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Collecting report Bolivia 2016 Part 1

Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by Ttw, Feb 19, 2017.

  1. Ttw

    Ttw Active Member 5 Year Member

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    After a 14 year absence we returned to Bolivia to collect Apistos and killifish. We went in August because that is during the dry season and that is the time of year we had gone previously. This time we found conditions were much dryer. Several of our collecting sites from 2001 were dry or had only a residual amount of water.
    We first traveled to SE Bolivia taking the "Jesuit Mission" loop. This was to be new territory for us. According to the map we would cross at least 5 different rivers. We headed through Okinawa along a primitive road. When we came to the Rio Grande we found that a new bridge was under construction and the old bridge was gone. We followed a make shift road across the sandy nearly dry river bed until we came across the residual river. P1000722.JPG
    There was a temporary bridge there and some entrepreneurial folks there charging to use it. P1000724.jpg
    After making the crossing we headed north on Highway 9. This led us to San Ramon where we stayed the night.
    We headed east toward San Javier and the rest of the mission towns. We were disappointed to find that the road was under construction with new bridges being built across the rivers. The rivers which were more like streams were dammed and inaccessible. Finally at the bridge over the Rio Paragua we were able to get to the pooled water. P1000750.JPG
    There was a small lake with lots of vegetation around the edge. P1000743.JPG P1000747.JPG After collecting in several areas around the lake without success we finally found apistos. They were small and unidentifiable at the time. Subsequently we identified them as A. inconspicua P1000867.JPG and trifasciata. They were found very close to shore in water 1/2 to 3 inches in depth. The water pH 7.0 TDS 50 Temp 70° F. Through out the trip we collected only small juveniles, not full grown adults.
    From the Jesuit mission loop we headed north on Highway 9 toward Trinidad. This road was at least paved but had pot holes that were large and deep. Driving in Bolivia is dangerous at the best of times but at night it is extremely dangerous. Lots of animals are crossing the road and other drivers do not turn on their headlights. Added to this the Savannah was being burned and the thick smoke made visibility very limited. During the day we came across an ocelot P1000772.JPG and giant anteater P1000775.JPG that were dead along the road. We also saw a live giant anteater crossing the road.
    Along this area of Savannah it was very dry and the streams were dry. This included the spot where we had collected A. linkei in 2001. In the village of San Pablo there was a small stream with water and lots of foul smelling garbage in it. P1000755.JPG We did catch some Rivulus beniensis but no apistos. Water pH 6.9 TDS 180 Temp 80˚ F.
    Just south of Trinidad is Laguna Suarez. This is a large lake and to the side is an overflow area that in 2001 was knee deep in water and heavily vegetated. 2016_12_01_15_30_32.jpg We collected A. staecki here before. This time there was little more than residual mud puddles and we only caught a few unidentified killis. P1000764.JPG We did find a dead 7 ft. long anaconda. P1000765.JPG
    From Trinidad we headed north toward Magdalena. This area is also savanah and the road is elevated creating roadside pools. This is the region we found lots of full grown A. erythrura in 2001. The pools were lined with caymen and capybara at that time. 2016_12_01_15_33_00.jpg This time was much dryer now hardly any caimen were present and very few capybara. What was present at the few remaining pools were lots of egrets and storks doing their own apisto collecting. P1000791.JPG P1000811.JPG
    In these pools we collected very small erythrura, rivulus and the ever present aequidens and copella. These pools were shallow and covered with vegetation. P1000800.JPG Probably the birds had collected the mature fish and that is why we only caught juveniles. Water pH 7 TDS 10 Temp 80˚ F.
    Although not as lush as the rain forest we would get to later, there were trees with magnificent blooms. P1000792.JPG Just outside Magdalena we came to what remained of a river possibly the Rio Machupo. In 2001 there was no bridge and we had to ford the river. Then we had collected trifasciata and linkei as well as festivum, rivulus, green neons and hatchets.
    This time the water was stagnant and a new bridge crossed it. P1000794.JPG P1000795.JPG We did catch what at first we thought was staecki but now think it is A. sororcula. This under the watchful eye of a caiman. P1000805.JPG Water pH 7.3 TDS70 Temp 91˚ F.
    MickeM and ButtNekkid like this.

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