Holy Ecology Batman

Lab Note #2
May 22, 2014
Research has been in full swing this week. We have a couple new undergrad workers making things go much more smoothly. Monday I put infected caterpillars on plants, that was about the only day where things have gone pretty much mostly right. Tuesday I went to put soldier bugs on the plants, and all but 7 were dead, which is not enough to run the experiment. So with some help from my roommate (Mike Ferro), I got some wolf spiders as a replacement to the soldier bugs. This means that instead of cutting off sucking mouth parts, I had to glue shut their mouths using Krazy Glue. To subdue the beasts, I kept them in the fridge for 2 hours. This did nothing to calm them down, so I threw them in the freezer for 15 minutes. They died. So instead of live spiders with mouths glued shut, I now have dead spiders with mouths glued shut (just in case they zombie) - and had to glue them to the plants. But, that all being said, the experiment is still on course, and tomorrow the undergrads and I will go out and put healthy soybean loopers on the plants. Then, on Monday or Tuesday, we will collect the caterpillars off the plants and rear them in the lab to check for infection rates. The data are in five groups: Control (no infection or predator), Predator (no infection one wolf spider), Infection (infection with no spider), Infection with Predator (infection with wolf spider), and Infection with Mouthless Predator (infection with dead wolf spider with mouth glued shut). The rationale for the treatments is that predators will change the disease transmission by consuming infected caterpillars and defecating the virus, and also by altering their behavior. Also! I don't know if I posted this on here yet or not, but check out this national geographic page with some videos from my recent OTS course! http://newswatch.nationalgeographic.com/2014/01/29...


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