|An Aggregation of Hyperparasitoids of Fig Wasps|
|Chrysina sp. found at Monteverde|
The biodiversity in Monteverde is much more rich than in San Luis. A few hundred feet of elevation takes you into the cloud forest (aka cloud factory) and with all that extra moisture the land teems with life. In the little time I spent up there I saw more species than I could wish for, including the silver Chrysina beetle. I also had the pleasure of digging through the station's collections and seeing beetles that were bigger than my hand for the first time. It was a religious experience and in moments like those, I feel reaffirmed in my love for insects.
|Coleoptera collection at Estacion Biologica de Monteverde|
|Undescribed species of walking stick|
After CASEM, the group and I toured the Monteverde's cheese factory. This strange building was built in the 1950's by 11 Quaker families who retreated from Alabama when the military drafts for WWII came through. I tried amazing cheeses and snacked on even tastier ice cream, but after hearing about those families I had a strange dream. In it I was babysitting many kids and couldn't keep myself from telling their father that he shouldn't have anymore children, considering how impossible it would be to take care of them all and based on the world's over-population. It didn't go over well.
|Nyssodesmus python - milipede decomposer|
Alongside my research at the Ecolodge, I am also helping teach a comparative animal behavior class. I took this class while at Hendrix, but now get to see all the critters in person with their strange displays and social strategies. There's nothing I love more than sharing the wonders of nature with others and this trip is all about that! I'll be giving a lecture on Coevolution between Fig trees and Fig wasps this week and perhaps convert some students to loving Hymenoptera.
Want more? I blog weekly, but I post photos everyday to my instagram: justanothernakedape