No luck in Live Oak, we try another location. One of my worries for this mission was not to find the two FAW strains. Especially, hitting the corn fields, I wasn’t sure to find the Rice strain, even though Rob ensures me that the abundance of Rice strain on corn field is about 40%. Since we didn’t find many larvae on sorghum, I decided to sample a field where the Rice strain would be more prevalent. And Rob had a tip on a pasture grass field, up in Jacksonville, that was crawling with larvae the year before. Most of them were Rice strain. Since it rained recently, Rob thought we might have a chance there to find what we wanted.
The work in pasture grass fields was much different than on corn field. We used netting instead of handpicking. All in all, we recovered a fair amount of larvae, most of them young stages, but we could let them grow to the right stage in our magic cups. I cut about three bags worth of grass to feed them during this time. Too bad we didn’t find the time to drive to the beaches, but we had our cooler full of larvae and plants, and had to head back to the lab in Gainesville to sort them out and put them in a warm chamber. The few who were at the right stage we had to put in RNA later.
Not much to add for this part of the work, just enjoy some pictures below. With this done, we had one collection day left on our agenda and had to decide where to go next.