OUR PROJECTS



Here you can learn about our projects all around the world !

French version

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Martinique, returns : the arachnofauna of banana plantation

IN PROGRESS !

A project in the continuity of the previous

This five-month expedition (July to December 2019) is the continuation of Lilou's end of study project. It was also carried out under the supervision of CIRAD and the Caribbean Institute for Nature and Culture.


Objectives of the project:

The previous project made it possible to highlight clear distinctions between the arachnofauna of forests and bananas. The objective of the study is therefore to improve the knowledge concerning the spiders of bananas and their possible role as bio-regulator of pests/bio-indicators of good environmental quality in Martinique.


Financing of the Project:

The project was financed by CIRAD, including the plane trip and the production of a photographic guide for banana spiders

What have we done?

We collected and identified Arachnids from plots of bananas grown using various methods in Central/Southern Martinique, in order to complete the sampling done in the North in 2018.

During this project, the association also welcomed a trainee: Baptiste Bentameur, in order to train him to lab life! Baptiste is a photographer and specialized in Ponerines (Formicidae), you can find his photos on the site, but also on our facebook!


What have we been doing since we returned to France?

(not back yet!)

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Martinique : the soil macrofauna of the isle

A final school study

This two-month expedition (July and August 2018) is Lilou’s end of study project. It was carried out under the supervision of CIRAD and the Caribbean Institute for Nature and Culture.


Objectives of the project:

The macrofauna of the soil, due particulary by its size, is relatively poorly studied.

The objective of the study is therefore to improve knowledge about the biodiversity present in Martinique, whose high rate of endemism still leaves many new species for science to discover, as well as paving the way for the study of the ecology of this macrofauna, particulary regarding cultivated areas.


Funding of the Project:

The project was funded in part by the two tutors, including travel by plane, as well as part of the accommodation.

What have we done?

We identified the arachnids from different sampling campaigns: 3 campaigns in 9 plots of the RBI and 1 campaign linked to a ERDF project in cultivated areas (agro-forestry, organic, conventional and reasoned agriculture). As a result of these inventories, we compared "forest" spiders and agrobiont spiders (cultivated areas).


What have we been doing since we returned to France?

The project also continues! New samples to be identified have been collected during various missions carried out by CIRAD, as well as samples from the ICNC campaigns. Publications are being wrote to formalize the many species discovered!

A new expedition is in preparation: this new field trip (July 2019 to December 2019) should allow to finish writing scientific publications, as well as creating a photographic guide of the arachnids present in the banana plantations of Martinique!

Project location

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The Pitons of Carbet, an Integral Biological Reserve

The 9 sites have been selected to cover a maximum of representative habitats of the RBI. As well as the 29 banana and cocoa plantations located between Lorrain and Basse-Pointe.

Results

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The Specific richness


The results showed that spiders present in cultivated areas are on average less numerous than in forests. The families present are often composed of species, here also fewer in number, with a wide ecological plasticity that can be found in all the Caribbean.

And of our eight-legged local friends !

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Some pics of the Reserve...

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Mission Spider in Hong Kong : A project of student initiative

Hong Kong, the driving force behind the creation of the association:

It was in November 2018 that we formalized the creation of Mission Spider. The project in Hong Kong continues since our return to France and everything went so well that we wanted to continue the adventure.

It is in this spirit that we founded Mission Spider!


Objectives of the project:

Mission Spider in Hong Kong is a student initiative project that we (Lilou, Marine & Alexis) have been carrying since 2017. The objective was to go to Mai Po Natural Reserve in Hong Kong (WWF) in March 2018 to carry out an inventory of arachnids in order to search for new species. Arachnids are an unknown and poorly studied taxon that suffers from a bad reputation!


Financing of the project:

To carry out this project, we had set up a Leetchi pot, which helped us financially to leave during a month of fieldwork in March-April 2018. To be transparent with you, the money was used to reimburse only Lilou and Marine’s plane tickets, we could not raise enough for Alexis. Since the accommodation was graciously provided by the Reserve, everything else was at our own expense.


What have we done?

We explored the reserve of the WWF in Mai Po and created a reference collection for the future Museum of Natural History of Hong Kong of which Benoit Guénard will be the curator, and is already in part, regarding our collection and Naturalized specimens he was able to gather.

Triple function, Dr. Guénard is also a professor at the University of Hong Kong and a researcher at the Insect Biodiversity and Biogeography Laboratory. In addition to preserving our collection, he has provided us with samples of unidentified spiders from non-specific traps for his ant studies. A “recycling” that expands our inventory and has proven to be a great surprise! (https://benoitguenard.wordpress.com/)


What have we been doing since we returned to France?

The project continues! We still have dozens of samples to identify, especially those entrusted to us by Dr Guénard, as well as publications to write, in order to «validate» our discoveries!

In the meantime, Lilou has left for two months in Martinique (June and July 2018), Mission Spider is not just in Asia!

Conferences and events are also being organized…


Project location

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Mai Po, a Natural Reserve managed by WWF

The WWF Reserve is known for its species of birds. Of the 380 species in the Reserve, 35 are globally threatened, including the Saunders seagull or the Little Spoonbill. But no work on spiders has been done!


Web-site of the Reserve :

https://www.wwf.org.hk/en/centres/mai_po_nature_reserve/

Results

Sampling area

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Discovery of a new species

Several new species were discovered during this expedition, including one of great size: it's proof that even the biggest beasts can go unnoticed!

This one was named in honor of the reserve: Olios maipoensis ("who comes from Mai Po")


Photos © Alex Ng

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A Collection for the Reserve

In the Mai Po Reserve, we were able to report the presence of 79 different species, from 19 families of arachnids.

3 endemic species from Hong Kong live in the reserve!

This collection may allow future arachnologists to continue our work!

Some pics of the Reserve...

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And of our eight-legged local friends !

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More pics here !

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You can see here the pics taken by our team in each countries we visit !

Gallery

Mission Spider © 2018