While on the Big Island we stayed at Hamp Carson's cabin in Glenwood. It has been several years since I was there and it still looks pretty much the same. It's great to have the resource available and we owe Ken Kaneshiro and the Center for Conservation Research and Training a huge mahalo for letting us stay there. The Big Island work stated in the Volcano area and along Stainback Highway. We also made collections for canacids along the Hamakua Coast, in Kau and in North Kona. We also spent a day helping Alli Quan collect Drosophila mimica and D. kambysellisi in Kipuka Puaulu. The rest of the time was spent on the Saddle Road collecting in kipukas along the Puu Oo Trail.
We went to the Big Island and Maui to collect material for a couple different projects. My primary goal was to obtain samples of spoon tarsus species for our Dimensions in Biodiversity grant. I also wanted to obtain some more material from Scaptomyza cyrtandrae and a new species in that group from Maui that I'm describing with former student Jessica Craft. Finally, Nina and I were looking for canacids to expand the sampling within her phylogeny of Hawaiian Canacidae. It was a very successful trip and we got everything we needed for all the projects.
We flew over to Maui for a short two day trip. The flight over was very smooth but there were some problems with the plane before we took off. We spent the first day collecting canacids and ephydrids along the Hana Highway. The second day was spent in the Waikamoi Forest Reserve. East Maui Irrigation gave us access and helped out with logistics. We ended up leaving some of our collections in the rental car but the folks at National sent them to us in Hilo via Air Cargo.
In addition to all the hard work we also go to do some touristy stuff. The Halemaumau Crater was very impressive at night and Haleakala Crater is always amazing.
Paceyn and I took a short hike in Florida Canyon this morning. The USFS trail guide said that this was a lightly used area but by the time we got to the trailhead, the parking lot was packed. There were license plates from 9 different states. We met lots of people on the trail and there was evidently some rare bird spotted in the area. So much for lightly used. We followed the main trail for about 1/2 mile then took a smaller one up the wash.
I had been here in 1995 or so and had collected a bunch of Scaptomyza. My goal for today was to see if they were still there and to try and collect some ephydrids as well. There was a surprising amount of water in the canyon and we ended up at a small dam that was packed with moss, algae and aquatic plants. The Scaptomyza were still there, as were some leaf mines. I got a good mixture of different flies including Scaptomyza, ephydrids, bibionids, tipulids and syrphids.
Paceyn was a great help. She loved scrambling around on rocks in the wash and collecting plants and rocks. We had a great picnic and made our way back to the car with plenty of time to explore the neighboring Madera Canyon. There weren't any opportunities of collect there but hopefully on a future trip I can find some good spots.
We have two pieces of good news on the Scaptomyza front this week. First, Rick's phylogeny paper was accepted by Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution. It should be out sometime in 2013 but I'll post a link here when it becomes available online.
The second item is that our NSF preproposal was accepted for a full proposal. We'll be working on this over the course of the summer. Congratulations to Rick and Noah!!
The lab has been funded as part of a large grant (led by Rosie Gillespie) to examine the origins of Hawaiian biodiversity. Here's a link to the announcement on the ESPM web page.
Brian collecting in Dutch Bill Creek
This week we made two short field trips to collect aquatic insects. On Tuesday we worked northwest of Sebastapol. Brian and I visited several sites we had collected last fall. Our first stop was Pyrrington Creek on Graton Road, followed by Dutch Bill Creek along the Occidental Highway. We stopped for lunch at Stumptown Brewpub in Guerneville. After lunch we drove north of the Russian River to Austin Creek near the town of Cazadero. Our last stop of the day was Salmon Creek, northwest of the town of Bodega.
Thursday we did a half day trip to two streams in Marin County, Lagunitas Creek and Pine Gulch Creek in Bolinas. Thanks to Sarah Hake for allowing us access to Pine Gulch Creek! We collected Neophylax here, as well as three species of Scaptomyza!!
We were invited to submit a full NSF proposal on the ecology and phylogenetics of the genus Scaptomzya. We're working with Noah Whiteman and Rick Lapoint at the University of Arizona. This work will examine the biogeography and phylogeny of Scaptomyza in Hawaii and throughout the world.
Check for updates on our new project site: http://scaptomyza.drosophilaevolution.com/