Moth ears in a bat-free environment, French Polynesia – Undergraduate Student Researcher

Richard B. Gump Field Station
Mo’orea, French Polynesia
2004

View from Mt. Aorai, Tahiti, one of my collecting sites

View from Mt. Aorai, Tahiti, one of my collecting sites

As part of a semester-long course on the Biology and Geomorphology of Tropical Islands, conducted on the island of Mo’orea (sister island to Tahiti):

  • Designed and conducted an independent field research project, “Geometrid moth systematics and retention of the tympanal organ in the absence of bat predation.”
  • Collected, identified, dissected, measured, and preserved moths.
Cleora spp.

Cleora spp.

  • Generated phylogeny of moths based on morphological characteristics and mapped sizes of the tympanal organ to see if moths endemic to these islands showed evidence of tympanal degradation. No degradation was observed based on diameter of the tympanum.