Field trip to Mallorca

Collecting in different habitats provide the opportunity to obtain different species, usually. This is an important aspect in the study of evolutionary development and biogeographic distribution of species in the group of interest. To help in this we set off to Mallorca to sample species of polychaete families Sphaerodoridae and Oweniidae.

Collecting in the littoral zone. Photo: Torkild Bakken

The most interesting species to find would be those belonging to Spharodoridae and Owenia. The former for the project on evolution of Spharodoridae Maria Capa is doing, the latter for the assessment of Owenia species in Norwegian waters to be a part of the master’s thesis Torjus Haukvik is working on. Sadly, we did not find any species in these groups. A field trip is never useless, a lot of other interesting species were found.

Sampling in habitats different to what you are used to is always interesting, it is a lot to learn and new things to discover. This time we could take advantage of the knowledge the others have from these waters. The Mediterranean was new to me and was quite interesting to compare to habitats in Norway. Scuba diving and collecting in the littoral was how we obtained samples.

Washing and sorting samples was done in a simple field lab. Photo: Torkild Bakken

The samples we collected were sorted to groups in makeshift field lab. It was no time for identifications, so samples collected will be worked up during the fall. Quite a few nereidids was found, which will go into our project on systematics of this group.

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