Invertebrate Collection

      

Invertebrate Collection at Jester Cave

Participants: Duane Del Vecchio, John Talbot, Lil Town, Jeremiah VanDyke, John Van Dyke

Date: Saturday - November 17, 2007

Report by: ddv07

Click on any photo to see an enlarged version.

bug01.jpg
bug01.jpg
bug04.jpg
bug04.jpg
bug02.jpg
bug02.jpg
We received a contact from a professor in California that is doing a study on Cave Invertebrates of America. He needed samples from Oklahoma and asked C.O.G. to help out, so this is a bug hunting trip. We want the cricket, not the bat! John brought his son with him and the lad did quite well in obtaining samples (as well as an education).
bug03.jpg
bug03.jpg
bug05.jpg
bug05.jpg
bug06.jpg
bug06.jpg
The Tools: aquarium nets, medical tweezers, Q-Tips, and Isopropyl Alcohol. An invertebrate is an animal without bones. Insects, Arthropods, Arachnids, Centipedes, etc...A bat may have ticks, fleas, mites, or other bugs on it while it sleeps so it is worth a look. They most often have some kind of insect which is in their ears. (wax eaters? <grin>)
bug07.jpg
bug07.jpg
bug08.jpg
bug08.jpg
bug09.jpg
bug09.jpg
We saw a lot of other critters... some quite cammo'ed... Same picture, but closer... Hello Mr. Frog...but he's a vertebrate...doesn't count! Some person (mainly yours truly) said naw...we don't need knee pads... ouch...yes we did....sigh...
bug10.jpg
bug10.jpg
bug11.jpg
bug11.jpg
bug12.jpg
bug12.jpg
A lot of water and a lot of stooping in this cave... But since it is a water cave, it has lots of life around it! This was Lil's first cave trip in over a year...she was a happy caver!!
bug13.jpg
bug13.jpg
bug14.jpg
bug14.jpg
bug15.jpg
bug15.jpg
The south entrance was done and time to recharge. We had a nice 1/2 mile hike to get to the cave entrance, then hike it back to the cars. But a wonderful 80 degree day (in the 3rd week of November!) made it a nice trip!
bug16.jpg
bug16.jpg
bug17.jpg
bug17.jpg
bug18.jpg
bug18.jpg
We then moved to the cars and we drove toward for the North side of the cave (where Lil watched them for us) and on to another hike as the fence was locked. This end of the cave (Glade Entrance) is typically known for its collection of bats during the winter bat count. While the mats were not that thick, they were starting to form. Right away we were able to get a couple of water creatures!
bug19.jpg
bug19.jpg
bug20.jpg
bug20.jpg
bug21.jpg
bug21.jpg
Though some were sleeping, the overall bat population was still active (not hibernating) as we haven't had any cold weather yet and bugs (the food source) is still active! We did get to see a Tiger Salamander( but it's a vertebrate and not to be bothered!). He moved into safety too!
bug22.jpg
bug22.jpg
bug23.jpg
bug23.jpg
bug24.jpg
bug24.jpg
Where the bats on the south side had lots of parasites, these guys (probably due to their active state) were not covered in little crawlers. A find... a mineralized jaw bone... but not an invertebrate! We did get a couple of bats caught in flight...always a neat picture! Many chatted at us as we rapidly went past their rooms but not many flew.
bug25.jpg
bug25.jpg
bug26.jpg
bug26.jpg
bug27.jpg
bug27.jpg
Then one by one we exited Stovepipe exit... Nice last belly crawl to get out... Then we went back to the cars to sort out our critters
bug28.jpg
bug28.jpg
bug29.jpg
bug29.jpg
bug30.jpg
bug30.jpg
We transferred the critters from dirty containers to one clean one. And the middle of the road made the perfect table in case one was dropped! Now we'll ship our pickled critters off to California to be identified and be part of the Cave Life of Oklahoma. Good job gang!
       

Click on any photo to see an enlarged version.

All Full Size Pictures avaliable in our Picture Gallery - Click Here - Bug Collecting in Caves


Back to Trip Reports

Last updated: 11/18/07