- Morelet's Crocodile
- Morelet's Crocodile
- Ringed Kingfisher (Northern)
- Background Species (1)
1 Immature Male
Other, see notes
F. Castañeda Moya, A. Queral-Regil
Francisco Castañeda Moya, Alejandro Queral-Regil; Morelet's Crocodile
1 Immature Male
Other, see notes
Ringed Kingfisher (Northern)
Megaceryle torquata torquata/stictipennis
Leeanne Alonso, Brandon T. Bestelmeyer
NPR/NGS Radio Expeditions
10 Apr 1999
- near Las Guacamayas Biological Research Station; San Pedro River
- 17.24667 -90.29306
Stereo=1; Decoded MS stereo
NPR/NGS RADIO EXPEDITIONS
GUATEMALA - APRIL 1999
LOG OF DAT 4 - CROC, ANTS, BC AND FISH
REPORTER: CHRIS JOYCE
ENGINEER: LINDA MACK
CATCHING THE CROCK:
VG 00:02 quiet and THEN getting the crock!!! - the crock squeaks -
:27 talking in spanish
:54 A - it is about a 2 ½ foot crock - a juv (it is squeaking in the bg) - and fran caught it and that sound - that noise - it is ah - it is a male and it is calling the mother - it is a cry for help basically
talk in sp - w/squeaking in bg
1:50 A - it measures about 30 cm - about 2 ½ feet the way the measure it - they measure btwn - from the back of the eye to the tip of the nose and then there are formulas - after collecting for many yrs they have determined that there is a direct correlation btwn measurement and the size of the animal - they just measured the distance btwn the eye and the nostril and now they just measured the total body length - they measured about 45 cm and now they are measuring it about 50 cm so it is fairly accurate way of measuring the animal and when you have a large animal it is often a lot easier to measure that short distance than measuring the entire length of the animal. So we are going to -
talk in sp -
3:19 crock squeaking
A - there are 5 digits on the interior legs or the front legs and then there are 4 digits or 4 fingers on the posterior legs or hind legs and it has a tympanum which allows it to perceive sound - clearly from the sound it is making that crocs can hear.
Talk in sp
4:18 A - it is one of the very few reptiles that actually has parental care - it is the only one where mothers actually responds to calls of the juvs - the calls are made even when they are already in the egg and the mother can hear them - before they hatch.
Talk in spanish - and laughter -
4:59 woman - felicidades!
Clapping - gracias! Una cerveza! (you can hear them opening up beer cans) boat starts up -
6:04 end of that scene
7:24-13:38 ambi at camp at night?? Very good chirping - good forest ambi - a strange call in the distance
14:29 walking to another place further in the forest
14:44 pointing mic in another direction - forest ambi VG (CJ - parrots - I think it is a parrot) - LINDA: low freq hum is a humming bird - at Mirador
15;33 walking to another spot
16:55 a diff area in forest - ambi in forest
17:59 - looking for howling - LINDA moves around a little bit
18:25 - very very faint howling
18:47 - VG screeching of birds that fly by
19:47 - again VERY VERY faint howl in distance
21:07 - diff bird sound - (only for a few secs)
21:33 - very very distant howling
22;03 very distant howling
all ambi through 23:04
23:38-34:52 generic camp ambi - in the morning with no wind - boat motor in bg - @30:17 long wail - maybe a chair moving on wood??? @ 33:00 loud bird
W/ ANT LADY:
35:32 Leeanne Alonso (LA) - if you look at all these ants they are streaming along here this is an arboreal species, which actually is very common in these areas that flood. A lot of these ants are living up in the vegetation and not in the litter as you find in a lot of rainforest areas. And this is in the genus Dolichoderus and you can tell its sub family by smelling them. They have a real strong blue cheese odor I think -
CJ - yeah - a little bit of the -
35:54 Brandon T. Bestelmeyer (Brandon) - some people think it is rotten banana
35:59 ¿ Brandon - that one blue cheese
CJ - I say blue cheese that has been in the fridge a little too long
LA - and it is even worse when you use the aspirator when you suck them up into a vile - whoa! The taste in your mouth - so these are a kind you want to get with your forceps.
36:17 Brandon - yeah - it will stick with your finger for a few days
36:20 LA - one of the guys told us that this is a very common ant around here. They call it - what do they call it? washy? They even have a name for this particular ant.
36:29 Brandon - formega wesha (?)
LA - yeah
36:35 LA - ok - let¿s head to the transect
LA - in distance - watch out for the bat net
walking (thru 37:20)
37:21 Brandon - so there is the first mark
LA - (says something off mic - can¿t understand)
more walking thru 37:31
LA - ah Heliot!¿
37:37 Cj - be careful where you grab
talk in spanish with Heliot? And LA -
37:38 LA - last night they caught 19 bats - 6 species w/in those - that is great they weren¿t expecting to get all that many in one night!
38;10 LA - more talk in spanish
38:25 LA - mostly common species they found and tonight they are going to move the nets to another location so that they can see - bc the bats kind of learn the way through so they are going to move them to diff locations in the same general area tonight and they think they are going to leave them open today for birds.
CJ - what is his name?
LA - Heliot Zarza - from the University of Mexico 38:58 LA - ok, so here we are going to be doing - collecting litter for ants and also be digging in pit fall traps. So that ants walking along the surface will fall in and both of these methods we leave for 48 hours running. So we will take the litter back and leave them in these special extraction bags that we have for 48 hrs. and we will leave the pit falls for 48 hrs as well. 39:21
39:22 - 39:33 ambi with talking in sp in bg
39:34 LA - it is very dry litter - it is very dry right now, but most of the stuff in the top won¿t have that much ants but if youlook underneath there is all of these - ants love to live in these rotting sticks. For ex in Costa Rica in La Selva Bio. Station almost every little stick will have an ant crawling in it. see all these things down here and they just get hollow (CJ - that is a hollow stick - branch) the ants love to live in it - and here we might not find so many bc as I mentioned before the - when the area gets flooded not so many are going to live down in the litter of the ground. A lot of them are going to move up. A lot of them can move btwn the area so in the dry season they can come down in the litter and in the wet season when it floods they go up into the trees. 40:19
CJ - how deep is this litter?
LA - this looks fairly deep - we also take we get a stick and we take our leaflet or depth measurements we kind of take a measurement with a stick
CJ - and the further down you go
40:36 LA - 6 centimeters deep - that is pretty deep. We go just down to primary soil level - right Brandon? (Brandon - yep) but all this soil - see this stuff see - ants live inside this stuff - so we will go down about as far as here until we get to the roots. But now is the height of the dry season so a lot of the ants will be moving down to get more water or up - so we will have to see what kind of diversity we get in this litter level.
41:07 Brandon - you can see that abundance is not going to be a problem
LA - there are a lot of ants here. Oh here is a really nice Azteca. They carry their abdomen up in the air - they point it up when they run.
41:22 - CJ - it is very small
LA - uh hu. It is the same genus that lives in the Cecropia trees
CJ - sure.
LA - and it also has that odor of that one - of the delicortorous (?) that we were just looking at - it is the same sub family. Ok Brandon (?) where do you want to put the - take the samples.
41:40 Brandon - well, why don¿t we do it one side or the other - well we have to make our stick - measuring stick
LA - so how much litter are we going to take?
Brandon - what do you think we start with? What do you think we use? What a half a meter squared?
LA - well, let¿s mark out a meter and see how much litter we get. So basically we are going to take about one zip lock bag full - one gallon full of litter. And that is what will fit in the extractors. And we are not sure exactly yet how much litter will fit in the zip locks. So we will start with a meter square and then go adjust it accordingly if we have to make it smaller. 42:29
42:30 ambi/fx - setting it up - VG
42:50 Brandon - so, how about - where? Right - so - (LA - ??) let¿s get a piece of undisturbed leaflet (?) of forest - let¿s mark it (off mic)
43:22 LA - we didn¿t bring any flags so we are going to use sticks
43:25 good ambi
43:34 LA - there¿s a lot of ants (hard to understand - off mic)
43;43 Brandon - let¿s make sure this is a meter - why don¿t you bring it in just a little bit -
LA - ok
some talk off mic
43:57 LA - ok
44:05 LA - want to collect a little? Want to hold the bag?
Brandon? - ok
LA - so basically, the litter you don¿t want to put all the big leaf - pieces of leaf - you want to get the little tiny dirt the sticks and the little piece of dirt where the ants are living so we sift it in this mesh - what do you call this ? a screen? (Brandon - yeah) - it is a bag with a screen in it and we put the litter in the top and kind of sift it all around and the all the sifted litter will fall to the bottom and then we will take it back to the lab and extract it. and we will put in some pitfall traps all long side of the quadrant where we are collecting the litter to catch the larger species that are foraging on top of the leaf litter that we would scare off during that process. 44:57
talk off mic - LA - why don¿t we throw this out and shake it in here (?) - there were some ants in it - 45:05 BANGING - good FX - LA - ok
45:30 VG FX -
45:36 LA - we got to break up all these sticks in case some one is living in them
45:51 more sifting of dirt
45:58 LA - we are going to shift these jobs after a while you know it gets tiring! (Brandon - no kiding!) good exercise!
46:03 More sifting - VG FX/ambi
46:17 LA - ok, let me get this one and then I am going to dump this - I am going to sift this for a little bit.
Brandon - ok
LA - these are great sticks for ants - it is very dry - the biggest thing for ants is that they get dehydrated
46:32 more sift VG -
46;46 LA - see how much we got so far - good enough (?) we dump it out and start agin with more litter - oh there is an ant -
more sifting - VG - through 47:47
47:48 - LA - I am going to dump this in a min - hold on a sec - talk over sifting hard to hear
47:49 more sifting
47:54 - LA - better let this thing drag on the ground so they don¿t get too heavy. I like to put all the litter in one place so that I can put it back and let something else live there afterwards.
48:05 ambi /FX - VG
48:41 - LA - there is quite a lot of litter here
Brandon - yeah - there is
LA - let¿s see how much fits in the zip lock
48:44 - ambi -
48:56 LA - a lot of big stuff that is not going to go through - then you got to scrape the bottom when you get all the top stuff off ¿.this method is especially good for ants bc they are very active and they will run out of the extractor and get collected but also some things like spiders and other active insects they¿ll move around too much and don¿t get pulled out - (hard to hear) 49:35 LA - laughter - getting heavy -
49:38 - more sifting
49:50 LA - maybe (we¿ve got to ?) look for some nests in these sticks ¿.sifiting¿.ok now we will get all the real fine stuff (Brandon - ok)
50:21 LA - get some of those ants that you don¿t see very often - that is what this ??/ is good for - some that just aren¿t active on the surface so you get them right on the soil level
50:32 - Brandon - they tend to all be really small and a lot of them have a behavior where they will play dead so unless you are really looking for them and have them in sort of a laboratory situation whre you can place them against a white bg you would never see them
50:53 - more sifting
51:28 - LA - ok, that looks good
Brandon - yep - clean!
51:48 LA - should we do one more? See any in there ? supper dry -
man - you finished already? Can I have one that is already done?
CJ -we have plenty of sound - go ahead
VERY WINDY - ambi not good here
52:32 - a diff sifting sound - diff place??
52:54 LA - ok¿.got the bag (?)
53:00 shuffling around
LA - get them in the bags (?) - so we try this and get the ??? - 53:22 hopefully with some ants in it - ok! Perfect size
Brandon - excellent! 53:29 - ok, that is a sample
LA - a meter squared is kind of a standard method for ants that a group of ant ecologists and taxonomists have kind of developed so we are trying to use this standard methodology so we can compare it to other sites around the world53:44 - ok, pretty good - I will put a label on that if you want to dig the pit fall just over on the other side
Brandon - yep
53:56 - digging pitfall - (w/talking in bg - CHRIS in bg)
54;10 Brandon - so this again is for capturing the large species that we would have spooked off of the leaf litter surface
54:24 CJ - so you are adding some kind of liquid to the plastic
54:26 brandon - yeah, this is ethyl alcohol and a little drop of anti freeze in there to help prevent the evaporation of the liquid
54:38 ambi - movt
54:46 Brandon - so about how many meters do you usually do Leeanne?
54;51 - LA - just maybe a meter (????)
Brandon - ok, right
54;59 walking in leaves
55:07 Brandon - so first I build a little hole just big enough to fit the cup in
55;14 - ambi
55:20 Brandon - and to keep the sample clean it is good to use two cups one that you put in the cup that is actually going to be the trap so that you can pull out to remove all the dirt that will fall into the trap while you are putting it in
55:36 - good FX
55:45 - Brandon - so I save a little bit of the dirt on the side to fill back in around the cup - and it is good to keep the cup level. And just below the surface of the ground here so that ants don¿t hit a barrier as they come up to the trap
56:07 - good FX
56:40 brandon get a little extra dirt fill in around the rim here.
56:47 - good ambi/FX
57:01 brandon - then you replace the leaf litter something of the natural structure that you would have right around the natural trap. I like to think the ants are not going to be tricked by my little rouse here
57;19 - ambi
57:25 brandon - and you pull up the other cup that was inside the trap filled with dirt fill with a little bit of the ethyl alcohol mixture and it is ready to go 57;41
57:48 woman?? How long do you leave it?
Brandon - for 48 hours
57:51 Cj - what kind of trap do you call this?
Brandon - it is a pit-fall trap. This is very commonly used for arthropod studies in habitats ranging from deserts in fact probably better still in deserts and open habitats through out the world.
LA - Sometimes in the open areas when it rains a lot you have got to put a little cover over the top. But here where it is not going to rain it should be fine just like this. It gets you a lot of things - it gets you a lot of beetles and it sometimes gets you skinks and lizards. The herpetologists use this method as well, but bigger traps.
58:31 woman - are they attracted to the liquid or do they just fall in?
LA - ants are not attracted to the liquid and you don¿t want them to be attracted bc you want it to be random - some beetles are attracted to the antifreeze stuff
Brandon - in fact they can detect it - some scarabs can actually fly into it and they will fly into it and they will be flying and orient right into the trap and hit the liquid.
58:59 LA - and use a more environmentally friendly kind bc sometimes if animals eat it they will get sick. Well we already found some cool ants in here. I see some really small ones running around.
Brandon - and here is an ex of one of the larger ants that actually witness falling into the traps - uh! -- it is not an ant it is an ant mimic -
59:27 LA - is it a spider?
Brandon - no, I think it is a - I don¿t know what it is - it might be a hypnictrium (??)
59:37 LA - oh yeah - it is a hypnictrium - or it looks just like this big carpenter ant. A lot of insects mimic ants bc ants are really nasty - full of chemicals and aggressive so most other things leave them alone so a lot of things like to mimic them so nothing will eat them - go in there guy!
Brandon - actually there is prob no better illustration than the importance of ants in ecosystems than the number of diff kinds of diff arthropods that mimic them - it is bc they are everywhere 1;00:15
1:00:20 CJ - is it not fair to encourage him?
LA - (under breath - no he can¿t) - oh! He is kind of dumb though! There he goes - did he fall in?
Brandon - unfortunately this guy has really sticky feet.
LA - see if it is a flying insect so they are real good at flying - sticking to things - the ones that are right on the ground aren¿t so good at climbing out
1:00:41 Brandon - nope! It is a mimic - it is a hypnictrium ant mimic.
1:00:54 LA - yeah - it looks like a mimic
Brandon - but I am going to want to collect this anyway. Ep!!
1:01:11 LA - do you want to take some kind of measurements of the canopy cover
Brandon - sure!
LA - now the next one we will do at the other ??/ better?
1:01:35 man ? - what are you going to do next?
Brandon - measuring canopy closure using the densiometer
man - and then?
Brandon - and then move on - we are just going to collect more litter
CJ - yeah - we can back off the next time - we have tons of sound¿can you tell me what exactly is that and how does it work?
1:02:00 Brandon- this is a densiometer - and you hold it level and little bit in front of you - there is a mirror there and there are some etchings across that mirror and the etchings divide the mirror this convex mirror into diff sections and if you hold it level and you hold it in front of you so you can¿t see your own reflection in the mirror and is taking in the light from the forest around you can count the number of quarter sections from each of these little grid cells that has an opening in it and then through some mathematical conversion you can actually calculate the percent of overhead canopy cover.
CJ - you can¿t shave with that
1:02;46 - Brandon - but you can look real funny with it
CJ - how many grids are tehre?
Brandon - there are - 1, 2, 3,¿¿¿there are 24.
1:03:12 LA - so the amount of light getting to the forest floor effects a lot how many ant species and how many other things are living in the litter.
CJ- I suppose it matters what time of day it is to
Brandon - yeah, absolutely.
LA - a little bit
1:03:24 Brandon - but in general it is going to be opening where exactly the light falls and some of these microhabitats can effect - the time of day can effect that - but mostly it is going to effect how dry the litter gets and how harsh the environment becomes ona day to day basis.
1:03:52 Brandon - ok. So this is SP09 point - [rustling around ] so - (you can hear him counting under breath) - 9
Cj - 9 cells that are going to have light?
Brandon - 1:04;26 9 quarter cells - yeah
LA - so that is pretty dense - here with these palms
Brandon - yeah - the palms are casting a lot of
1:04:47-1:09:36 ambi @ place (1:06:37 - boat goes by) - quiet forest ambi with some faint talking in bg and lapping waves form passing boat
1:09:45 Brandon - cactus! Even if you brush past them they get in your pant leg and they are absolutely - they are brittle!
Cj - they break off in your skin
1:09:56 - Brandon - work your way in just enough -
1:10:16 LA - remember to tie the bag first (off mic)
1:10:27 LA - just have to have my ant collecting stuff very handy - (unzips something)
CJ - I guess the gloves are an imp part
Brandon - you never know what you are going to find!
LA - esp I find in the tropics that a lot of times in the tropics there are scorpions and spines from these plants in the little so I just try to be careful. Some people don¿t use them - but you never know what is int here
Brandon - well in this stuff with this - with these spines
1;10:49 LA - actually - this is a good way to find heps too - often I find snakes or lizards in these plots.
Brandon - actually my first time trying this there was a coral snake that was just clearing away the litter - one was passing right underneath and shoop! Came right out the other side - quite a thrill
1:11:07 LA - Ok - we will mark our transepts - in our meter square
1:11:21 - moving around in woods
Brandon - which way do you want to do it
LA - maybe -
1:11:56 - wind picks up?
1:12:01 - LA - hum. I smell some kind of animal - do you? Do you smell that? Let¿s see if any monkeys come - so we mark out corners here so we know where to get our litter
1:12:23 - Brandon - why don¿t you pull that in maybe a half a meter
LA - here?
Brandon - yeah
AMBI -rustling around
Brandon - well let¿s see where if the other -= where is the other stick? It is right there 1:13;10 - so - wait wait wait - close enough
1;13:18 LA - very good. sometimes if you get logs inside this quadrant we would get a little machete and chop it up - bc that is a great place for ants to live and we want to get all of the good little microhabitats in there. ---- ok, now we will - you want me to sift Brandon and you pick up the litter?
Brandon - yeah, yeah
1:13:47 Brandon - so here is a good trunk
1:13:56 Brandon - could be an ant condo¿ah great! There is the ??/ move this out of the way
LA - that spiny plant is a key reason to where gloves
1:14;22 Brandon - yep -= there we go
1:14:33 - rustling ambi sifting -
1:14:48 LA - sift all the big pieces of litter off so we can just get the little stuff to extract the ants later - we just want the little small pieces of litter
LA - do another round
1:15:36 LA - very very dry litter
Brandon - where is your stick?
LA - right here then in that log there
1;15:48 Cj - how many diff species of ants would you expect to find in a square meter like this?
1;15:58 Brandon - um, something like I guess it kind of depends what youa re interested in
LA - you can find up to about 30 species in like a tropical moist forest in a meter squared. Not necessarily all living in the plot but like walking through and living. But in terms of ones that nest in about a meter squared you can get up to about 15 nests in a meter square litter. Here it will prob be less bc the litter is so dry esp this time of year
La - maybe we will get - I suspect maybe around 10 species in one of these plots. And we will get some of the species that are in almost all the plots and then we will get some that are just in one - those are the ones we want to find. Those are the ones that are very sensitive if there is any habitat change and only are found in pretty good forests. Very good - nice log there - no ants in there though?
Brandon - haven¿t seen any yet - no.
1;17:01 more sifting -
1:17:05 Brandon- one of the reasons for the great turn over or for the great diversity of ants in these sort of habitats is that you get diff ant species as you go from plot to plot
1:17:19 good sifting
1:17:38 LA - and we like to look at ants bc there¿s diff ant species are good indicators of how disturbed the habitat is - there are some that are only in really open clearings like the fire ants that have invaded the US - it is so successful there bc they love disturbed open fields like pastures and here too there is a native species that you can use as an indicator of disturbed areas. Like around the station even - those species are only living in a big open area that won¿t find back here in the forest.
1:18:12 good sifting
LA - 1:18:55 So for instance it is not just diversity like how many plant species that we find but who are we that really tells us a lot about the condition of the habitat in the place that we are working. So we want to get an idea of the park here and what good state it is - especially down here which is at the edge of the park, compared to w/in the park and see how pristine these areas are and try to keep it that way. 1:19:19
1:19:20 good sifting
1:19:28 LA - you want to get a little bit from that trunk - SAID OVER SIFTING
1:19:49 - Brandon - all soil underneath here
LA - lemme right there - that pile
1:19:59 CJ - I bet you are a good house keeper¿you don¿t want to leave anything behind
1:20:09 LA - brandon prob is - I don¿t know¿.LA - that¿s pretty good - a pretty good sample. I varies btwn plots at how deep the litter is. Actually do you want to take a quick measurement of litter on the other side of the plot there - (Brandon - ok) - give us a better idea of how deep the plot is here - it is something we try to measure - do the canopy coverage and then measure - and also it is very imp to take measurements of the soil temp and the leaf litter temp - especially since we are doing a lot of ants that do not necessary nest there but are just active in walking around. 1:20:49 So if it is too cold they are just not going to be active and that could be a reason why - if it is too hot as well. We need to have that info - what do you have there? How deep does it get?
1:21:04 Brandon - well, it looks like 2.5 cent
LA - ok - that prob explains why we have less litter this time - the first plot was about 6 cent deep of leaf litter 1;21;20. So we will note that in a note. So now we will pour the leaf litter into the bag - take it back
1:21:33 shuffling around thru 1:22:02
1:22:03 LA - you have to be careful with the ziplocks bc if you have those spines you can poke it and the ants will escape - that is the other thing - we have to take these back and put them into the winkler extractors right away cause sometimes the ants if there are some chewing ants in there they will just chew their way out of the bag and escape. So we have to do it fairly quickly - w/in the same day and also it dries out really fast and ants are very sensitive to desiccation that is the biggest thing that will kill them. It looks good
Brandon - looks great
1:22:36 LA - I saw some little tiny tiny ants in the last sample that we wouldn¿t have seen otherwise. Oh there is a big one. A big ponerrine? - hypo???/ - see it - it is going down there - see that black ant down there -
CJ - no - I will have to take your word on it
LA - ants the best way to see them is by moving them
Cj - why bc they differ in the way they move?
LA - no - well actually you can tell ants by that - but you cansee them in dirt bc they are always moving. They rarely stop and play dead. These actually - this group likes to play dead when youa re sifting the ants. 1:23:11 there is a spider, some beetles.
Brandon - tons of stuff
LA - oh!
Bra - oh - here is another one
LA - a cricket! Another ant
Brandon - yeah - this one is full of stuff
LA - good stuff
CJ - before we move on I just want to ask you a couple of quests since this is a aquarap one of the things I was curious about is why is it imp to study the ants and the insects that are in this up land area that seems to be a good 20 meters above water level - how does it relate to the idea of the aquarap to understand what ants are here.
1:24:14 LA - Well 2 reasons. 1 we are doing ants on some of the aquaraps partly bc we want to see the relationship btwn the water and the terrestial systems and ants have been found to be a big part of the diet of a lot of fish . so we really want to understand what is driving the diversity and the abundances of aquatic organisms. You have to know a lot about all parts of their ecology including what are they eating and diff aspects of what is effecting their lifefstyles so that is part of the reasons they are doing ants on a couple of the aquaraps also this part rap trip is a kind of a combo rap - it is a little bit more expanded than a traditional rap bc they want some really good baseline info for the park to set up management and monitoring plans so we have included bats and small mammals right along the edge and also some terrestrial insect groups. 1;25:10
1:25:11 - 1;25:51 ambi in area
some talk btwn CJ and LA ¿not imp
1:26:40 LA - we are part of this group trying to get ant methods. We are actually making a book w/the Smithsonian- how to make standardize collections so that everybody can be comparing data everywhere¿we are really trying to promote ants. 1:27:11 the key for ants too is you can¿t just hike. If you stay in one place and just watch tons will just start to walk in front of you - esp if you put a little bit of your lunch down there - I find the best ants when I am eating ants in the forest.
1:27;28 Cj - I guess collecting ants here isn¿t that much diff than it is in collecting them in Rock Creek Park.
La - No - there is just more them. That;s why ants are great - you can go anywhere and find them
Brandon - you point them out to people and they will start to see their diff too - people will start to see them as something other than just picnic ants
Cj - part when you get into their complexity and their behavior - that is when you start to scratch your head and wonder¿¿.who else could make up such a bizarre behavior.
1:28:05 LA - actually I think it is cool that the indigenous peoples that I meet have diff names for diff ants in the forest - they know diff behaviors. So people that are more in tune w/nature really see these things.
Brandon - you can really gage just how imp a group of animals are to a group of people living in a particular place by the number of - the level at which they distinguish them - and so they are distinguished ¿¿they have a lot of diff names for a lot of diff ants like eskimos have 20 diff names for snow¿..
1:28;51 LA - ok - we have to do the pitfall¿..i can look for the smelly ants. I am going to put the pitfall in
CJ - oh that is nice of you
LA - yeah - so that things can recolonize. They will never know we were here¿.displaced spiders can go back home
1:29:50 LA - very very often, after termites abandon a nest ants will colonize it. especially these arboreal ants they live in any hollow place. So this is belocorterous (?) inhabiting this abandon termite nest.
CJ - looks like a big old beehive I guess. As soon as you touched it all those ants came out
1:30:12 LA - yeah - so they are very (taping in bg) sensitive to any disturbance. So they will run around - these ants don¿t sting like those ??? (a name of an ant)
CJ - you promise?
LA - I promise. Yeah. But they have a very strong defensive chemical. They will try to bite and then they spray this defensive chemical that is kind of like a blue cheese. So why don¿t you try to suck some up and see if you can
CJ - ok so this is the aspirator - just put the end of this tube in my mouth and point this thing at the end
LA - you see there is a little screen here - so the ant will come in this tube come in the vial but it can¿t come in your mouth bc there¿s a screen - although sometimes the screen breaks and you eat a few but this one looks like it is in good shape
CJ - I like blue cheese by the way
LA - oh good - now these are fast - so go after them !
1:30:52 (very very very faint inhaling thru straw sound)
LA - did you get one?
CJ - yeah - I think I got one - I didn¿t taste any blue cheese
LA - just wait - get a couple in there
CJ - there¿s a couple -
1;31:06 faint straw sound
Cj - I seem to be getting a lot of the termite nest in there as well
LA - that¿s ok
CJ- I think there is a trick to this - do you need practice?
LA - yes, definitely - it is hard though on a surface like this - very flakey termite nest
more faint sucking - VERY hard to hear
LA - it is easier on a leaf or something¿you are doing pretty well - are they emitting their chemical yet? If you rile them up you will
1:31;50 - more sucking - but VERY hard to hear
1:32:01 CJ - there is one on the outside - I got 3 of them in there
LA - they also can grab hold pretty well, so sometimes it takes a while to - I think the problem is you have the end clogged with the termite nest
FX- lightly taps the aspirator
1:32:21 CJ - ooh! I can taste that! It is not bad - only needs a little port to go with that
LA - exactly! Very strong chemical - you know ants are each others worst enemies. So even though it is not going to hurt you that odor - it is kind of annoying - it can really ward off or kill another ant species
1:32:42 CJ - would you like these?
LA - yes. Thank you very much. [CJ laughter] - good collecting. Let¿s see if they taste bad -
1:32:48 - LA sucking them in [faint sound] another trick (saying this with straw in mouth) is to put them on your glove - oh yeah I tasted that one - [shaking out aspirator] - it is a little extra snack in the field!
1:33:12 CJ - well I can say I had lemon ants in Ecuador and now blue cheese ants in Guatemala. What is next/ are there any other flavors?
1:33:23 LA - yeah well he campanoah are the formic acid ones - I don¿t know what you would call those. They are kind of lemony but they are not that pleasant. Citric ants I guess
Cj - yeah
LA - and then you can just get some good fried ones
1:33:37 - more aspirating - very very faint
1:33:47 - CJ - they are really fast
LA - the trick -
Cj - they really don¿t like going down that thing
LA - well, the other thing is that they are big - army ants are really hard to suck up bc they have super long legs and they will hold on to the end and just sit there for a long time and you can¿t suck up the soldiers they are way to big
1:34:14 LA - yeah they are starting to get the noxious in there (obnoxious ?) - ok. Good going
1:34:19 walking around
1:34:27 LA - ok. We are going to do another one ¿¿¿
END OF THIS SCENE
1:35:23 - ambi - waiting for boat - boat coming in to shore¿people talking as they pack up
1:37:12 CJ - so Barry what did you find?
Barry Chernoff (BC) - well, we had a great start we caught 11 species and amazingly one new one in a group that I work on so I - it is so cool - I have only seen 2 of these - 2 specimens of this species captured in 1935 and we got 2 more today which isnt enough to describe it but we are going to get it and it is a new species of silver side (?) which is a marine group in most of the world but in Mexico and Central Am it lives almost exclusively in fresh waters.
1:37:53 CJ - I can tell from the way you look right now that you had to go to great lengths to find this fish
1;37:59 - BC - that¿s right - I guess the easiest way to describe the mud that we were walking through was like loose oatmeal except it was muddy with lots of sticks and the water was probably - I don¿t know - 2 feet deep at the greatest - but the mud was about 4 feet deep. So we were essentially sort of putting our shoulders in the mud and just holding the net and just pushing ourselves through and doing what we could. Oh is that fantastic. I just had no hopes of seeing that fish and had been working on the group since 1983 and I have never turned up more specimens until today. So this is a highlight day 1:38:42
BC - yeah it is wonderful
CJ - have you got him with you -
BC - do you have the fishes right here? You have to be careful bc the fishes are preserved in a preservative and it is very hard on the hands. And this is one. It is a little pretty fish. it is a silver sode. Bc of the silver stripe that runs along the body.
CJ - and it is about an inch and a half - 2 inches long -
BC - yeah, and it gets larger - it gets up about this long - and when it is alive you can see that it has yellow on the back fin and a little bit of yellow on the belly and what makes this one diff from all others is the number of scales along the side of the body and the pattern of pigment but also I was able to notice in one of the 2 specimens that were collected in ¿35 that they have diff kind of teeth. 1;39:40 But what is really neat about these fishes is I think I can see it- there is kind of a modeled pattern on the top of the jaw - this is a novel sensory system and it has got little pits and canals and there are organs in there that have little hair cells so there is a little hair attached to the cell and whenever waves of water come over the top the hair cells wave and these things are very efficient at coming up and eating bugs that hit the surface - so it is like ringing the dinner bell for these things. So here you go - you can hold a new species of fish 1;40:16 - that is prob the
Cj - have you decided on a name yet?
1:40:21 BC - no I haven¿t yet but we are standing next to a possible good target
Herman A. Kihn (HK) - it was his net
BC - no - we will think of a good name
CJ - so you have a bucket full?
BC - yeah. We have a whole bucket full of fishes here. one of the most common species that we got was the fire mouth cichlid and you can see the intense cherry red color in the throat and if you open the mouth - it is a tiny little mouth - and look inside it you can see the red color inside the mouth and the other spectacular thing is - see the light stripe here? [CJ - uh huh] when they are alive in the water that is just an electric blue on the pelvic fin up on the front of the body and there was electric blue up on the spot around the head here - it is very common in the aquarium trade in the US. A fish like this prob sells for about $2 - $2.50 when they get larger about $5.
1:41;23 CJ - so you might say that this fish being here might be a source of income for people who live here?
1:41:33 BC- it could be - normally I would think that but this is being bred very commonly in the aquarium trade. Unfortunately for supporting local peoples these things breed very readily in aquaria so you can just put them in your tank and in the right condition get males and females they just breed right away. We also have some other cichlids - that this is not the same thing - this is the hellerii? or [Cichlasoma] pasionis - bc of the dark thing - and Herman is this the first case of pasionis from here?
HK - no
1:42;14 BC - so back in 1935 there are records of this fish as well. It is related to the fire mouth cichlid. But we have something that will just drive you wild. Let me show you this fish here - (boat start up in bg) - you are used to seeing the normal sail fin mollies that - 1:42:41 BC - this is sail fin molly that we have here and this is common in the aquarium trade in the United States and this is a typical number of the family Poeciliidae but this is also a Poeciliid
CJ - Whoa!
1:42:56 BC - but this is a pike Poeciliid or a gar Poeciliid and these are predators and this - they have - if you can see here - really elongate jaws prob about equal to the size of their head from their eye to the back of the head
CJ - full of teeth
BC - full of big thin teeth and it is a big predator. This is a male and this is a modification of the anal fin by the fin rays and it is called a gonapodium and the male inserts this into the anal pore of the female and transmits a packet of sperm. They have internal fertilization. What is neat about this - I am going to ask you to guess what the closest living relative of this fish is
1:43:49 CJ - pike?
BC - no - the closet living relative of this fish is the mosquito fish
CJ - really/
BC - yeah - it just shows you know when we start studying the patterns of nature and who is related to who the types of surprises when you think about the possible ancestral forms of a mosquito fish and this bizarre looking fish you know how they could be modified and changed in the course of their histories.
1:44:16 CJ - how many diff species did you get w/that one sweep of the net.
BC - well we worked for an hour and a half and we took possibly 25 sweeps with the net and we caught 11 species today.
Cj - wow.
BC - Which is good for a start - the net that we had wasn¿t our best net - our best nets are arriving this afternoon. So the poor size of the net was a little bit big and many of the small species were swimming through the net as we were coming in. but you can see the beautiful colors - the yellows and the fire reds and - 1:44:55 this is a nastyannex (?) which is a member of the family corracidie, primarily which live in south america and this species either it is called mexicanus or faciadus is though to go from patagonia, argentina up to patagonia, Arizona and when the rio grande floods it goes into Arizona, but there are many species - someone has to work on it, but it is a member of a south american family that has extended its way north.
CJ - well, congratulations
BC - yeah - well, like I said it is a great start - what a way to begin.
CJ - I think you need a shower!
BC - no, no no we will stay like this until later! This feels good 1:45:43
¿..talk btwn Cj and BC about next time¿.
Washing hands getting the carcinogenic stuff off their hands ¿.
1:46:46-1:54;56 ambi in area -of a stream/spring - some talking in bg - getting better at 1:48;13 - but people in bg - nice birds - but people too
1:54:56 END OF DAT