After the early morning run around to grab my insect traps, I immediately turned around to catch a boat to Aspronissi – a small islet off the coast of Naxos.
The islet has one of the densest populations of erhardii anywhere in the area, so we wanted to be sure to check it out. We took a small fishing boat, but, as you can see from the map, it’s within swimming distance of shore. As we slowly chugged over to the islet I was imagining snorkeling out towing a floaty raft filled with field supplies… I’ll let you know if I decide to give it a go. At the least it’ll be a good video! (Don’t worry – I’ll work up to the distance on near-shore swims first!)
The islet is really just a rocky outcropping with a few patches of vegetation in the center, but it’s loaded with seagulls which supply copious quantities of “marine subsidies” (aka: poop) that seem to support the high density of insects and lizards; a tantalizing possibility that I’m flirting with diving further into next year.
We spent our short time on the island running around chasing lizards. I was looking for bite force measurements and one of the other students who came along was searching for gravid females. All in all, it was an intense 2.5 hours of lizard chasing and catching in order to get the samples that we needed before returning to the port so we could take a ferry to Amorgos, another island in the Cyclades. I’ll tell you about that adventure next!
(When I say running to catch the lizards, I mean it! Here’s Kinsey in action!)