Pagan: 11 July 2010
We had a late start today. Originally we were supposed to go back to the lake at 0730 to pick up our traps, but we were told that the ATVs had to be serviced, and that our trip to the lake was postponed until after lunch. It wasn’t really clear whether there was actually something wrong with the ATVs or whether they just decided to do a routine servicing of them that morning. Whatever the case, the ATVs were not available, so we decided to hike megapode transect #3. This transect begins at camp and heads south along the coast. It passes through mostly mixed forest, but there are some occassinal pockets of good native forest.
We stopped in one of the better native forest patches and did some collecting. We all kind of fanned out and did some general collecting, however, Mike focused on ants and put out some cards with peanut butter on a variety of different tree species. Mosquitoes were out and biting at this site, so Stephan aspirated a few from our exposed limbs. I caught a few different insects, an interesting ichneumonid (at least that is what it appeared to be), and some tephritid fruit flies, but most of my time was spent hacking at fallen tree limbs looking for termites. I discovered a few logs with frass, but was never able to find any termites. Kicking over logs I uncovered quite a few large spiders that looked very similar to the big cane spiders that we have in Hawaii.
Christa, Justin, and I left a little early (at about 1300) because we wanted a little down time before heading back to the lake. Mike and Stephan stayed a little later (until 1400 or 1430) and continued collecting. Christa, Justin, and I ended up leaving for the lake at about 1530. The hike seemed much easier the second time – not sure if it was because we had already hiked the trail once and knew what to expect, or if it was because we had an easier morning than the day before (i.e. no death march under the noon day sun) – it was actually kind of pleasant, except for the flies, of course. Some of the pitfall traps close to the water had some of soil washed away around them, but otherwise all the traps were intact. We emptied all the traps, packed everything up, and made it back to camp at around 1800. While we were at the lake, Mike and Stephan collected on a little isthmus near camp called the Bandeera Peninsula. Stephan caught a few more mosquito larvae from some of the rock pools in that area, and some of them looked like anopholes. Mike commented that there seemed to a greater diversity of insects in that area compared to the other spots we had collected in. We did very little sorting that night, but we did have a meeting to discuss our plan of action for the next week.