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Club Fellow Hunts for Endemic Insects on Easter Island

Jut Wynne FN ‘06 has just published a summary of his 2016 Rapa Nui Endemic Insect Expedition in Scientific American:

The Hunt for Endemic Insects on Easter Island - A cave scientist goes in search of the last vestiges of an ancient ecosystem

Carrying Flag #139, Jut and his team were unable to find any endemic insects evolutionarily constrained to the deepest caves on Rapa Nui, yet their work did yield several important scientific discoveries:

“We found eight island endemic species and two Polynesian endemics. Eight species were new to science! Ranging from tiny eye-straining springtails (Collembola) and book lice (Psocoptera) to the much larger roly polys (terrestrial Isopods), all of these animals were believed restricted to the cave environment.”

Click here to read Jut’s full Flag Report: Island-Wide Inventory for Endemic Ground-dwelling Arthropods in Extreme Environments of Rapa Nui.

Top Photo - Rapa Nui naturalist Sebastian Pakarati (left) and Jut collecting insects within the fern-moss garden of a cave entrance. Credit: Nicholas Glover

Published by : Explorers Club Staff

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Background image photography courtesy of members Christoph Baumer, Neil Laughton, Matt Harris and Don Walsh's image of the Bathyscape Trieste