Archive for the ‘Tracks’ Category

Invertebrate Tracks in the Coastal Dune Habitat

Sunday, October 3rd, 2010

I like being a volunteer docent at the Carpinteria Salt Marsh Nature Park, but it’s also pretty fun when no one shows up and I get to give myself a tour. That’s what happened yesterday.

I noticed some interesting tracks by the boardwalk in the coastal dune habitat. I suspect this collapsed tunnel is from a globose dune beetle (Coelus globosus):

I’m curious what made this trail winding its way down (or up?) this slope:

It reminds me a little of a millipede trail, like this (much larger) trail from 300 million years ago, or this video of a modern millipede leaving its tracks in the sand.

I don’t have any particularly good idea what made this trail. I think I might be seeing a double line, possibly with three sets of footprints outside them:

I previously corresponded with Charley Eiseman (co-author of Tracks & Signs of Insects and Other Invertebrates) about how neat it would be if there was a site like, but focused on tracks and signs. I’m thinking of taking that on; it sounds like it would not be too difficult to set up such a site using Drupal, which I gather is the tool they used to create I’m not sure I want to take on another project, but it would be awfully neat to have access to a site like that.