Kaua‘i High students assist in evolutionary cricket research

  • Laurel Smith/ The Garden Island

    A female cricket is collected and examined as part of a Kaua’i High School science fair project. Female crickets can be identified by a tubular organ below the wings called the ovipositor.

  • Laurel Smith/ The Garden Island

    Student Rachel Chidester labels a soil sample to take back to Kaua’i High School for analysis. Rachael and research partner Makayla Karimi will present their findings at the island wide science fair on Saturday.

  • Laurel Smith/ The Garden Island

    Kaua’i High School students Makayla Karimi and Rachel Chidester preform the “cricket shuffle” with behavioral and evolutionary ecologist Dr. Robin Tinghitella. Sliding their feet across the grass helps them draw out crickets for their research.

  • Laurel Smith/ The Garden Island

    Behavioral and evolutionary ecologist Dr. Robin Tinghitella talks about her two decades of cricket research on Kaua‘i at Wailua’s Hawai‘i Agricultural Experiment Station. Over that time she has watched the male crickets develop gene mutations to avoid detection from parasitoid flies. “It’s a really, it’s one of the fastest cases of rapid evolution of that kind of on the books,” said Tinghitella.

  • Laurel Smith/ The Garden Island

    Makayla Karimi and Rachel Chidester collect a soil sample at the Wailua’s Hawai‘i Agricultural Experiment Station.

WAILUA — After Monday’s sunset, a symphony of insects combined with the swooshing of rubber soles dancing across the matted grass resonated across Wailua’s Hawai‘i Agricultural Experiment Station.

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