list of references
La Selva Flea Beetle blog: Color in the Rainforest


draft in progress project summary*
draft predator mosaic model*

Natural History of Passiflora-feeding Flea Beetles
at La Selva Biological Station, Northeastern Costa Rica

Avances en la Investigación sobre Escarabajos Pulgas que se alimentan de Passiflora en La Selva

I have been living and working at the La Selva Biological Station in Costa Rica since October 2012, trying to tease apart the relationship between several species of Flea Beetles (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae: Galerucinae: Alticini) and Passionflower vines (genus Passiflora: Family Passifloraceae). My current progress is informally presented in the blog Color in the Rainforest: Passionflower Flea Beetles and Butterflies and more completely in the draft project summary* below.

* "Species Diversity in a Wet Tropical Forest Food Web" also see: "Modeling Patch Suitability in a Habitat Mosaic: Exploiting Marginal Patches, Stabilizing Populations, and Reducing Interspecies Overlap"

If you would like to see these manuscripts, please email me at jsmiley [at] ucsd {dot] edu and I will grant access "access.html".

Back in 2010 I prepared three web pages outlining my information at the time. Much has changed but they might be of some interest. Introduction, HCN detoxication/metabolism hypothesis and ongoing results, photos, etc. Also see articles listed in Heliconius host plant ecology 1973-1986 and biological cyanogenesis list of articles.

Costa Rican research permit proposal (both English and Spanish)


Thank you's for assisting with this project go to La Selva director Carlos de la Rosa for taking a direct interest in the research as well as crucial assistence with the permitting labyrinth (not to mention translation), to colleague Diego Dierick for all kinds of lab help any time, any where, to La Selva lab staffers Bernal Matarrita, Danilo Brenes, Orlando Vargas and Ron Vargas, ditto on the lab help, and to the housekeepers, cooks and groundskeepers who make staying at La Selva a real pleasure.

I also thank David Furth of the Smithsonian Institution for assisting me with flea beetle taxonomy and natural history and taking a personal interest in the project. I also thank Carlos Garcia-Robledo, also of the Smithsonian Institution, for his analysis of the genetic "barcoding" of the flea beetles. Both of these were essential contributions to the project and increased its value greatly.

Finally, I am grateful to my wife Kim for accompanying me at La Selva for over 15 months!, and to our friends Carlos de la Rosa and Claudia Nocke, Diego, Ping, and Andres Dierick. I am truly grateful for being included in this "family" and all the support they have given me.