101208 - my last morning here. Up early to finish the last mini-Winkler sampling, take down the Malaise trap and pack up. Flying out of Liberia this afternoon at 2:00pm and already looking forward to my return in February 2011!
Wandered around the Area Adminstrative looking for Pseudomyrmex ("Acacia Ants") to film. There was a fair bit of wind, so the leaves and thorns moving in the breeze made for some difficult filming, but I did get some neat footage of the ants moving in and out of their thorns and feeding from foliar nectaries.
101207 - Area de Conservacion de Guanacaste (ACG), Costa Rica, Junquillal, Estacion Junquillal, 50 m
Arrived and registered at the Station. Walked Sendero del Caro until the first small peak after the trail splits (I'd gone to the right). Wet at the start, but VERY dry where I sampled. Windy, sunny and the temperature rose from 24 - 27C while I was sampling. All traps down at 8:22am. 41 km from here to Rincon, 25 to Cacao, and 21 to Orosi. 360 Gigapan taken between 2 & 3. Videos taken of the dominant Pheidoles (black and yellow). Crematogaster, Pseudomyrmex and the Labidus.
101207 - 50m elevation. A small, windy ridge just up from the Estacion Junquillal. These large black Pheidole dominated all collection types at Junquillal today.
101207 - 50m elevation. A small, windy ridge just up from the Estacion Junquillal. These black Crematogaster were common on many trees at Junquillal today.
101207 - 50m elevation. A small, windy ridge just up from the Estacion Junquillal. These small yellow Pheidole were common at Junquillal today.
101207 - 50m elevation. A small, windy ridge just up from the Estacion Junquillal. The wind made for a challenging opportunity to shoot these Pseudomyrmex harvesting Beltian bodies and from foliar nectaries from their Acacia tree.
101207 - 50m elevation. A small, windy ridge just up from the Estacion Junquillal. These Labidus emerged from underneath the tuna bait here, and eventually drove nearly all other away. There's an encounter one worker has with Crematogaster near the end of the video.
101206 - Area de Conservacion de Guanacaste (ACG), Costa Rica, Volcan Rincon de la Vieja, Estacion Pailas, 1200 m
Isidro (Cacao 2009) let me in the locked gate - though he didn't recognize me at first. Walked up from 7:45-9:00 to 1200m. Traps open and bait down at 9:33. Very windy rain, and cloud too - 14C. Can feel ground moving as roots are shifted by the wind. Tarp up. Very dominant/common ant was Gnaptogenys - all traps, baits, sifts, searches. Video of Gnapto at Bait 4. 360 GigaPan (17x48) taken at ~Sift 1. Moist. Malaise trap erected at Santa Rosa at 6:30am.
101206 - These small, slow moving Gnaptogenys were all over the place on Rincon de la Vieja today (in the cloud at 1200m).
101205 - Area de Conservacion de Guanacaste (ACG), Costa Rica, Volcan Orosi, Estacion Maritza, 970 m
1.25 hrs walk up to 970m (6:40 - 8:10). Traps out and bait down at 8:30 necessary to be back at 3:30 to leave safely and get gas in La Cruz. Rained all night and all morning on walk up - stopped at 9:00am though cloudy for the day (with wind). Large Eciton swarm came through at 10:20 and were on site until I departed. Filled and took over bait and traps at 2 and 3. Traps up and at 1:30. Malaise trap taken down at 700m. 360 GigaPan taken between 2 and 3 on trail.
Two poneromorphs moving away cookie bait from the 1460 m elevation Cima del Volcan site. 101202. These were the most frequently encountered ant species at this high elevation site.
[101217 - Alex Wild says, "Cool. That's a Gnamptogenys of some sort, I think."] - Thanks Alex W.!
This caterpillar was feeding at 1460m elevation, top of Volcan Cacao. I didn't collect the caterpillar (unfortunately) and learned later from Dan Janzen that there are rare Belvosia that parasitise such large, red caterpillars at this high-elevation site. (rats!)
101201 - Area de Conservacion de Guanacaste (ACG), Costa Rica, Volcan Cacao, Estacion Cacao, 740 m
Dominant taxa here is the small yellow Myrmicinae (Wasmannia) with the black spot on the gaster. Everywhere in the hundreds and thousands. This with the unfortunate Solenopsis invicta (?) from Gongora is also here. Video of Pachycondyla apicalis, Wasmania and other insects taken. This GigaPan was taken in the middle of the stream near Bait station 6. Howler monkeys, blue morpho butterflys calling cicadeas and "leopard" frogs. Almost no rain.
Very quickly moving and I found it very hard to get this in focus. This Pachycondyla has brilliantly yellow tips to it's antennae. Wonderful! It is approaching one of the cookie/tuna baits set beneath Sendero Arenales at the base of Volcan Cacao ~750m elevation.
These little yellow Myrmicinae were ALL over the leaf litter at 740m elevation on Cacao. Any leaf litter that was sifted had literally hundreds of them. Is this the widespread tramp species - or a similar looking native species?
I noticed this Neuroptera larvae moving around while I was scanning a mossy rock for some Solenopsis. Crazy! The focus is fixed after about 15 seconds. ~740m elevation, 101201.
These Aphaenogaster were quite common at this location. 101201 - ~720m elevation, up the road from Gongora.
101130 - Area de Conservacion de Guanacaste (ACG), Costa Rica, Volcan Cacao, Estacion Cacao, 1050 m
Another slow-ish start in the morning with the transfer in Quebrada Grande. Traps etc. out and open at 9:00am. Heavy rain all morning with very strong gusting wind. Sifted fallen logs (Hypoponera-oids) and fallen canopy log for some "new" Doliochoderinae. Video taken of the dominant Aphaenogaster taken at bait 4. It was about 18.5C.
Aphaenogaster and a caterpillar in the Bosque Arenales downhill from the Estacion at Cacao.
101129 - Area de Conservacion de Guanacaste (ACG), Costa Rica, Volcan Cacao, Estacion Cacao, 618 m
Drove to the near side of the bridge just before Estacion Gongora, left car there and walked up (~1/2 hr). Can hear construction below - not sure what it is. Traps and bait out at 8:30am. Many, many stout, red-haired gastered ponerines.
These stout ponerines were ALL over the ground near Estacion Gongora today (101129). Very timid when disturbed, but they didn't appear to be too bothered by the lights of the microscope. My pitfall traps were literally full of them. ~620 m elevation. Thanks to Jack Longino, these are Pachycondyla either P. impressa or P. purpurascens.
This little dacetine (Strumigenys) is in my Davis Sifter. The video might induce some motion sickness as I try to follow her around. The leaf litter sifting was done on November 29 2010, at the base of Volcan Cacao, Estacion Gongora.
These Ectatomma were resting on these leaves about chest high off the forest floor. Active searching on Nov 29, 2010 at the base of Volcan Cacao, Estacion Gongora, ~620m. Thanks to Jack Longino who identified them as E. tuberculatum.
101128 - Area de Conservacion de Guanacaste (ACG), Costa Rica, Volcan Cacao, Estacion Cacao 1200m
Bit of a late start with trading vehicles in Quebrada Grande - and driving up to the bottom of the Bosque Arenales - but after hiking up from there to just above the station, the traps were out by 9:45. This site is adjacent to the Malaise trap labelled, "Sendero Circular". It was raining and cold until 12:00 noon. Then windy but no rain. Ground here is very torn up.
Used the microscope to video two ant species and a red-eyed tree frog. You can hear the wind and rain in the background!
You can hear the rain in the background along with at least one species of bird.
The sound in the background is rain and an unhappy capuchin (white-faced) monkey. The material the ants are crawling through is a decaying log on the forest floor. Very wet.
Very small dark Pheidole - I was fighting the focus here, but did catch a soldier briefly. These have come to a cookie bait.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1vq3ujLIpY8 Nov 28 -Cacao - Sendero Circular - Pheidole
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gX_uF9oYrKQ Nov 28 -Cacao - Sendero Circular - Tree frog
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8sPsF_dwlI4 Nov 28 -Cacao - Sendero Circular - Stenamma
The GigaPan is set up on a very short tripod and you can really appreciate this perspective with the embedded GoogleEarth viewer: http://bit.ly/dPEFaQ
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