The “field trip” for this first RELAS was a pleasant
combination presented papers and a field excursion in the same place.
The first day of presentations (Thursday, 3 June) were held at the
Universidad del Valle de Guatemala. On Friday, 4 June, the RELAS
participants boarded two buses at the university for travel to Purulhá (Baja
Verapaz) and the Hotel Posada Montaña del Quetzal in the mountains
(ca 1600 m) northeast of Guatemala City. After a late lunch, meetings
were held from 1530-1700 hrs.
At the conclusion of the meetings, a number of participants
set up light traps at various places near the hotel and left
them on during dinner. The habitat of this region is lower montane
subtropical rain forest. Most of the area within walking distance
of the hotel, however, was poor habitat, and the area was
very dry and in need of rain. Also, it was a full moon
night, which was not helpful for lighting. At the lights, we
found only a few examples each of Strategus sp., Cyclocephala spp., Phyllophaga spp.,
and Anomala spp. We also found adults of Heterogomphus
chevrolati in burrows near the sidewalks under the hotel
lights; there had probably been a large emergence the week before.
Even with poor collecting at the lights, it was very rewarding
to visit colleagues around the lights and talk about scarabs.
On Saturday, 5 June, we had a full day of good paper presentations
and spirited discussions at the hotel. Our second night of lighting
close to the hotel was a bit better as the clouds hid the full
moon until 2300 hr, and there was a light rain (chipi-chipi).
Insect activity at the lights was a bit better (but no more diverse)
as were the visitations to each others’ traps by scarabophiles.
We returned to Guatemala City after breakfast
on Sunday, 6 June. Having our paper presentations at a hotel
or pension or field station IN THE FIELD was a very good idea,
and organizers of future RELAS meetings might wish to consider