Expedition, January 2007
By Dr. Elizabeth T. Arias & Professor Kipling Will
Nahuelbuta National Park
Nahuelbuta (the name means “Tiger” in the local Mapuche indian language) is our first stop for real collecting in Chile. After a long drive south from Curico and a very bumpy ride over miles of unpaved roads, we arrived at this national park. A small wooden visitor’s cabin has been reserved for us– the amenities are simple and rustic, but we had all the equipment we needed to settle in, cook meals, and set up a makeshift lab. During our two days at Nahuelbuta, Elizabeth went canopy-fogging, Bill hunted riffle beetles and scorpionflies in the creek, and Ainsley set out carrion-traps and sifted leaf litter and soil in the forest. Our luck has been very good so far! From rare scorpionfly larvae to slime-mold-eating beetles, our collecting at Nahuelbuta was quite a success. Nahuelbuta is a beautiful place to be, too– it’s forested with ancient, twisted, moss-covered beech trees and primitive-looking araucarias.