I posted recently about my adventures in pitfall trapping, which has been surprisingly (to me, anyway) productive. I also set up a camera in my leaf litter, in part to see which species interact with galls that fall to the forest floor but also just to see what kinds of critters would show up. More on the gall experiment later (spoiler: rodents definitely forage on the galls of some species but not others), but here’s a few snapshots of what I caught in just a couple days of recording:
Tons and tons of rhaphidophorids walking around in my leaf litter, which mirrors what I catch in my pitfalls.
I love this walkingstick, who is clearly on a mission. Lots of Pterophylla camellifolia (common true katydid) singing at night too. This sound I captured simply does not do justice to the volume. It’s so loud it hurts!
Alas, my experiment came to a tragic end at the hands of two dinosaurs that patrolled the forest near my yard:
You can hear how crispy the forest is. It’s been so dry here. I’m actually surprised at how many insects I see each night cruising through the leaf litter – tenebrionid and carabid beetles, lots of ants, numerous orthopterans – especially those camel crickets, which I think of as moisture-lovers.
Hopefully I can post more about our gall observations soon. We’re juggling a lot, but the results are definitely exciting!