Invertebrates are the most diverse animals on the planet and make up an estimated 97% of all animal species. Our aim is to study as much of this diversity on Utila as possible with multiple studies running since 2009. Through these studies, we can determine habitat preferences, abundance, and distribution across the island; all previously unrecorded data.
Kanahau is setting up the first long-term study on the invertebrates of Utila focusing on bio-indicators! This will give us an assessment on the health of the island's complex ecosystem and help us determine diverse areas that need protection without having to evaluate everything in the area extensively. Insects are a fantastic and diverse group to research!
We are running a long-term project to determine all invertebrate species on Utila; through the use of many different survey techniques (including: light trapping, sweep netting, pitfall traps, malaise traps, and more!). We aim to catalog a range of invertebrate groups, including arachnids, crustaceans, mollusks, butterflies and beetles. The island is vastly understudied and many species have not been formerly described or probably even observed! This project is particularly exciting for anyone who is interested in behavior, taxonomy, ecology, or any other aspect of new species (to the area or to science) discovery! We welcome the formation of entomological research projects!
We have seen so many amazing invertebrates through all methods of sampling and have preserved some of these fantastic specimens by way of drying and pinning. Some of them are on display right in the Kanahau facility!