Acoustic recording lab built in La Selva

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November 10, 2003

La Selva Biological Field Station, Costa Rica -Dr. Scott Brandes, a postdoctoral researcher with the TEAM Initiative, Dr. Piotr Naskrecki of the Invertebrate Diversity Initiative (IDIIDI) and Dan Schollaert, a volunteer for TEAM, built a recording laboratory at the La Selva Biological Field Station Arthropod Lab (ALASALAS) to record the stridulations of captive katydids and crickets.

The laboratory, originally constructed last August, consists of buckets lined with foam and covered with a screen. Insects are captured by a researcher and then placed in the containers with some vegetation and a piece of a carrot to eat. Once an insect begins calling, a microphone is positioned over the bucket in order to record the sound. A computer in an adjacent room then makes a 10-minute recording of the insect's call.

Brandes explains, "the recordings enable us to create a database of calls for known species, so we know which species we are recording in the canopy with our acoustic monitoring." Naskrecki of Harvard University and Conservation International's Center for Applied Biodiversity Science (CABS) is directing this research. Schollaert is capturing and recording Orthoptera insects for Naskrecki and Brandes at La Selva.

For more information, contact Scott Brandes at s.brandes@conservation.org.