Student Journal Entry: Sam Shook


May 27th

Weather: Mid-High 80s, few clouds, sunny

Places Visited:
Rosan Botanical Gardens

Events of the Day:

After breakfast, Erich and I went down to the creek to check for suitable trees for traps, then I came back up and left with Travis and the marine group. They dropped off Travis and I at the entrance of a trail at the Botanical Gardens and left. We climbed the trail to the top of the hill, stopping several times for Travis to note the locations of anoles, and once for me to note an Odontomachus nest associated with termites, where I saw several foragers with termite prey. We ate lunch in the flat, more managed area at the top, and then Travis wandered off to check for lizards while I looked for Odontomachus. I found a nest at the base of a large tree in the middle of the area, and spent the rest of the time there either observing their foraging or petting several adorable dogs wandering around. We headed back down the hill, drove back to the station, I took a shower, and accidentally fell asleep.

Once I woke up, Erich and I headed uphill to the other part of the station, where we found two or three trees to put traps in. We got back just in time for dinner, which was chicken, fried breadfruit, salad, and coconut custard. I got to see Dr. Bob Kimsey again, which was nice, and then we had a meeting. I went down to the creek to watch the bat group work and look at the bioluminescent click beetles. I helped Jack carry crab catching equipment back tot he wet lab, and watch him try to attach a strong to the crab’s carapace.

New Species:
Ficus sp. strangler fig
Phidoles sp. Big-headed ant
Ignelator gryllidar Cricket
Staphylinidae Rove Beetle
Elateridae: Bioluminesent click beetle
Guinotia dentata Crab
Artiben jamaicensis Jamaican fruit bat

I feel like going on this many hikes all the time is going to wear me down eventually, but i suppose I will know tomorrow. The Botanical Gardens weren’t what i expected. I had been thinking of something very managed, but while the bottom and top of the hill were like that, the middle was just a nature trail.

There were a ridiculous number of lizards; we were disturbing one at least every few feet. I now have some data for my personal project, and I was very happy to get to see the trap-jaw ants in action. I’ve been thinking about this project for months and it was nice to have that validated.

Those stray dogs were really cute.

When we drove through Roseau on the way back to the station, it really didn’t seem to me like a capital city, or even like it was big enough to be a proper city, but that’s what comes from going from Texas to a small country like Dominica.

I’m glad I’ve gotten to see Dr. Bob Kimsey again. I hope I get a chance to catch up with him.

It was very peaceful sitting by the creek with the bat people in the dark, watching the glowing beetles and sometimes watching them dig a bat out of the net to measure it while it is trying to bite their fingers off.

Project status:

Group: lines put up in some trees so traps can be hoisted up, other trees selected.

Individual: First data collected.

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