Azores, Azores2015, Uncategorized

Bagging and Tagging

The field work is great but you must always remember that you almost need an equal time to bag and tag your samples than it takes to collect them. Luis had made a great start but the next morning there was still another 7 sites to process. Now this is when you find out what biologists do in hotel room bathrooms – yes we turn them into field laboratories. All tubes have to be pre-labled both externally and by internally by including pencil written tracing paper tags. Then the worms have to be sorted, washed, fixed in medical ethanol and placed in tubes. Here’s what it looks like:

Bagging and tagging:


Earthworm production line:

Earthworm Processing

The earthworm haul:

Earthworm Haul

Bagged and ready to go:

Bagged and ready to go

You may ask and what did we find?….well apart from Amynthas that is. Luis did the initial identification and said that we had two earthworm types a Lumbricus terrestrius and members of the Allolobophora chlorotica complex (we call it a complex because it contains more than one species). All credit to Luis we sent pictures to John (Morgan) our resident expert and he confirmed the preliminary identifications – but we will not really know until closer anatomic and genetic analysis can be carried out – but this is what they look like:

Lumbricus terrestrius


Allolobophora chlorotica