Louisiana State Arthropod Museum (LSAM) Returns

The Louisiana State Arthropod Museum returned this month for another visit.  Students and museum staff make the yearly trip and upon their arrival at the Painted Pony Resort is transformed into a field station for the duration of their visit.  Collecting equipment is unloaded, processing stations created in the garage, and microscope stations set up in the computer room.  After dinner and an evening introductory lecture on the high desert of New Mexico everyone relaxes in the hot tub or heated pool after the long drive then begin preparations for collecting projects.  The days are filled with collecting at various locations from the valley floor up to elevations over 9000' in the high country.  While a series of flight intercept traps are set up around the mountain range to sample the local insect populations.  Favorite collecting locations are visited and repeat samples collected.  Each evening students and staff return and a communal dinner is prepared.  Every day a different person is responsible for preparing dinner for the group which creates a series of international meals since students and staff come from around the world to study at the museum.  After dinner samples are processed and then the group relaxes with a movie, more swimming, and black light stations set up around the estate are monitored.  Of course with 750 acres the Painted Pony Resort and adjoining public lands are also used for collecting and students could be found out on the landscape with nets throughout their visit.

Here are several images by Mike Ferro of LSAMs 2014 visit to the Painted Pony Resort.  Additional images from the 2014 LSAM collecting trip may be found at:

The first evenings lecture

The arrival and unloading

Collecting in the high desert
Collecting at the light trap
Processing samples in the garage
Microscope station in the computer room
Relaxing after a day of field work
Collecting from an ephemeral pool next to the estate


  1. Seems like a SWRS group. Have they ever stayed at SWRS? Love the ephemeral pool photo!

  2. Yes, some individuals have stayed at SWRS in the past. The estate offers a somewhat different experience and is geared toward groups, not individuals. It provides a base of operations with amenities not found at many field stations and seclusion for groups such as the museum where the whole lab can visit at an affordable price. During their stay they usually meet up with other entomologists staying at the research station who come over for a visit.

    The ephemeral lake forms just south of highway 9 after big rains during the monsoon season. Birders also visit, parking at the entrance and walking over looking for wading birds.

  3. We've had American avocet and various ducks in "dirt tank" near here, birds passing through see the water from on high and come on down.

  4. The "point source aquifer recharge site" i.e. the leaky cattle tank in the riverbed had 3 ducks yesterday. Don't know the species but it is nice to see the wildlife utilizing the riverbed. Lots of quail and doves in the grassland and after last nights rain the tank is full. It won't last but at least the water is going back into the ground.