We left for a quick 2-day trip to the small village of Tukuko, an outpost at the foot of the Serrania de Perija (see photo at left)--the mountain range that forms the northwestern boarder with Colombia. It has become almost a tradition to visit this area on the first few days of each trip...in fact, all five trips have now started with a visit to this area. It takes about 4 hours to make the trip from Maracaibo...two hours to Machiques by car or bus (or a carrito in our case...), and then another 1.5 hours in the back of a pickup truck or similar transport over dusty dirt roads. It rained during the second half, and that made things a bit muddy. Upon arrival we spent a few hours searching out variousZingiberales that might have some interesting beetles living in the micropools. I had collected them here last July, and was eager to get more....and we did. The second day also brought rain in the morning and we scratched it for collecting, but the afternoon was great and we were able to get into one of the local rivers to do some work. Got some space in an outgoing pickup truck around 3:30 and headed back to Maracaibo.
The Biodiversity Institute is home to about 60 graduate students and 30 research scientists and curators. They participate in field expeditions to all seven continents and represent areas such as entomology, ornithology, paleontology, parasitology and herpetology. As the authors of this blog, they share their experiences and adventures in collections-based biological research all over the world.
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