Biodiversity Lesson with CFFL Students

CFFL Yesterday, the whole crew went over to CFFL, Zanmi Lasante’s partner school, to meet with the four students who are working with us for our biodiversity study. From the kid who desperately wants to learn the native language, but is learning frustratingly slow, it went much better than I was expecting. Through a strange (but strangely efficient) conglomeration of English, French and Creole, the students learned the details between ground beetles and tiger beetles, how to differentiate between some ant species, how to handle butterflies and moths without damaging their delicate patterned wings, and how to identify things under a microscope. Carabid As I spoke in English, Duncan translating, we looked at specimens collected from our first biodiversity study in Bios Jolie, completed this Saturday. The preserved beetle above is from the Family Carabidae, one of the two groups of beetles we’re looking for. Ground beetles (Carabidae) and tiger beetles (Cicindelidae) are both active carnivores, which is important for an agroecosystem as they will hunt and eat other insects that could potentially be pests or other predators. The species above, for example, looks like a species of caterpillar hunter, which as its name implies, hunts caterpillars that could be preying on the farmers’ crops. Moth_Hunt After hours, some of our opinions about bugs change though. Here’s Sega, furiously hunting down a moth. Anyway, so far it’s been a fantastic experience to be down here, and I look forward to continuing the study over the next two and a half weeks. – Scott Summers

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