June 25, 2021
This week, Associate Curator of Recent Invertebrates Dr. Kal Ivanov and Myriapodologist Dr. Jackson Means set out to hike Mt. Rogers in Grayson County, Virginia. Mount Rogers is the highest mountain in Virginia, with an elevation of over 1,700 meters. It is also home to the most northern Southern Appalachian spruce-fir forest, and Drs. Ivanov and Means were intrigued to see arthropod fauna they could find so far up.
They set off early in the morning, when the trail was shrouded amongst the clouds, providing the first leg of the journey a mysterious and otherworldly ambiance. Along the way, Drs. Ivanov and Means found numerous interesting critters, including multiple species of salamander (one of which was the rare and endemic Weller's salamander, Plethodon welleri), centipedes, wild ponies, and Nannaria suprema, a species of millipede recently described by Dr. Means. After the over 8 mile hike was complete, the duo were feeling tired, a bit sore, and very happy with the day's collections.
Mount Rogers offers many incredible views and a fairly challenging day hike, and we encourage you to get out there and hike the highest mountain in Virginia!
What will you discover?