Bahia de los Angeles 2017. Volume 1

Nature is perverse.

We’re back in Bahia de los Angeles, on the east coast of Baja California, Mexico. For the two previous years, I have had to suffer for a while before finding any Elysia diomedea.  It was rather nerve wracking, because I needed them for research projects each of those years.

Because of time constraints, my goals this year are to help my friend, Dr. Drew Talley, with his long term research, and to discuss plans for student Elysia projects in summer 2018 with Ocean Discovery Institute.

We had some complications at the border, because the Mexican authorities had some reservations about some equipment that was being used by one of the other research groups.  We were allowed to proceed after a few hours dealing with paperwork, but were delayed to the point that we had to stop along the way for the night.

We arrived without further incident, unloaded equipment and belongings, started setting up the station, had a great meal in town, we went to bed for the night.  It was amazing to be back under all the stars, listening to the ocean and the occasional breathing of a marine mammal.

We woke up to a classic sunrise, and soon we were on the islands, setting traps for insect surveys and savoring the bay and the scenery.

Heading back to boat after setting traps on Mitlan. 5/21/17

After returning to the station, we ran some errands, followed by a little open time to get in the water.  Although I may try a few extremely simple preliminary experiments, my work here does not depend on finding them.  Naturally, that means they were abundant in the shallows in front of the station. I found the first within five minutes, and saw at least six within the half hour allotted for the survey.

Elysia diomedea in front of field station. 5/21/17

They looked darker than the slugs we found last summer, but, as was true last summer, all were on or near Codium.

Keeping fingers crossed for a chance to test some ideas about chemical camouflage.

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