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domingo, 26 de junio de 2011

Breaking news

The main story tonight- the caterpillars have hatched. Helen Pheasey reports from Laguna Blanca:

It gives me great pleasure to bring you news of our latest arrival(s). I know you have all been on the edge of your seats waiting to hear how the caterpillars have been getting along (and if I had managed to keep them alive) well I am delighted to report that 2 days ago they began hatching and I am now the proud mother of (so far) 27 beautiful butterflies! Well I say “mother” they have flown the nest already so maternal care has been pretty limited but they still have a place in my heart where ever they are! Aside from the achievement of keeping them alive and getting them to hatch this also means that we are able to identify them. For a long month we have been waiting and wondering what they could be and so without further ado I can tell you they are… Heraclides anchisiades capys! None the wiser? No nor me, but if I tell you they are a type of swallowtail, large and black with pink and white patches on their wings you probably have a better idea! I still have some pupa that haven’t hatched yet so hopefully I’ll have a higher birth count for you next time.

In other news

I have begun a project looking into the abundance of scorpions. I keep catching them in one of my pitfall traps so I thought why not see if it is possible to mark-recapture them. Everyone thinks I’ve lost it because these scorpions have a nasty sting which I’m told is agony for several weeks. However, so far so good. I can confirm that I have successfully marked several with a tiny dot of pink nail varnish on the left hand shoulder and I am even happier to say that I re-caught one the other day. Maybe they aren’t as abundant as we initially believed. I’ll keep you posted as to how this project goes (and just how painful the sting is if they get me!).

And now for the weather

An Indian summer has swept across Laguna Blanca over the past week, bringing sunshine and humidity to the area with top temperatures reaching 32º. Volunteers have been experiencing sunbathing, swimming and sleeping under their mosquito nets. The resident herpetologist has been in heaven due to an influx of reptile and amphibian activity! Sightings include, rattlesnake, false chameleon and numerous frog species and tadpoles. Sadly the phenomenon was short lived as the sky is currently grey and overcast. Welcome back winter!

Until next time

Helen

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