Rokyta Lab Hits the Florida Keys! (Photo Credits: Jason Colston)

After celebrating the holidays, we couldn’t even wait one day to get back into the field! On December 26, 2019, Schyler Ellsworth (PhD student), Gunnar Nystrom (PhD candidate), Tim Colston (Postdoc), and Dr. Rokyta hit the road for a weekend trip to the Florida Keys in search of venomous invertebrates. We were primarily interested in collecting Scolopendra alternans, a large species of centipede found across the Keys. However, while searching for S. alternans, we also found another species of centipede, Rhysida longipes. In 2015, the Rokyta lab published a short article revealing the establishment of R. longipes in the Florida Keys. During this trip, however, we found R. longipes on several of the Keys, providing new information on the known range for R. longipes. Fortunately, we collected what we needed on our first day and could spend the rest of the weekend searching for chameleons and other invasive lizards. We were even lucky enough to observe a three-meter American crocodile on the boat ramp at Black Point Marina and Harbor!


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