Life in the Treetops & Pits

!!!!g-omeara-&-life-in-its-at-boathouse
Florida Medical Entomology Laboratory (FMEL) Professor Emeritus Dr. George O’Meara presented Life in the Pits and Treetops to the 2016 volunteer nature stewardship class on Saturday, 2/6/2016, shown above outside the FMEL Boathouse.

Taking a top down approach, Dr. O’Meara began “in the treetops” and is shown below sampling tool (i.e., turkey baster) in hand at a conveniently located showy exotic bromeliad at the northwest side of the FMEL parking lot …
!!!!gfo-&-lani

!!!!gfo-at-fmel-life-i-pits

Dr. O’Meara did sample a native bromeliad, a green wild pine (Tillandsia utriculata), behind which he is hidden. Stacey Della Femina is shown examining the seed-laden “silken parachutes” enumerating from the inflorescence of the green wild pine.
!!!!tillandisa-fasciulata-inflorescene-w-stacy

From both the exotic and native bromeliads, Dr. O’Meara extracted mosquito larvae (a.k.a wigglers), including the genus Wyeomyia, which are bromeliad “specialists”. Visit the FMEL website to see photos of all of the live stages at: http://fmel.ifas.ufl.edu/key/genus/wyeomyia_vand.shtml

For life in the pits, Dr. O’Meara siphoned up the liquid contents of the hole of a great Atlantic land crab (Cardisoma guanhumi) …
!!!!gfo-w-land-crab-pump
Once again, he was successful at extracting the mucky water — and lots of crab hole mosquito (Deinocerites cancer) larvae — from the land crab burrow.
!!!!water-from-hole1
!!!!water-from-hole3

You can read up on this ubiquitous, unique mosquito in Dr. O’Meara’s article at: http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/pdffiles/IN/IN29100.pdf

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