Sunday, August 22, 2010

June 17

Checking the Anolis for ticks.

We got a lot more done today than we did yesterday. Today start at Dry Bay where we checked all of the cover boards, we saw a blue tailed lizard (which could be Plestiodon fasciatus, Plestiodon laticeps, or Plestiodon inexpectatus, all three of these lizards are the same coloring as juveniles) but we weren’t fast enough to catch it. We then opened all the pitfall traps. We did the same thing at Four Mile. This didn’t take too long and we had several hours until we could meet with Bess to determine our GPS coordinates at Long Tin, so we decided to search for a drift fence at a set aside called Sand Hill. This drift fence has been up for decades and the people who set it up are a long time gone and since it’s not used anymore not many people know where to find it. But this site has a high population of Racerunners (Aspidoscelis sexlineata), which we haven’t found yet, at our sites. After almost an hour of wandering we found the fence. It was in a really weird set up but we thinking about asking permission to dig buckets at the ends and turn them into pitfalls. I don’t know if it will be approved but it’s worth the shot to find out. After this we had some down time until our meeting.
Turns out our plot we found yesterday was really easy to find the coordinates for so we were done in about an hour. We now have a 130m by 130 m square that is now being looked over for approval. Fingers crossed this will finally work out so we can get all three of these sites up and running together.
Back to Dry Bay and Four Mile to check the pitfall traps (we found an Anolis at Dry Bay in a pitfall and it had no ticks, supporting the belief that Anolis do not carry ticks) and open the mammal traps. At Four Mile we found a juvenile shorttail shrew (Blarina brevicauda) in a pitfall. It was adorable, it only weighed 6 grams and was so soft. This tiny shrew had 10 tick larvae attached to him. All of them were either on the hind feet, between the toes or on the tail. We don’t know what species the tick was but DNA testing will be able to answer that question.

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