Week 16 Recap: Big Caterpillars

“A desk is a dangerous place from which to watch the world.” –John le Carré

The word on the street last week was that there were some big caterpillars out there. I’ve got the analysis script running right now, so hopefully, we’ll be able to see how the data looks compared to last week. In the meantime, checkout the blog posts from last week.

Ok, 230.82 seconds later, we have some figures!

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These data are interesting because I’ve been hearing that lots of plants are dying out there – however, it doesn’t seem like we are seeing evidence of that in the data. Actually, the number of live plants seems to be holding pretty steady.

Here’s a table that is produced by the scripts, but I don’t usually include it on the blog. However, it is pretty fun to look at. The DHS students measured about 350 plants during the spring, and the GGI students have done mostly less than 150-250 plants so far. Props to those of you who have logged a lot of plant and/or a lot of minutes in the field.

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Here’s the figure we’ve all been waiting for. Were the caterpillars really larger last week? It looks like the answer is yes. When the average caterpillar on site is >30mm, that is a big week. There weren’t as many caterpillars as in the spring, but definitely more large caterpillars. Check out what happened between week 6 and 7 – it went from large cats to no cats. Do you think we’ll see the same pattern in week 16 and 17?

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Here’s the link to the NSF REU program – a great opportunity if you are interested in continuing to work in science.

And here’s another news story about monarch butterflies in California.

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