Research on Arthropod Diversity at The Preserve was conducted by the late Dr. Paul De Luca from The University of The Bahamas. His studies have documented 308 species of Arthropoda in 22 orders.

In fact, in 2013 a new species of insect was discovered at the Preserve – a katydid, a close relative of grasshoppers and crickets. Males rub their front wings together to produce a mating song to attract females, and this species was first detected when two scientists walking Ethan’s Tower Loop trail at night heard its distinctive song and were able to track it down by following the sound to a singing male located on a Thatch Palm! Its scientific name is Erechthis levyi (named after Leon Levy) but we also call it the “blue-faced” katydid because of its striking turquoise colored face. More information about its discovery can be found by clicking this link: New insect species discovered at The Preserve!

An article on this discovery was also published in the Journal of Orthoptera Research.

According to Dr. De Luca, “This find – a new species to science – is a reflection of how much there is still left to learn about insects in The Bahamas, and it only highlights the incredibly important function of habitat preservation. We are definitely protecting many species that we don’t even know about yet.”

Future research will focus on surveys within the Permanent Forest Plots to assess:

  • Differences in seasonal arthropod communities
  • Differences between communities on different tree species within a single Plot
  • Differences in communities between Plots
  • Differences between communities in varying micro-habitats (i.e. ground, tree and canopy) within a single Plot

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