It’s official

I got permission to do some of my research! Woohoo!

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Specifically, I will be collecting in Big Bend National Park, Texas, in a couple weeks. There is one Acronicta species, Acronicta valliscola, which was discovered within the park and has only been found there. All of the specimens I have seen in collections (and there are only a few) have been 30+ years old. So in order to get DNA for my phylogeny, it’s off to Texas I go. The time of year is right, the plane tickets have been purchased, and we’re starting to gather our field gear (trying to figure out how to carry a tent, sleeping bags, UV lights, caterpillar jars, etc).

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I will be going with a student who started in our lab as an undergraduate helper, then stayed a year to work for us in the lab, and now he is accepted to be a masters student in the fall. He knows his way around some caterpillar frass, let me tell ya. We will be traveling to Big Bend as well as some other locations in south-central Texas to collect moths and caterpillars for my project.

If anyone knows of good collecting spots in south-west or south-central Texas, please share! Even better if you live in the area and would be willing to host a couple of caterpillar-crazy entomology students for a night.

I’m sure my excitement won’t fully materialize until we arrive. For now I mostly feel relief that at least part of my project is going as planned.

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Posted on May 8, 2013, in Invertebrates, Lepidoptera and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. Congratulations! That sounds super exciting. C:
    I just came across your blog a few days ago while doing some Googling of caterpillars. I am very interested in pursuing entomology so your blog is a real inspiration. C:

  2. If you need a couch to crash on in Dallas that is where my wife and I currently live (which is probably too far off your path). I grew up down near Big Bend and have been there many times. I don’t know exactly what makes a good collecting spot but if you shared some criteria then I might be able to recommend some places.

    • I appreciate the offer! Though yes, a bit farther than where we’re looking to collect. Currently we have so many places in mind that we need a month long trip, not 10 days!

  3. Hi! I know this is somewhat off-topic but I needed to ask.

    Does operating a well-established blog like yours require a large amount of work?
    I am brand new to running a blog however I do write in my journal everyday.
    I’d like to start a blog so I can easily share my experience and thoughts online. Please let me know if you have any suggestions or tips for new aspiring bloggers. Appreciate it!

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