Manoely Denis found the host plant of Ceranchia appolina! and guess what? It is a mature forest vine! So far we don't have the scientific name but we are FINALLY on the way to rearing our third species. Mamy started working on this in 2011 and it has been a long haul. All this on top of the good news that Bunaea feed on Hintsina - a tree used for wood in the communities - AND that we have about 30 Bunaea pupae that the SEPALIM team will rear at our new demonstration site. We hope to produce enough second generation pupae to begin analysis of their nutritional value. We suspect that all three will become important supplements to our future program. In the future future we will be helping farmers raise the new caterpillars and inter-crop their host trees on existing farms.
Mamirina Randrianandrasana left for the field last week. She will be doing an entomophagy survey in Madagascar and around the Makira area as well as sampling leaves from host plants grown on different soils. Eventually we will sample pupae that fed on those same trees as caterpillars to see if soil type affects the nutritional quality of the host plant and hence the pupae that fed on it.
The Stanford Extreme team is back at the university and as soon as they get their bearings I will update you on their findings and how that may affect our new demonstration site and training center that is being designed by the Architects for Humanity, Boston.
Finally the SEPALIM team is sending another GREAT newsletter/update form the field. Be sure to check it out.
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