Second Stop: Port Saint Joe, FL

We’ve been in Apalachicola, Florida for the past couple of days, which is a small town near Port Saint Joe. Yesterday thunderstorms all day long prevented us from collecting anything, so today we got up early and tried to get our control site here in Port St. Joe. We’re really only trying to do one site in this area, since there aren’t any power plants that dump hot water into the salt water bays. So today we got up early with these goals: to collect 25 males and 25 females from a ‘control’ saltwater site.

Achievements: Collected >25 females but only 8 males. This is one of the weirdest collections we’ve ever experienced; usually pipefish populations have a 2:1 ratio of males : females, so having such a skewed distribution towards females was incredibly irregular. Additionally, we found a large number of juvenile or intermediate-looking fish that we had difficulty determining sex. There were at least 30 of these intermediate fish, which also is unusual. In general, it was just an unusual and weird day of collecting. But at least we got enough fish for our population genetics!

Me with a fish in a ziploc to photograph it.

Today we also found the most wonderful website: Where to Buy Dry Ice. We’ve got to keep all of our samples good and frozen, but it’s not very easy to find the dry ice we need to keep them cold. That website told us that the piggly wiggly down the street would sell some to us! It made us very very happy.

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