Counting Bugs In Panama? Get Out Your Tree Raft
Tuesday, December 18 2012 @ 05:29 PM UTC
Contributed by: Don Winner
There are more species of insects than pretty much anything else in the world. And scientists know there are millions they haven't even identified yet. Now, in a tropical rainforest in Panama, a multinational team of scientists has just completed the first ever insect census.
Scott Miller, an entomologist at the Smithsonian who worked on the Panama, shows off one of the species from the survey that's at the National Museum of Natural History's insect zoo in Washington, D.C.
"We're standing in front of a colony of leafcutter ants," he says. "There you see one of the worker's who's carrying a leaf above its head and across its back as if it were sort of a sail, it looks sort of the like a sailboat, walking across the rock here."
Miller says the leafcutter ant is one of thousands of arthropod species in Panama's San Lorenzo forest. Arthropod are insects, plus spiders, mites, centipedes and pretty much everything else that lives on land and has at least six legs. Click on this link to read the rest of the story...