The Beetle, a Bird and a Tamarisk Tree

It’s a misty Sunday morning in early Jul as Levi Jamison pulls to a side of a highway in executive New Mexico. He grabs a camera, clipboard and thick board insect net from a blue Volkswagen outpost that is his roving home and office, and starts to travel along an irrigation embankment only easterly of a Rio Grande. A clearly constant underbrush of tall, shrubby tamarisk trees parallels a ditch. He stops only a few feet in, picks a tree during random, and sweeps a net over a dusty-green leaves accurately 5 times. Then, he peers into a canvas, fast counting a mass of little Diorhabda beetles already crawling adult a fabric to escape.

He scribbles a series — “160,” he says — and a GPS coordinates in his notes. That’s a dump from a 200 or 300 per net he’s seen here before. Jamison, a biologist now with a Colorado Plateau Research Station during Northern Arizona University, has prolonged tracked a tamarisk root beetle by a Southwest. One trip, he says, these trees dripped with beetles.

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Posted by on Mar 7 2018. Filed under Environment. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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