|Cement path at La Selva|
During the year we installed a broadband internet uplink, enabling me to update the flea beetle web site (as well as allowing us to shop and watch utube and netflix). Also during the year I created a draft project summary, which may be found on the web page:
|Red Ptocadica flea beetle on Passiflora lobata leaf.|
The present trip has begun ideally for correcting the first problem - I arrived to La Selva August 5 after an unusually intense rainy season. Any observations I can make over the next few weeks will tell a great deal about rainy season effects on the beetles. Thus far, after a few days of observing, I can say that many of the flea beetles are actively reproducing, as indicated by aggregations of 5-15 beetles of the same species on a plant, including mating pairs. These include two species of Parchicola, Monomacra violacea, red Pedilia, and red Ptocadica. The only common species I haven't yet found is yellow-tibia Parchicola. This suggests (with the possible exception of yellow-tibia Parchicola) that life goes on as usual for the beetles during an intense rainy season. This is in contrast to the Heliconius butterflies, whose numbers and activity seem greatly suppressed. Perhaps another important difference between the flea beetles and the butterflies?
|Red Pedilia larva after moulting to 2nd instar|
|Eggs of Red Pedilia on Passiflora pittieri|