Despite sitting in front of a microscope for what was easily over 30 hours, I enjoyed it. There's something to be said for being immersed in your passion for long periods of time, even if it gets exhausting. I'm still trying to figure out how I felt so tired for as little as I moved for the past week. Even so, I was still marveling at all the different forms millipedes can take, especially their gonopods (modified legs used for sperm transfer):
A gonopod from a male Ethojulus millipede
Gonopods of a Nannaria millipede
I looked at some spectacular gonopods last week and kept marveling at how intricate some of them were. The Ethojulus gonopod (above) reminds me of blown glass.
On a final note, I still have a few more posts to write from my Ohio summer collecting. The business of research and traveling has kept me from editing the photos I took and writing up an account, which I should have expected. However, I was asked a few weeks ago to write a guest blog for The Conversation! I wrote about the importance of my Ohio collecting and what I hope to accomplish with it, and you can read that at this link.