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Making New Friends In The Lab

Halfway through our first week of the externship, things have started getting exciting! While Belle has been busy cataloguing, Jackie and Audrey have made some new friends: larvae we’ve found living in the seed heads. The mystery larvae are unfortunately eating the achenes we’re trying to collect, but to make the most out of a bad situation, we’ve been collecting larvae, too! The count in our petri dish is about 8, and growing! Most of these have been found by Audrey, who in a twist of cruel irony is the most startled to find them. The larvae are pretty big relative to the head and easy to spot (they’re pale pink and the heads are dark brown), but we still haven’t figured out how to predict which achene we pull out will have a larva behind it. We still have a lot more heads to clean and find larvae in, so we hope to find out where they’re coming from and maybe even see what they turn into.

Pictured below: Jackie and Audrey’s first larval finds.

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