African Bats: Conservation in the Time of Ebola

A guest post by Jen Guyton The last fragile wing finally came free from the threads of my mist net. I sank into the sand on the riverbank, took a deep breath, and tugged off my yellow deerskin gloves. Eight cotton bags wiggled as they hung from the line that tethered my mist net to…

Treehoppers

“I need to have my vision checked” was the first thought that popped into my head when my eyes met a treehopper of the genus Bocydium sitting on a thin branch in the Braulio Carillo National Park in Costa Rica, where I was researching several newly discovered katydid species. I had seen many mind-boggling organisms…

What to do?

This morning, in my bathroom, I was faced with a dilemma. And here are the results of the poll on what I should do about this sticky situation. It is heartening to see that the majority of voters would release the spider (which is what I did), but also rather sad that over 38% of respondents (discounting…

Mozambique Diary: Rescuing a Dragon

A guest post by Jen Guyton In my lap was a specter, one of the most elusive animals in sub-Saharan Africa. I’d been waiting years to see it, and now it was weighing abrasively on my thighs like a sack of bricks stuffed into a giant pinecone. It wiggled and unfurled its roly-poly body just…

Involuntary Bioslaughter and Why a Spider is Dead

“Hey, where is the spider post?”, you may be asking if you arrived at this page by following one of the thousands of links that sprung up overnight in the online media and social circuits. In the fine tradition of online publishing I took the liberty of pulling a “bait-and-click” switcheroo, and turning the hysteria…

A new voice in the chorus

Yesterday evening, right before the weather turned nasty, as I stood on the deck over my garden I suddenly caught a sound wave, one that I immediately recognized but had never before heard around my house. I ran to grab my recorder and was able to capture a snippet of the call. Seeing me pointing…