1270 Species Challenge Honolulu 1.5 km^2's Journal

December 01, 2021


Went out with Kevin Faccenda on a walk along Dole St. Got 55 new taxa and 56 new species (therefore at least one unique taxon was moved to species).

Which is not bad, for a walk along a main road. This is the most I've gotten since I started, in one day, I think. He was instrumental in this.

Posted on December 01, 2021 11:46 by tchakamaura tchakamaura | 0 comments | Leave a comment

Grasses of Oahu

Almost all grasses look alike. And yet, here I'm told I have 30 species at least. Those are in bold below

So far on Oahu, 120 have been observed on iNaturalist:




Phragmites australis



Phyllostachys aurea
Phyllostachys nigra



Bambusa vulgaris


Schizostachyum glaucifolium




Chloris barbata
Chloris divaricata
Chloris gayana
Chloris radiata
Chloris virgata
Cynodon dactylon
Eleusine indica
Leptochloa fusca
Leptochloa panicea


Distichlis spicata
Dactyloctenium aegyptium



Eragrostis amabilis
Eragrostis barrelieri
Eragrostis brownii
Eragrostis cilianensis
Eragrostis ciliaris
Eragrostis grandis
Eragrostis leptostachya
Eragrostis pectinacea
Eragrostis pilosa
Eragrostis tenuifolia
Eragrostis variabilis



Sporobolus diandrus
Sporobolus elongatus
Sporobolus piliferus
Sporobolus pyramidalis
Sporobolus pyramidatus
Sporobolus virginicus


Zoysia japonica
Zoysia matrella



Isachne distichophylla
Isachne pallens



Microlaena stipoides




Andropogon glomeratus
Andropogon virginicus
Hyparrhenia rufa


Bothriochloa bladhii
Bothriochloa ischaemum
Bothriochloa laguroides
Bothriochloa pertusa
Cymbopogon citratus
Dichanthium annulatum
Dichanthium aristatum
Dichanthium sericeum
Heteropogon contortus
Themeda villosa


Coix lacryma-jobi


Eremochloa ophiuroides


Saccharum officinarum


Sorghum bicolor
Sorghum halepense


Chrysopogon aciculatus



Digitaria bicornis
Digitaria ciliaris
Digitaria eriantha
Digitaria henryi
Digitaria insularis
Digitaria radicosa
Digitaria sanguinalis
Digitaria setigera
Digitaria violascens


Echinochloa colona
Echinochloa crus-galli
Oplismenus compositus
Oplismenus hirtellus


Cenchrus agrimonioides
Cenchrus ciliaris
Cenchrus clandestinus
Cenchrus echinatus
Cenchrus polystachios
Cenchrus purpureus
Cenchrus setaceus
Cenchrus × cupreus
Dissochondrus biflorus
Setaria palmifolia
Setaria parviflora
Setaria verticillata
Setaria viridis viridis
Stenotaphrum secundatum


Dichanthelium koolauense


Eriochloa procera
Megathyrsus maximus
Megathyrsus maximus maximus
Melinis minutiflora
Melinis repens
Urochloa glumaris
Urochloa mutica
Urochloa reptans
Urochloa subquadripara


Panicum repens
Panicum torridum
Sacciolepis indica



Axonopus compressus
Axonopus fissifolius
Paspalum conjugatum
Paspalum dilatatum
Paspalum distichum
Paspalum fimbriatum
Paspalum notatum
Paspalum paniculatum
Paspalum pilosum
Paspalum scrobiculatum
Paspalum urvillei
Paspalum virgatum



Bromus catharticus
Bromus hordeaceus



Lachnagrostis filiformis


Aira caryophyllea


Vulpia myuros


Poa annua



Triticum aestivum

Posted on December 01, 2021 11:43 by tchakamaura tchakamaura | 0 comments | Leave a comment

November 16, 2021

Blank river slides, piftall goings, microscope

Blank river slides
I took some water and debris - mud from the edge bottom and leaves - from both the stream (large) and the canal that feeds the cultural center's taro gardens. I didn't see anything in any of the water samples, even the ones that included muddy water on the slide. Nothing from scrapings off the leaves. I don't understand this, since the streams are supposed to be alive, but I guess it makes me trust the water more?

I technically did find a few organisms, but hardly any. Perhaps the pond, which was my comparison, is just over-full with life, so that mud from the banks contained a lot. Thus sampling methodology is more important in the stream. The stream is also running water, not stagnant. I confess, I couldn't get out into the stream proper to take a mid-stream bottom sample, only edges; but I got scrapes right off the canal bottom.

I just find the blankness quite interesting.

Pitfall traps
Pitfall traps collect two types of things so far - springtail and pillbugs. When I was putting the springtails under the microscope, they all seemed different - various levels of hunchback. But, someone here said something to make me feel like they're the same type.

The fact that millipedes and pillbugs alone fell in was surprising, because the soil and leaf litter around the trap was crawling with spiders and bugs as well as the springtails and millipedes.

When I took out the ethanol cups I left empty cups behind, creating a dry trap inadvertently, but the dry traps were not effective compared to the ethanol ones.

The system took a few days to get going. After 1 day I found nothing, and after 3 days I found plenty of, as I said, springtails, millipedes, and a few flies. And maybe one ant?

it took a few days to get going - 1 day was nothing, two more days led to springtail haven.

Dry traps don't work at all. (I left them out for four days).

It turns out, springtails have scales; this is news to me. When they were in the ground they seemed whitish. After being in the alcohol for near a week, they were drab grey and blackish. I don't know if the ethanol changed their colour or if this is a function of seeing them up close. They did lose some scales to the trapping method. :P

Currently, the 40x objective is not useful to me because everything becomes so blurry, not even due to the short depth of field, but just intrinsically hazy in an incurable-by-focusing way. I don't know what this is, but maybe I'm using the microscope wrong? I would like to clear this up because I could use the higher magnification for some of the smaller critters, especially a ciliate I just found with 'bubbles' inside of it and what appear to also be green inclusions.

The more I go the more things turn up to learn? Like, springtail anatomy and now ciliate anatomy, or was it the other way around?

Posted on November 16, 2021 06:35 by tchakamaura tchakamaura | 0 comments | Leave a comment

November 07, 2021

Pitfall traps, crawfish, stream water samples.

I've put out two traps, flush as I can with the ground, and with a log cover and a leaf cover supported by stones, with ethanol-water mixture inside. They are in locations with plenty of leaf litter and under small bushes, where there are going to be animals living on the ground.

I will update once I collect something from them; since they are double-cups, I can always remove a sample and replace a cup without digging the trap back out. They are pretty inconspicuous, so I don't expect them to be disturbed, except for rain or perhaps mice. The cups might be too small?? The bugs are quite small anyhow.

Tomorrow I'm going to get a sample from the water on the side channel back when it runs parallel the stream (or not).

Currently I have a sample form the stream proper and from an irrigation channel later down, past a sort of collection filter that removed a lot of debris. Was a crawfish in that channel too.

Posted on November 07, 2021 09:18 by tchakamaura tchakamaura | 0 comments | Leave a comment

November 06, 2021

Shout outs

Thanks to @kevinfaccenda for plant ids in the study region, @mettcollsuss for ant ID's, @kyhlaustin for moths, @kmagnacca and @melodi_96 for insects. Thanks @brothernature, @adamt2, and @mufffin for general IDs.

Thanks to @roman_romanov, @bdstaylor, @jameskdouch @shanesmicroscope and @plingfactory for all the microscope IDs.

Posted on November 06, 2021 03:38 by tchakamaura tchakamaura | 0 comments | Leave a comment

Abundance of insects, defaulting back to insects over protozoans for species counts, specialization is for insects, habitats, microscope.

Getting more and more 'protozoan' (sensu lato) observations in. It's looking like it's not going to be these creatures that push me over the edge into 1500 when the time comes, as they are kind of homogenous across samples, and I hear place. Plus, they're difficult to identify, and I can't do it. I tried out a key on obs on iNat and I kept getting wrong answers. I suppose I must learn some 'protozoan' biology first.

In other news, wasps - they are so much less frequent in my obs here as op to Jamaica 'cause I hardly see them. In Jamaica, in my yard all the plants used to be buzzing and mostly with flying insects; here maybe it's because I'm on campus or something or it's the time of day, but the flying insects I see are extremely small and don't land. No huge paper wasps, some bees I guess, but not like mud daubers everywhere. Plus, even the stinkbugs and plume moths are subdued. I feel like there's less of everything mobile, macroscopic, and arthropod.

As for weeds, these there are a plenty. But I feel like I've been having mostly 'invasives', and what's more, invasives that are the same as back home, and bout half are native to that hemisphere but half not. I'm not getting much from native Hawaiian plants, as I see nothing 'exotic' about my observations. Climbing a hill out of Manoa valley would do the trick, but I chose this area already. That it is easily accessible might make up for its more urban, and possible suppressed?, diversity.

To go on, I'm probably going to have to specialize in certain groups. Learn how to tell different types of ants apart so that I may actually observe some more kinds. Tons of types of snail, of whitefly, of bark beetle or something, or all of the above. And, learn the habitats, probably.

As for 'habitat', I've actually sampled a variety of habitats, macroscopically - bushy weedy stuff and low shrubs and vines all over the square, all disturbed, fish pond and stadium pond, and catchment under an open water pipe. I've looked under a couple of bark pieces off trees. And, besides the water, the terrestrial sampling is look-and-observe. No traps. Might resort to traps - I'll bet 1400 of these 'species' are 'invisible', except inasmuch as one does a literal, sampled, survey, lacking influence from charisma.

But I looked at the top observers from Hawaii. All but one (a diver) don't even have 1000 'species' identified, so I'm starting to think this is an unrealistic goal. Lol! Most definitely - at 160, I'd need 'bout ten times this, and I have prolly less than 1/10 the observations of the second person (who has ~800 species). They range more widely than I; so that's how widely you'd have to range to get the species here - mountain birds and such, included.

On the other hand, my parcel being so small, I'm actually including things which have not been included before, and since I have the microscope, I'm observing microorganisms in the water which isn't common - here or anywhere on iNat I'd bet.

So it would stand to reason that by taking good microscope photos, and by paying attention to the presentation of the slides, I could add something to iNat, especially about Hawaii.

That would also be a useful thing to do when I go home.

Posted on November 06, 2021 01:24 by tchakamaura tchakamaura | 8 comments | Leave a comment

October 14, 2021

Identifying microorgs with keys

I have begun identifying microorganisms in a microscope project on here as practice for when I'm identifying my own, using the keys from "Ponds and Small Lakes: Mocroorganisms and Freshwater Ecology" by Brian Moss.
So far - it's hard to get them down to 'genus' and it's an art to use the key any way at all, especially on blurry photos. I'm gonna need good magnification on my own specimens if I'm going to be of any help.

F***, I'm tired, and it's just from looking at the keys twice, and using them for some freshwater organisms on identify.

Posted on October 14, 2021 10:32 by tchakamaura tchakamaura | 0 comments | Leave a comment

October 11, 2021

Missing Sunday

I was going to collect more water samples this Sunday, but unfortunately, I didn't get to it.

Luckily, on the other hand, I managed to get some observations on Saturday and got a 2-for-1 special on species of grass.

Posted on October 11, 2021 09:05 by tchakamaura tchakamaura | 0 comments | Leave a comment

October 08, 2021

Traps, New Microscope

Got a new scope so I can make observations of protozoans.

The first samples I took from an artificial pond beside a stadium, and it was a couple hours before I looked at it as I went out. The diatoms had mostly exploded, leaving their guts in the liquid and their empty glass shells behind. One amoeba like individual was still moving about, and one of the green-filled diatoms that glides along, as well as some oval or spherical case-creatures, but not many.

I missed this last weekend of sampling even though it's supposed to be every weekend. I am supposed to number the sample sites so I can have a rotation, as well as track the morning, noon and evening time visits, though I'd need to print off a map for that.

To get 1500 observations is a challenge; I have that many from over 5 years of iNat. To get that many species is harder, though if I mainly try to capture new ones I can get a ratio of 1 species per 2 observations; normally with intent it's more like 1 to 3 or even worse, 1 to 6. So going for doubles, I'd need 3000 observations over the year, and half of new things.

I intend to focus on the insects and the protozoa, and use the weeds to supplement, since I can't use the cultivated trees around here for this, and those are speciose groups.

I was thinking of getting some traps and doing trapping, but that would require an outlay of money, and my favourite methods are destructive (beating bush with sweep net, Tullgren funnels), and probably not therefore allowed, plus require some DIY in the case of the funnel, or expense. I considered a flight intercept / malaise trap out of tarp, but buying one is expensive; turns out a glorified tent is not cheap (neither are actual tents).

I could try pitfall traps; but I tried them in New York once and they did not work. I want to try yellow pan traps and see what the yellow is all about, but sticky traps are gross and so a no-go.

Posted on October 08, 2021 00:27 by tchakamaura tchakamaura | 0 comments | Leave a comment