In another action to monitor and learn about the biodiversity of the area restored by the LIFE RIBERMINE Project in Lousal, within the scope of the Ciência Viva 2022 Program, the Science Mine-Centro Ciência Viva do Lousal (https://lousal.cienciaviva.pt/), organized an action open to the public, entitled “Há Pollinadores na Mina!” (There are Pollinators in the Mine!), in collaboration with Tagis – Centro de Conservação das Borboletas de Portugal (http://www.tagis.pt/).
The LIFE RIBERMINE project welcomes the presence of Tagis, in the monitoring of insects occurring in the restored area in Lousal.
This activity dedicated to insects, promoted by researchers Renata Santos and Albano Soares, took place during the 30th of July and includes a lecture and field trips, for direct research aimed at all groups of insects, in the restored area and in the surroundings, including the Bioremediation system and natural areas such as Ribeira de Corona.
The field trip started on the “Estrada das Pirites”.
In the field, several dozen insects were observed, and the sampling revealed the presence of 35 species, belonging to 7 orders, namely: 6 species of the order Orthoptera, 3 Hemiptera, 1 Diptera, 14 Hymenoptera, 1 Mantodea, 3 Lepidoptera and 7 Odonata. Among these, 7 species were found within the restored area, predicting the success of the ecological restoration of the Lousal Pilot Project, with regard to this biological group.
Some insects feed exclusively on plants of the Composite family (ASTERACEAE), namely the genus Carlina sp.. In the photo, the researcher observes a specimen, looking for insects.
It is worth remembering that the restoration intervention ended in November 2021, and that only a few months have passed since the beginning of the colonization by new beings, in this area, practically uninhabited before.
Female of Mantis religiosa (praying-mantis), Order Mantodea.
With the Lousal Pilot Project in its its zero year, this first approach was fundamental in the identification of the insects that initiated the colonization of the restored area, and of those that present themselves in the surroundings, potential colonizers, in a nearby future, of the restored zone. Since this first sample was carried out in summer, with most of the plants in the restored and dry area, it will be essential to repeat the sample at different times of the year and during some years, with the aim of capturing the greatest diversity and abundance of insects It is possible to know the entire process of colonization of this area by insects, essential beings in the food chains, which enrich biodiversity and provide various ecosystem services.
Female of Orthetrum trinacria (long skimmer), Order Odonata.
Male of Cephalochilus labiatus, from the Vespidae family, belonging to the order Hymenoptera (which includes wasps, bees and ants).
For the public, this type of actions are especially attractive and educational, being able to cover different age groups and allow a better understanding of the complexity of the ecological restoration that is carried out and its objectives of safeguarding and conservation of the biodiversity.
Male of Crocothemis erythraea (scarlet dragonfly), Order Odonata.
Blue-winged grasshopper, Oedipoda caerulescens, adult. Of the order Orthoptera.
The LIFE RIBERMINE Project welcomes this action and thanks “Tagis – Centro de Conservação das Borboletas de Portugal” for all that it has transmitted about insects, anticipating a fruitful future collaboration!
Prospecting for insects on the banks of the Ribeira de Corona, a water line located downstream of the restored area.
Photo with a participant in the activity “There are pollinators in the Mine!”, Ciência Viva no Verão 2022.