ever been witnessed before; it is a special moment in history! We are now keeping a daily tabs on everything they are doing. The scientists of the moth world have been ecstatic and the internet and telephone lines have been hopping non-stop!
In just a few weeks the amount of different species of moths and frogs that have been found has almost surpassed what was found all winter, I guess spring is definitely the time everything comes to life! Discoveries and recoveries can only go up from here as we have more hands and eyes from the volunteers and interns joining us. This is by far the best place to be if you want to make a difference to science whether it be with moths, frogs, lizards, birds....what ever it all seems to be coming to life now!

To change is freezing here at the moment! Being from Ireland I never thought I would say that 16°C is freezing since that’s considered a beautiful summer’s day back home. I’m wrapped up with so many layers that I can hardly sit down or stand up properly. Add that to the torrential rain that comes out of nowhere and sometimes I have to remember that it actually is spring here. Positive thing I guess is we don’t have to remember to water our vegetable garden and the regeneration in the cerrado and dry forest from the fires is increasing ten fold which is brilliant to see.

Hasta la Proxima!

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