Creepy Crawling Home – Algarve Diary 2012

The final day of our intense but rewarding week in the Algarve came around very quickly.

by Lee-Jane Eastwood

The group projects carried on from yesterday and my group returned to the dunes at Salgados to record more data for our beetle study. The weather was against us again, it was a bit too cold for them to make an appearance but luckily we had kept our captured specimens in the fridge over night!

We continued with sensory and food preference tests on the most plentiful species we found, dung beetles and tenebrionoides. We measured how long it took them to find each food sample separately (dung, chorizo and cheese) and how they reacted to it. We also designed an experiment to try and test the distance at which they could sense and locate food. To estimate their distribution across the dunes we took five line transects in each zone and finished up around 1.30pm.

On the way to the cars we spotted a turtle swimming amongst the coots of the lagoon. Back at the apartments we rushed to finish the habitat survey before meeting in the conference room at 5.30pm for a photographic review of the week and Matties ‘Most promising student’ award ceremony, deservedly won by Becci Neal.

A leaving dinner was followed by a much deserved few drinks and, as always great conversation with our camera and media expert Stephen Bean and the retiring Tom Kelly, you will be missed Tom, best of luck. Thanks to all the staff involved and the staff of the Santa Eulalia.

You can see lots more photos from the trip on the BEES Facebook Page.

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