Articles

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Snapshots from two Canadian Entomologists in Honduras

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Catherine Scott and I continue on our Honduran odyssey, finally making it out into the field to begin our work on Red-throated Caracaras. We are working in a medium-elevation pine forest, consisting of mainly Pinus oocarpa and a couple oak species. This makes the surroundings seem very much like the foothills of the Rockies, except the species composition is way off!

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In these pine forests, one of the main defoliating species are fungus-rearing leafcutter ants!

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On some of the flowering plants, mantids lie in wait of unwary pollinators.

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Catherine Scott and Isidro Zuniga, our main Honduran collaborator, check out the cryptic mantid.

Being weird gringos, and something of a novelty, we get great opportunities to chat with curious kids. Some of them are really enthusiastic about birds and insects, and some can be persuaded to show us where to find the cool bugs. 

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We will keep searching out these cool bugs, as our Honduras fieldwork continues. Please stay tuned for more updates from the field, when and where we can fit them in.

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Cattle bots!

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While out visiting our friend Rafael’s ranchito yesterday, we were surrounded by a herd of curious cattle. These were a mix of both Brahmas and Holsteins, with some crosses as well. One animal in particular caught my eye; it appeared to have bot emergence holes on its sides.

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I asked Rafael what these were, and sure enough, he told me that these were « torsalo », basically the same New World bot that scientists are always getting in the Neotropics. I was not aware that Dermatobia hominis parasitizes cattle, but apparently it quite commonly does so. It makes sense, as emergence sites of Cattle Grubs would be higher up on the back of the animal.

I love it how my entomological training really gets awakened when travelling in new areas.