1938 Oxford University Biological Expedition to the Cayman Islands

by P. Ann van B. Stafford, April 2017

1938

The 1938 Oxford University Expedition to the Cayman Islands (April 17 to August 27) was the first natural history survey of all three islands, Grand Cayman, Little Cayman and Cayman Brac, and reports were written about the flora, fauna, geology and wetlands. The founding study of Cayman’s butterflies was done then by entomologists C. Bernard Lewis and Gerald H. Thompson, both Oxford students, (Carpenter and Lewis 1943) and gave a good indication of the number of species on each island at that time.

The expedition was in acceptance of a long-standing invitation by Cayman Islands Commissioner Allen Wolsey Cardinall (1934-1941) to make a biological survey of the islands. Lewis was a Rhodes scholar from the United States, who later became Director of the Institute of Jamaica in Kingston. The identification & documentation of specimens were delayed by of the outbreak of World War II in 1939.

The Butterflies (Lepidoptera: Rhopalocera) collected and observed were fully discussed and published in 1943 by Carpenter and Lewis. (G.D. Hale Carpenter, Hope Department of Entomology, University Museum, Oxford and C.B. Lewis, Museum of the Institute of Jamaica).

CONTENTS

People: Oxford

People: Cayman

Places: Grand Cayman, Cayman Brac and Little Cayman

Transportation: CIMBOCO, truck, motor boat, catboats, HMS Orion

Accommodation: Headquarters in George Town

Animals: Reptiles – Lizards and Iguanas

Animals: Reptiles – Geckos

Animals: Reptiles – Snakes

Animals: Insects – Dragonflies, Damselflies

Animals: Insects – Cicadas

Animals: Insects – Beetles

Animals: Insects – Bees, Ants, Wasps

Animals: Insects – Butterflies (Lepidoptera: Rhopalocera)

Animals: Insects – Moths (Lepidoptera)

Animals: Insects – Flies (Diptera)  – Mosquitoes

Animals: Insects – other

Animals: Arachnids

Animals: Birds

Plants

Return to the UK

Links

Selected References

PEOPLE

Oxford:

The party comprised:-

W. Gemmel Alexander (Brasenose College) – Leader and Organiser

C. Bernard Lewis (Wadham College) – Biologist (Rhodes Scholar from the United States) (lewisi)

Gerald H. Thompson (St. Edmund Hall)  – Biologist (thompsoni)

W. Neil Paten (Magdalen College) – Marine Biologist

Wilfred Kings  Lawrence Sheriff School, Rugby  –  Botanist (kingsii)

Cayman:

Allen Wolsey Cardinall – Commissioner of the Cayman Islands, from 1934 to 1941

Joseph Rodriguez (Roddie) Watler – Police Inspector, truck owner

Bentley (Benny) Ross – boat owner – the ‘BRAVO’

Urban Myles – cook

Norris Jackson – assistant

Pershing Merren – assistant

Sam Ebanks – assistant

John Howard – assistant

Ira Thompson – Commissioner’s chauffeur

 

1938 Oxford Expedition homemade equipment

 Oxford University Biological Expedition to the Cayman Islands 1938 – homemade equipment, the still – for recovering waste alcohol. (C. B. Lewis photo 1938). Alcohol was needed for the preservation of specimens.

1938 Oxford Exp. boat

Sam Ebanks, Gerald Thompson and John Howard – off to work – Oxford University Biological Expedition to the Cayman Islands (C. B. Lewis photo 1938)

1938 John Howard_CB Lewis

John Howard, (C. B. Lewis photo 1938)

Urban Myles Mar3-07_523
Urban Myles, 97 years old.  He was the cook on the 1938 Oxford University Biological Expedition to the Cayman Islands.
They camped on the little schooner ‘Meritwell’ in North Sound for one week
and used a motor boat and canoe for their biological observations and collections.
Photo: Ann Stafford, Mar. 3, 2007.

Gemmel Alexander Oxford Exp. 1938. Mar.15, 2004 Compass_r

Gemmel Alexander – 1938 Oxford Expedition Leader and Organiser,had his 20th. birthday in Kingston, Jamaica, on his way to Cayman. Caymanian Compass, March 15, 2004.

PLACES

Liverpool, UK; Kingston, Jamaica; Grand Cayman (population:4,500); Cayman Brac (population: 1,500); Little Cayman (population: 64).

caribbean map

Caribbean map

Grand Cayman map

Grand Cayman map

Grand Cayman, Wilfred Kings, botanist: May 13  – 17 and June 11 – August 10.

LC CB Sister Is map Acorn r

Little Cayman and Cayman Brac – the Sister Islands (Acorn Publishing Co Ltd 2013)

Cayman Brac, Wilfred Kings, botanist: May 18 – May 28.

Little Cayman, Wilfred Kings, botanist: May 28 – June 11

TRANSPORTATION

Ship from Liverpool, UK March 22, (14 days voyage) to Kingston, Jamaica, CIMBOCO (motor boat) from Kingston to Grand Cayman, truck, motor boat, catboats.

Cimboco launching 1927 N.L.Booker cr

CIMBOCO, Cayman Islands Motor Boat Company, was the first locally built, motorized sailing ship in Cayman. CIMBOCO was Cayman’s connection to the world: regular travel, shipping, parcel post, providing a reliable supply of staple & exotic foods, such as flour, sugar, fruit & even ice! “Her launching in May 1927 was a great day in the history of the Cayman Islands,” said Miss Annie Huldah Bodden, secretary until 1947.

Launching of the CIMBOCO, May 1927,  photo: N.L Booker, father of Aarona Booker Kohlman, who is the author of ‘UNDER TIN ROOFS Cayman in the 1920’s’ (1993).

Catboats 1.60 stamp unloading cargo Aug31-11_200

Catboats: unloading cargo stamp  $1.60, (release date Aug. 31, 2011).

CIMBOCO and HMS Orion from Grand Cayman to Kingston, Jamaica.

ACCOMMODATION

Expedtion Headquarters in George Town – Althea’s cottage

Rum Point – tents

Cayman Brac

Little Cayman

South Sound – Czar Hurlston’s house

Oxford house Nov30-07_747

‘Oxford House’ (photo: Ann Stafford, Nov.30, 2007). The team stayed in Czar Hurlston’s house on South Sound. It was subsequently moved to South Church St, its current location. The front porch was added.

ANIMALS

REPTILES: Lizards and Iguanas

Eastern Grand Cayman Blue-throated Anole – Anolis conspersus lewisi (endemic)

Reptile Database – Anolis conspersus

Anole Adventures in the Cayman Islands

The endemic Blue Iguana – Cyclura lewisi, Grand Cayman’s largest native land animal, is named after Bernard Lewis.

Blue iguana BPk Apr22-12_038_tBlue Iguana – Cyclura lewisi, Endangered Grand Cayman endemic, named after biologist C. Bernard Lewis, Rhodes Scholar, who took a male and female to the British Museum of Natural History, collected during the 1938 Oxford University Biological Expedition to the Cayman Islands. Photo: Ann Stafford, on the Woodland Trail, Queen Elizabeth II Botanic Park, Grand Cayman, Apr. 22,  2012.

Blue Iguana BPk Aug18-13_i ASBlue Iguana – Cyclura lewisi. Photo: Ann Stafford, on the Woodland Trail, Queen Elizabeth II Botanic Park, Grand Cayman, Aug.18, 2013.

Blue Iguana BIRP Mar3-11Grand Cayman Blue Iguana  – Cyclura lewisi. Photo: Ann Stafford,  Queen Elizabeth II Botanic Park, Grand Cayman, March 3, 2011.

Cyclura nubila cay stampSister Islands Rock Iguana (Lesser Cayman Islands Rock Iguana) – Cyclura nubila caymanensis, subspecies endemic to Little Cayman and Cayman Brac.

REPTILES: Geckos

Ground Gecko, Cayman Least Gecko – Sphaerodactylus argivus

This Antillean species is endemic to the Cayman Islands (Henderson and Powell 2009).

Ground Gecko, Wood Lizard – Spherodactylus argivus lewisi, Grand Cayman endemic subspecies. It probably occurs island-wide, including the satellite islands. It has been found under rocks at the bottom of sink holes, in the mouths of caves on a limestone ridge (south of Old Man Bay), and in bromeliads (Seidel and Franz 1994) .

On Little Cayman, the subspecies bartschi probably occurs island-wide, but most known specimens were collected near the beach at South Town and at Tarpon Lake (Seidel and Franz 1994); it also occurs in Owen Island.

Cayman Brac, the subspecies argivus is found island-wide (Schwartz and Henderson 1991).

REPTILES: Snakes

Water Snake – Tretanorhinus variabilis lewisi, Grand Cayman endemic subspecies

Tretanorhinus variabilis lewisi, FB, CP Sep.21-03 AS

Grand Cayman Water Snake – Tretanorhinus variabilis lewisi, found by Fred Burton and photographed by Courtney Platt. Photo: Ann Stafford, Queen Elizabeth II Botanic Park, Sept. 21, 2003.

Tretanorhinus FB, C Platt Sep.21-03 AS

Grand Cayman Water Snake – Tretanorhinus variabilis lewisi, found by Fred Burton and photographed by Courtney Platt. Photo: Ann Stafford, Queen Elizabeth II Botanic Park, Sept. 21, 2003.

Tretanorhinus FB LB Sept.21-03 AS

Grand Cayman Water Snake – Tretanorhinus variabilis lewisi, found by Fred Burton and photographed by Lois Blumenthal. Photo: Ann Stafford, Queen Elizabeth II Botanic Park, Sept. 21, 2003.

INSECTS: DRAGONFLIES, DAMSELFLIES (Order: Odonata)

INSECTS: CICADAS (Order: Hemiptera – True Bugs)

Suborder: Auchenorrhyncha (Cicadas, Leafhoppers)

Family: Cicadidae

Diceroprocta caymanensis Davis, 1939

Diceroprocta cleavesi Davis, 1930

Diceroprocta ovata Davis, 1939

Each island has its own endemic Cicada species –

Grand Cayman Cicada – Diceroprocta cleavesi

Little Cayman Cicada – Diceroprocta caymanensis

Cayman Brac Cicada – Diceroprocta ovata

The species are morphologically very similar, differing principally in their colouration, and they are allied to D. biconia from Cuba.

Grand Cayman Cicada – Diceroprocta cleavesi 

Photo: Ann Stafford, Grand Cayman, Aug. 13, 2005

Cicadas are locally called ‘crickets’ . The male Cicadas’ ‘song’ is a high-pitched buzzing sound. Female Cicadas lay their eggs in the bark of a twig. When the eggs hatch, the nymphs drop to the ground. They burrow with their front legs, which are enlarged for tunneling, and they live underground, feeding on roots. When they are ready for their fifth and final molt, they dig their way out to the surface and climb a short distance on to a plant to which they anchors themselves.  The winged adults emerge in July and August, leaving the empty nymph case attached to the plant.

Diceroprocta cleavesi Aug5-02 AS

Adult Cicada, just emerged from its nymph exoskeleton. Photo: Ann Stafford, Grand Cayman, Aug. 5, 2002.

Cicadas collected in the Cayman Islands by the Oxford University Biological Expedition of 1938

Davis, William T. 1939  Journal of the New York Entomological Society, vol. 47, no. 3, pages 207-213

Diceroprocta ovata May1-11 WP

Cayman Brac Cicada – Diceroprocta ovata

Photo: Wallace Platts, Cayman Brac, May 1, 2011.

INSECTS: BEETLES:  (Order: Coleoptera)

Visual Guide to Beetle Families

Family: Carabidae – Ground Beetles

Family: Staphylinidae – Rove Beetles

Family: Scarabaeidae – Chafers and Dung Beetles

Family: Cerambycidae – Long-horned Beetles or Timber Beetles

Cerambycidae of the World

Cerambycidae Family, SubFamily and Tribe List

Styloleptus lewisi (Fisher) 1948, (synonym: Leptostylus lewisi)

Elaphidion lewisi Fisher 1948

Elaphidion thompsoni Fisher 1941

Anelaphus fasciatum (Fisher 1932) (synonym: Elaphidion truncatipenne)

Eburia caymanensis Fisher 1941

Eburia concisispinis Fisher 1941

Eburia lewisi Fisher 1948

Derancistrus (Elateropsis) nigripes (Fisher) 1941

Derancistrus (Elateropsis) nigricornis (Fisher) 1941

Derancistrus (Elateropsis) caymanensis (Fisher) 1941

INSECTS: BEES, ANTS, WASPS: (Order Hymenoptera)

Cicada Killer Wasp Aug5,1938 Jun26-12 AS

Caribbean Cicada Killer Wasp, Mangrove Giant Wasp – Sphecius hogardii

Cicada Killer Wasp NT NL Dec.2012

INSECTS: BUTTERFLIES: (Order Lepidoptera: Rhopalocera)

Cayman Brown Leaf Butterfly – Memphis verticordia danielana – Cayman Islands endemic subspecies

Memphis larvae Nov17-09_536 ASCayman Brown Leaf Butterfly – Memphis verticordia danielana larvae on their pseudospurs they made on their larval food plant Wild Cinnamon – Croton nitens, Ann Stafford, Grand Cayman, Nov. 17, 2009.

Memphis larva Sep21-10 AS

Cayman Brown Leaf Butterfly – Memphis verticordia danielana larva securing its rolled-leaf shelter with silk, on larval food plant Wild Cinnamon – Croton nitens, Ann Stafford, Grand Cayman,Sept. 21, 2010.

Memphis verticordia danielana life cycle

The endemic Pygmy Blue Butterfly – Brephidium exilis thompsoni Carpenter & Lewis 1943 is named after Gerald Thompson. He discovered it on June 23, 1938 in English Sound (named after T.M. Savage English), a lagoon off North Sound.
Pygmy Blue Jan19-08_Askew

Cayman Pygmy Blue butterfly – Brephidium exilis thompsoni, Grand Cayman endemic subspecies named after Gerald Thompson, 1938 Oxford University biology student.
Photo: R. R. Askew, Jan. 19, 2008
ANNALS OF THE CARNEGIE MUSEUM  Vol.XXIX p.392-394
Carpenter & Lewis 1943:

This tiny butterfly is indeed limited in its distribution for it was not found outside of an area of about fifty square yards, on the edge of a secluded lagoon, known as English Sound, lying to the east of and off of the Great Sound. The vegetation of this area is low, but not unusual, and is typical of such situations which are numerous on the island. No early stages were found.

English Sound LB Jun-08_011_t

English Sound is a very shallow lagoon off North Sound, Grand Cayman, where Grand Cayman’s Pygmy Blue butterfly – Brephidium exilis thompsonii was discovered by Bernard Lewis and Gerald Thompson in 1938. English Sound is not named on maps, but was the locality of property of naturalist T. M. Savage English, who resided in Grand Cayman from late 1910 to 1914.

English Sound Mar.6, 2007

Naturalist Thomas Mylius Savage English lived in Grand Cayman between late 1910 and 1914. He owned property in the Cayman Kai area. This shallow lagoon, English Sound, is named after him, but it is not named on maps. The location of his dock can be seen in the centre of this photo.

English Sound dock Jun18-08_939_t
Photo: Kayaker James Macfee June 18, 2008

Butterfly book cover Nov-08 r

Butterflies of the Cayman Islands 2008 by R.R. Askew and P.A. van B. Stafford 2008

Cayman Butterfly book back Nov-08
This book includes records from the

1938 Oxford University Expedition to the Cayman Islands and

1975 Joint Royal Society – Cayman Islands Government Expedition to Little Cayman

INSECTS: MOTHS (Order Lepidoptera)

Family: Sphingidae – Sphinx or Hawk Moths

INSECTS: FLIES (Order Diptera)

Family: Culicidae – Mosquitoes

Family: Psychodidae, SubFamily: Phlebotominae, Sandflies (Luyzomyia) ?

ARACHNIDS:

Black Widow Spiders  Order: Araneae, Family: Theridiidae – Comb-footed Spiders)

Latrodectus mactans – Southern Black Widow Spider – GC and LC

unidentified species – GC and CB (The Cayman Islands Natural History and Biogeography book p. 310, Chapter 16. Terrestrial invertebrates (other than insects) of the Cayman Islands by M. V. Hounsome).

Black Widow spider, egg sac Latroectus May2-03_10.

Black Widow Spider, with egg sac, found by Carla Reid, Grand Cayman, May 2, 2003

BIRDS:

Avibase – Bird Checklists of the World – Cayman Islands:

Birds of the Cayman Islands Checklist

History of Ornithology in the Cayman Islands:

1880’s C. B. C. Cory (1857-1921), a wealthy amateur ornithologist and founder member of the American Ornithologist’s Union, was the first to study Cayman’s avifauna. He described 13 new species of landbirds. All but one, the Grand Cayman Thrush, were later reclassified as endemic subspecies (Bangs 1916).

1889  Charles J. Maynard first reported the two sulids as a single new species, later named as two:

Red-footed Booby on Little Cayman, and Brown Booby on Cayman Brac.

1892 C. B. C. Cory’s checklist of 55 species, 30 of them breeding.

Late 1910 – 1914 Thomas Mylius Savage English, naturalist, lived on Grand Cayman. He did not see the endemic Grand Cayman Thrush (Turdus ravidus) until his third year on the island.

1911 P. R. Lowe published a checklist of 75 species, 40 of them breeding.

1904 – 1938 Avian collectors visited from time to time. Their specimens were housed in various museums:

Chicago, New York, Washington, Boston (Harvard), London (Tring) and Baton Rouge (Louisiana).

1938 C. Bernard Lewis was the last person to record seeing the Grand Cayman Thrush, which became extinct.

Grand Cayman Thrush – Turdus ravidus

‘The beautiful Grand Cayman Thrush is extinct. The thrush was relatively common when first described in the 1880s, but was rare by the turn of the 19th century, and the last report came in 1938. It is unclear why this species went extinct, although habitat conversion, as well as hurricanes, have been blamed. This thrush was dark gray with a white belly, and dark, graduated tail with white tail corners; the bill and legs were bright red. The white-tipped tail, largely grayish plumage and red bare parts all suggest a close relationship with the Caribbean endemic Red-legged Thrush (Turdus plumbeus). Very little is known about this thrush as it was gone before much of the Caribbean was explored.’

Grand Cayman Thrush - Turdus ravidus

Thrushes, © Princeton University Press/ illustration by Ren Hathway

Grand Cayman Thrush d stamp Jun.5, 1969

Grand Cayman Thrush on Cayman Islands 1/4 d (1/4 penny) = one farthing, stamp, June 5, 1969, when the Cayman Islands currency was British pounds, shillings and pence.
Grand Cayman Thrush – Turdus ravidus, GC endemic, is extinct. This was the only Cayman Islands endemic bird species, as opposed to subspecies.

Grand Cayman Thrush cent stamp Sep8, 1970

Grand Cayman Thrush on Cayman Islands 1/4 cent stamp, Sept. 8, 1970, after the Cayman Islands currency changed to the Cayman Islands Dollar from British pounds, shillings and pence.

Grand Cayman Thrush 1c coin 2008

Grand Cayman Thrush  on Cayman Islands 1 cent coin, currently in use.

PLANTS

Wilfred Kings was invited to join the Oxford University Biological Expedition to the Cayman Islands by Gemmel Alexander on March 21, 1938 in the capacity of Botanist, as their Botanist was unable to join the Expedition at last moment.

Kings saw Mr Alston at the British Museum (Natural History), explained the situation, and that he was not a Specialist in any capacity. They were satisfied that he should go merely as a Collector.

Mr Charles Elton and Dr Hobby in a interview at the Hope Department of Entomology, Oxford, were also willing for Kings to work in that capacity.

Lawrence Sheriff School, Rugby, Governors granted Kings a leave of absence for the term, where he was the Geography Master. Kings eventually joined the party in Grand Cayman on May 13, 1938.

The Collection, as far as the Flowering Plants and Ferns were concerned, was almost entirely in duplicate.

Grand Cayman:

George Town area – beach, bluff and pasture lands

East End – beach and bluff

West Bay – beach

South Sound – beach and bluff, mainly along ‘Leg and Knee Road’

Red Bay

East End – inland to the swampy Savannah Land

Little Sound

Governor’s Creek and Sound

Batabano – pasture land

Booby Creek

North Side – beach, bluff, Forest Glen, Cedar Cliff, Malportas Pond, Round Cay Pond, Savage English’s Cistern, Rum Point

Old Man Bay

North East Coast – from Old Man Bay to Roger Wreck

Frank Sound Bridge

George Town Barcadere

West Bay – North West Point, Mount Pleasant

Pedro Castle and Newlands

Cayman Brac localities visited:

Stakes Bay

Earthquake Hole

Cotton Tree Land, West End

West End

Across the Island from Stakes Bay to the North Side with its abrupt Undercut Cliff and sandy coastal strip, with broken coral on the coastline.

Along the NE to Spot Bay and on the high bluff to the North East Point Lighthouse

Little Cayman localities visited, there were no roads on the Island:

South Town wide strip of coast land at the Western end – most collecting was done here.

Duck Hole

Track from South Town to SW of Bloody Bay

North coast to Jackson

‘Cross the Land Road’ to South Hole Sound

Extreme East End  was visited by boat.

Link to List of plants by Collector – Kings, W.

on Missouri Botanical Garden website, Tropicos.org:

1938 Oxford University Expedition to the Cayman Islands – Wilfred Kings flora specimens

Encylia kingsii Orchid (synonym Epidendrum kingsii), named after Wilfred Kings, biologist on the 1938 Oxford Expedition, June 7, Jackson, Little Cayman.

Encyclia kingsii

Encyclia kingsii (C.D. Adams) Nir, Lindleyana 9(3): 147. 1994.

Bas.: Epidendrum kingsii C.D. Adams, Orquideología 6(3): 145. 1971.

TYPE: Pequeno Cayman: En un árbol al lado norte, Jackson, elev. 10-15 pies, Junio 7 de 1938, “Bulbo algo cónico con superficie arrugada; flores marchitas”, W. Kings L. C. 117 A (holotype, BM; illustration of type).

The illustration (link) shows the shape of the lip, petal and sepal.

Encyclia kingsii stamp

Encyclia kingsii  Cayman Islands Orchid stamps issue 2005.

Encyclia kingsii Jun24-07_078 AS r

Encyclia kingsii and Banana Orchid (Myrmecophila thomsoniana var. thomsoniana) on Shake Hand tree (Xylosma bahamense). Photo: P. Ann van B. Stafford, East End, Grand Cayman, June 24, 2007. Flora of the Cayman Islands by George R. Proctor, 2012, p.201, 206 & 319.Encyclia kingsii EE Jun24-07_600 ASGrand Cayman, June 24, 2007.

Encyclia kingsii Brac_600 Jul.2-10 A.Ebanks AS Encyclia kingsii (= Epidendrum kingsii), ORCHIDACEAE, from Cayman Brac, in a private collection in Grand Cayman.  P. Ann van B. Stafford, July 2, 2010.

TM Savage English cistern CB Lewis 1938 t.jpg

Thomas Mylius Savage English’s Cistern (the circular one). Photo: C. Bernard Lewis, North Side, Grand Cayman, 1938.

Wilfred Kings hoped to obtain specimens of Fresh Water Sponges for Mr Burton of the British Museum, as none had been recorded from the Cayman Islands. The only possible specimen, which might have proved to be an alga, was found in this cistern, which had not been used since 1917 when the house was destroyed by a hurricane.

Return to the UK

Types and paratypes are held in South Kensington Natural History Museum, London, the Hope Department of Entomology, Oxford, London Zoo and American Zoos.

Aug. 31, 1938. Quote from The Telegraph, 31.8.38 under the heading GREEN TURTLES AND IGUANAS ‘Animals and reptiles rarely, if ever, seen in Europe, were landed in Liverpool today on the return, after a six month absence, of members of the Oxford University expedition to the Cayman Islands in the West Indies…….some of the specimens will shortly be seen at the London Zoo, which is to have the choice of the collection………’

The collection included 19 iguanas or spine lizards up to four feet in length, two green turtles, four hawksbill turtles, 16 land turtles, several lizards and land crabs, 27 black snakes and nine wood snakes as well as spiders, scorpions and centipedes.

LINKS:

1938 Oxford Expedition to the Cayman Islands pictures

1938 Oxford University Expedition – Gerald Thompson’s account

Butterflies of the Cayman Islands – Book

Butterflies of the Cayman Islands – List

Cayman Islands National Archive

Flora of the Cayman Islands by George R. Proctor 2012 – Book

Insect Fauna of Little Cayman – R.R. Askew 1975

Little Cayman is seldom mentioned in entomological literature. The 1938 Oxford University Biological Expedition spent thirteen days on the island and reports on the resulting collection deal with Odonata (Fraser, 1943), water-bugs (Hungerford, 1940),  Nemoptera (Banks, 1941), cicadas (Davis, 1939), Carabidae (Darlington, 1947), Cerambycidae (Fisher, 1941, 1948), butterflies (Carpenter and Lewis, 1943) and Sphingidae (Jordan, 1940). During the 1975 expedition, insects of all orders were studied, over a period of about five weeks, and many additions will eventually be made to the island’s species list. At present, however, identification of the insects collected has, with the exception of the butterflies which have been considered separately, proceeded in the majority of cases as far as the family level. Application of the family names for the most part follows Borror and DeLong (1966). In this paper the general characteristics of the insect fauna are described.

CI Nat.History, Biogeography_cover

The Cayman Islands Natural History and Biogeography

M.A. Brunt & J.E. Davies / Editors, 1994

Selected References:

Adams,  C. Dennis    1972  Flowering Plants of Jamaica (Reader in Botany at the University of the West Indies, Mona, Jamaica.

Bradley, P.E and Rey-Millet, Y-J.   2013  Birds of the Cayman Islands

Cayman Islands National Archive

Cerambycidae of the World
https://apps2.cdfa.ca.gov/publicApps/plant/bycidDB/wdefault.asp

Kings,  Wilfred    September 1938 Report on the Botanical Collections from Grand Cayman, Cayman Brac and Little Cayman

Lewis, C. Bernard, Photographic Collection 1938. Cayman Islands National Archive Accession No. 414 B.

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Cayman – Cornwall Connection

If your surname is Bodden, Bawden or Bowden …..

For more details, visit:

Historic Cayman

Cayman flag

1655 Oliver Cromwell‘s grand Western Design, English joint army-navy force, sent Admiral Sir William Penn and General Robert Venables to capture the island of Hispaniola.  They failed to take the city of Santo Domingo so they sailed on and captured Jamaica in May.
http://bcw-project.org/military/anglo-spanish-war/western-design

1656 – Jamaica – The Settlers from Nevis by S.A.G. Taylor p.15.

1656   Cromwell issued a proclamation in other colonies, inviting settlers for the new colony of JAMAICA. William BOWDEN, an early settler from Nevis (in the Eastern Caribbean), arrived in December with Major Luke Stokes, Governor of Nevis, in the Morant Bay area, St. Thomas, eastern Jamaica.

1657   Within three months, by March 1657, two-thirds of the 1600 settlers had died of fevers in the low-lying coastal area.Jamaica Bowden - map

Bowden A-Z Jamaican Heritage

A – Z of Jamaican Heritage by Olive Senior (1985), p.26.

1656 Jamaica – Settlers from Nevis

1656 Jamaica, Settlers from Nevis

Bawden – Bowden – Bodden may have got to Nevis from Barbados.

Barbados

In the period 1640–60, the West Indies attracted over two-thirds of the total number of English emigrants to the Americas. By 1650 there were 44,000 settlers in the West Indies, as compared to 12,000 on the Chesapeake and 23,000 in New England.

Most English arrivals were indentured. After five years of labour, they were given “freedom dues” of about ₤10, usually in goods. (Before the mid-1630s, they also received 5 to 10 acres of land, but after that time the island filled and there was no more free land.)

Around the time of Cromwell a number of rebels and criminals were also transported there. Timothy Meads of Warwickshire was one of the rebels sent to Barbados at that time, before he received compensation for servitude of 1000 acres of land in North Carolina in 1666. Parish registers from the 1650s show, for the white population, four times as many deaths as marriages. The death rate was very high.

Caribbean basin map

Early 18th. Century   Isaac Bawden / Bowden / Bodden was probably one of several itinerant turtlers from Jamaica. He settled at East End, Grand Cayman, in the area called Old Isaacs on the George Gauld 1773 map.

1735 Nov.9  Isaac Bawden, mariner, married widow Sarah Lamar, both of Camanas, entry in Port Royal Church Parish Register. The ceremony was performed by Thomas Alves, Rector of Port Royal. (Hirst p.28)

1735 Nov.9

Benjamin Lock Bawden, born Dec. 17, 1730 and

William Price Bawden, born Nov. 11, 1732,

sons of Isaac Bawden and Sarah Lamar: their baptism was recorded as a separate entry in the same register.Bawden baptisms 1735 - Seas p.46The second son may have been the William Bodden Sr. who was to be a Caymanian Chief Magistrate until 1789 and the father of Governor Bodden, his namesake who served as Chief Magistrate until 1823.

(see Founded upon The Seas – A History of the Cayman Islands and Their People p.45-46)

1765 William EDEN from Devizes, Wiltshire, England (b.1737- d.1801), arrived in Grand Cayman from Jamaica.

1773 Gauld map on 1989 Cayman stamp

1773 Gauld map on 1989 Cayman stamp

Grand Cayman map.jpg

East End was marked as Old Isaacs on the 1773 Gauld map after

Isaac Bawden / Bowden / Bodden

East End wrecks Feb15-02

Wrecks on the reef at East End, Grand Cayman, Feb. 15, 2002. The channel through the reef can be seen.

BT sign, Cayman's first capital Jul.27-12

Bodden Town was Cayman’s first capital.

1773  George Gauld, a Royal Navy surveyor, renamed South Side  Bodden Town, because there were so many people named Bodden living there. The population of Grand Cayman was about 450 people, half of whom lived in Bodden Town.

1802 Edward Corbet census – the population had doubled to 933.

Guard House sign Jul.27-12.JPG

Guard house BT May6-12

Guard House, Bodden Town  (May 6, 2012)

William Bodden (Governor Bodden  I   1776-1789)

William Bodden (Governor Bodden  II   1789-1823)

(see Founded upon The Seas – A History of the Cayman Islands and Their People p.45-46)

Bodden Wm, death 1789 - Seas p.461789 April 23. At the Grand Camaynas, aged 67, Wm. Bodden, esq. chief magistrate of that island, the first known death notice of a settler, published in The Gentleman’s Magazine, London, 1789.

(Note: aged 67: it looks a though 6 has been written over a 5. If he was born Nov.11, 1732 (see above), and died on April 23, he would have been 56 when he died and it was the 7 that should have been overwritten as a 6.)

Mission House sign Jul.27-12

Mission House at Gun Square, Bodden Town.

There was no road between Bodden Town (the former capital) and East End until 1935.

East End Road

East End road

Cayman Islands search for relatives of their Cornish forefathers

The Telegraph, April 6, 2017

Cayman Islanders hunt for descendants of their first settler who left Cornwall for the Caribbean paradise 450 years ago

Daily Mail, April 6, 2017

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4387484/Cayman-Islanders-launch-hunt-ancestors-Cornwall.html#ixzz4eG13q1Nr

Bodden ancestors sort in UK

Cayman Reporter April 11, 2017

William EDEN from Devizes, Wiltshire, England

(b.1737- d.1801), arrived in Grand Cayman from Jamaica in 1765.

He married Dorothy Bodden in Savannah-la-Mar, Jamaica. They had 3 children.

1766 William Eden II, their first child, was born.

1773 Dorothy died.

William Eden’s second wife was Elizabeth “Bessy” Clark.

1780 Pedro St. James, a stone house, was built by William Eden at Great Pedro Point, Grand Cayman.

Pedro_St._James Hirst 1910

Pedro St. James

Photo c. 1910 George S.S. Hirst

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Cayman Cicadas

Each island has its own endemic Cicada species –

Grand Cayman Cicada – Diceroprocta cleavesi

Little Cayman Cicada – Diceroprocta caymanensis

Cayman Brac Cicada – Diceroprocta ovata

Order: Hemiptera, Family: CICADIDAE

The species are morphologically very similar, differing principally in their colouration, and they are allied to D. biconia from Cuba.

Diceroprocta cleavesi Aug.13-05 AS

Grand Cayman Cicada – Diceroprocta cleavesi

Photo: Ann Stafford, Grand Cayman, Aug. 13, 2005

Cicadas are locally called ‘crickets’ . The male Cicadas’ ‘song’ is a high-pitched buzzing sound. Female Cicadas lay their eggs in the bark of a twig. When the eggs hatch, the nymphs drop to the ground. They burrow with their front legs, which are enlarged for tunneling, and they live underground, feeding on roots. When they are ready for their fifth and final molt, they dig their way out to the surface and climb a short distance on to a plant to which they anchors themselves.  The winged adults emerge in July and August, leaving the empty nymph case attached to the plant.

Diceroprocta cleavesi Aug5-02 AS

Adult Cicada, just emerged from its nymph exoskeleton.

Photo: Ann Stafford, Grand Cayman, Aug. 5, 2002.

Cicadas collected in gthe Cayman Islands by the Oxford University Biological Expedition of 1938

Davis, William T. 1939  Journal of the New York Entomological Society, vol. 47, no. 3, pages 207-213

Diceroprocta ovata May1-11 WP

Cayman Brac Cicada – Diceroprocta ovata

Photo: Wallace Platts, Cayman Brac, May 1, 2011.

Cicadas (of Florida) :

Life Cycle

All cicada nymphs live in underground burrows, where they feed on xylem sap from roots of grasses, forbs, or woody plants. Xylem sap is low in nutrients, which helps account for the minimum duration of nymphal development being several years. All cicadas molt four times underground. When the last nymphal instar is ready to molt, it makes its way to the surface, climbs a short distance up a tree trunk or herb stem, anchors itself with its tarsal claws, molts for the fifth time, and becomes an adult. Its nymphal shell remains as evidence of its transition from a confined life underground to aerial freedom. Adult cicadas are strong fliers and visually alert. Most species spend their lives in trees, where males call, males and females mate, and females lay their eggs by inserting them into the woody tissue of small branches. Some cicadas feed on and lay eggs primarily in grasses and forbs. Adults regularly feed on xylem sap both by day and at night, but are short-lived, seldom living more than a few weeks.

Diceroprocta cleavesi nymph cases Aug7-11_129 AS

Three empty Grand Cayman Cicada nymph exoskeletons on Wild White Beach Lily leaves (Hymenocallis latifolia) on the beach at Barkers National Park, West Bay, Aug. 7, 2011.

Cicada from Grand Cayman, Staten Island Museum

Type specimen – Diceroprocta cleavesi.

Caribbean Cicada Killer Wasp / Mangrove Giant – Sphecius hogardii

Family: CRABRONIDAE

Caribbean and Florida

Cicada Killer Wasp1985 Jun26-12 ASCaribbean Cicada Killer Wasp / Mangrove Giant – Sphecius hogardii

Oxford University Cayman Islands Biological Expedition 1938 collected on Aug. 5, 1938 (5.VIII.1938) but was not identified at that time. This specimen is in the National Trust for the Cayman Islands Insectarium, collected in 1985.
Photo: Ann Stafford,  June 26, 2012.

Sphecius hogardii wasp Jun15-12 S.Barwick_t.bmp

Cicada Killer Wasp – Sphecius hogardii   Photo: Simon Barwick, Grand Cayman, June 15, 2012.

Cicada Killer Wasp NT_NL Dec.2012_tUnraveling a Wasp Mystery

National Trust for the Cayman Islands Newsletter, December, 2012

1938 Oxford University Expedition to the Cayman Islands

1938 Oxford University Expedition to the Cayman Islands – pictures

Improved Key to New World Species of Sphecius

(Hymenoptera: Crabronidae)  C.W. Holliday and Coelho

Ann. Entomol. Soc. Am. 99(5): 793-798 (2006)

Prof. Chuck Holliday is now retired and has shut down his Cicada Killer Wasp website

10 Facts about Cicada Killer Wasps

Yes, these wasps kill cicadas1. it works like this:

    1. The adult female wasp will paralyze the cicada with her venomous sting.
    2. The wasp will carry the cicada to a burrow, where it will place the cicada.
    3. The wasp will lay an egg under the left or right second leg of the cicada.
    4. The egg hatches, and the larvae begins to eat the cicada, while taking care to keep it alive.
    5. Once the larvae has had its fill, it spins a cocoon, in which it will change into an adult wasp.
  • Female wasps are able to predetermine the sex of their larvae.1 They must do this because it takes more females to create new generations of wasps, than it does males.
  • Cicada Killer Wasps belong to the family Crabronidae Latreille, 1802; the tribe Bembicini Latreille, 1802 and the genus Sphecius Dahlbom, 1843 2. Crabronidae comes from the Latin word for hornet, Bembicini comes from the Greek word for buzzing insect, and Sphecius is from the Greek word for wasp.
  • Not all Sphecius wasps in the world kill cicadas, but all Sphecius in the New World (the Americas) do 3.
  • If you haven’t seen a Cicada Killer Wasp, they are large black and pale yellow wasps, and are often found carrying a cicada (see image on this page).
  • Cicada Killer Wasps are often confused with European Wasps (Vespa crabro). European Wasps are a more vibrant yellow color, and feature more yellow than back. They also belong to an entirely different family of wasp: Vespidae.
  • There are five species of Cicada Killer Wasps in the Americas……

S. hogardii, the Caribbean cicada killer, is found in Florida, and the Caribbean nations.

 

1975 Royal Society – CI Gov. Little Cayman Expedition

Joint Royal Society and Cayman Islands Government Expedition to Little Cayman in 1975, when the island was little known scientifically.

Team of scientists:
D.R. Stoddart (Cambridge): geomorphology, leader
R.R. Askew (Manchester): entomology
A.W. Diamond (Nairobi): orthnithology
M.E.C. Giglioli (George Town): marine studies and liaison
M.V. Hounsome (Manchester) land fauna other than insects
G.W. Potts (Plymouth: marine ecology
G.R. Proctor (Kingston): botany
C. Woodruffe (Cambridge): Mangroves (part-time)

2015 is the 40th. Anniversary of the 1975 Little Cayman Expedition (July and August).

Atoll Research Bulletin
241. Geography and Ecology of Little Cayman
Edited by D.R. Stoddart and M.E.C. Giglioli
Issued by The Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C. U.S.A.
March, 1980

241. Geography and Ecology of Little Cayman

Caribbean Sea

Caribbean Sea

Little Cayman is the smallest of the three Cayman Islands, emergent sections of the Cayman Ridge along the northern margin of the Cayman Trench between the Sierra Maestra of Cuba and the coast of Belize. The Trench itself is 1700 km long, and has maximum depths south of the Cayman Islands of more than 6000 m. Little Cayman lies 230 km from Cabo Cruz, Cuba; the same distance from the nearest point of Jamaica; and 740 km from the mainland of Yucatan. The Caymans themselves are well separated from each other: Little Cayman is 117 km ENE from Grand Cayman, though only 7.5 km from Cayman Brac.

Cayman Islands

Cayman Islands

Little Cayman’s permanent population consisted of 18 people in 1975.

Little Cayman and Cayman Brac - the Sister Islands (Acorn Publishing Co Ltd 2013)

Little Cayman and Cayman Brac –                       the Sister Islands
(Acorn Publishing Co Ltd 2013)

David R. Stoddart (Cambridge): geomorphology, leader

David R. Stoddart

David R. Stoddart

Little Cayman Atoll Research Bulletin No.241 1980

Atoll Research Bulletin March 1980. No. 241. Geography and Ecology of Little Cayman.
Edited by D.R. Stoddart and M.E.C. Giglioli
Issued by the Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC, USA

Little Cayman Scientific Survey 1980

Marco E.C. Giglioli (George Town): marine studies and liaison

Marco Giglioli

Marco Giglioli

The Mosquito Research & Control Unit (MRCU) was established in 1965 when Marco Giglioli arrived from London with instructions ‘to establish a laboratory and conduct research with a view to advising the Cayman Government on suitable methods of control.’

Mosquito Research and Control Unit
Mosquito Research and Control Unit

G.W. Potts (Plymouth: marine ecology

Little Cayman Littoral Fishes

George R. Proctor (Kingston): botany

George R. Proctor

George R. Proctor

Little Cayman Plants Proctor 1980

Michael V. Hounsome (Manchester) land fauna other than birds and insects

THE TERRESTRIAL FAUNA (EXCLUDING BIRDS AND INSECTS) OF LITTLE CAYMAN

Little Cayman Terrestrial Fauna Hounsome

Richard R. Askew (Manchester): entomology

R. R. Askew

R. R. Askew

Little Cayman Insect fauna

Little Cayman is seldom mentioned in entomological literature. The 1938 Oxford University Biological Expedition spent thirteen days on the island and reports on the resulting collection deal with Odonata (Fraser, 1943), water-bugs (Hungerford, 1940), Nemoptera (Banks, 1941), cicadas (Davis, 1939), Carabidae (Darlington, 1947), Cerambycidae (Fisher, 1941, 1948), butterflies (Carpenter and Lewis, 1943) and Sphingidae (Jordan, 1940). During the 1975 expedition, insects of all orders were studied, over a period of about five weeks, and many additions will eventually be made to the island’s species list. At present, however, identification of the insects collected has, with the exception of the butterflies which have been considered separately, proceeded in the majority of cases as far as the family level. Application of the family names for the most part follows Borror and DeLong (1966). In this paper the general characteristics of the insect fauna are described.

Anthony W. Diamond (Nairobi): orthnithology

A. W. Diamond

A. W. Diamond

Little Cayman Birds

Ecology and species turnover of the birds of Little Cayman

1980a Atoll Research bulletin 241: 141- 164

The Red-footed Booby colony on Little Cayman; size, structure and significance

1980b Atoll Research bulletin 241: 165 -170

 

Colin Woodruffe (Cambridge): Mangroves

Colin Woodroffe

Colin Woodroffe

BE OF GOOD CHEER MY WEARY READERS, FOR I HAVE ESPIED LAND
By David R. Stoddart
Department of Geography, University of California, Berkeley, CA 94720.

Be of Good Cheer…..by David Stoddart

Cayman Islands Natural History and Biogeography

Cayman Islands Natural History  and Biogeography

The Rarest Snail in the World

by Pat Shipman

extract:

….That’s how we learned about Cerion nanus, the rarest snail in the world. That’s a big claim for a little snail only about a centimeter long. Cerion is a common genus of air-breathing land snails in the West Indies and the Florida Keys. Different species within the genus either have no common name or are lumped together as “peanut snails” for their general shape. The most common species on Little Cayman, Cerion pannosum, is everywhere: on grasses, bushes and trees, and lying dead on the beach. The second species on Little Cayman, C. nanus, is a most uncommon snail. When we read about C. nanus in Mike Hounsome’s chapter on terrestrial invertebrates in The Cayman Islands, we were hooked. As a young man, Mike had participated in the joint Royal Society and Cayman Islands Government Expedition to Little Cayman in 1975, when the island was little known scientifically.

…Not only did Maynard conclude that Cerion nanus existed in a single, small population, he also found it almost exclusively on one plant species now known as Evolvulus squamosus. Also called the rockyplains dwarf morning glory, the species is patchily distributed on Little Cayman but also lives on many other Caribbean islands and in Florida. Maynard pronounced C. nanus “dwarfed to an extreme degree, from feeding on the pungent leaves of the plant described.” At only about half the length of C. pannosum, C. nanus seemed to compete with the larger, more ubiquitous snail.

Evolvulus sqamosus

Crab Bush – Evolvulus squamosus

Crab Bush – Evolvulus squamosus, Family: CONVOLVULACEAE, Endangered.
A knee-high, brushy shrub with minute leaves and white flowers. Little Cayman and the Bahamas.
It is the sole host of the diminutive land-snail, Cerion nanus, Critically Endangered Little Cayman endemic.
Photo: Ann Stafford, Grand Cayman (introduced from Little Cayman), June 9, 2002.
Flora of the Cayman Islands by George R. Proctor, 2012 p.541, Pl.51.
9. Cerion nanus (Maynard) (Mollusca: CERIONIDAE) on Little Cayman

by M.V. Hounsome and R.R. Askew
http://www.doe.ky/terrestrial/animals/snails/

Butterflies of the Cayman Islands 2008 by R.R. Askew and P.A. van B. Stafford

Butterflies of the Cayman Islands 2008 by R.R. Askew and P.A. van B. Stafford

Butterflies of the Cayman Islands R.R. Askew and P.A. van B. Stafford

Butterflies of the Cayman Islands R.R. Askew and P.A. van B. Stafford

Butterflies of the Cayman Islands book
R. R. Askew and P. A. van B. Stafford
published by Apollo Books Nov. 2008, available locally at
National Trust for the Cayman Islands, Dart Family Park, South Church St, Grand Cayman – US$30.00 or CI$24.00,
and local book stores.
http://www.brill.com/butterflies-cayman-islands

FLORA of the Cayman IslandsFLORA of the CAYMAN ISLANDS by George R. Proctor, 2nd. Edition 2012,
published by Royal Botanic Gardens, KEW, was launched on Oct. 22, 2012.
The book is available for purchase, price CI$30, at the National Trust for the Cayman Islands and local bookstores.
The Cayman Islands (Grand Cayman, Little Cayman, and Cayman Brac) support 415 native taxa
in a land area little over 100 square miles, 29 of which are uniquely Caymanian.
Accessible and informative, this field guide satisfies the needs of the professional botanist,
while providing the non-expert and eco-tourist with an attractive introduction to the unique endemic flora of the Cayman Islands.
724 pages | 400 color plates, 250 line drawings | 6 x 9 1/5 | © 2012

Grand Cayman Nature Tours

Flora Gallery:

CaymANNature Flora

CaymANNature Flora_2

CaymANNature Herbarium

A Photographic Guide to the BIRDS of the CAYMAN ISLANDS by Patricia E. Bradley and Yves-Jacques Rey-Millet 2013

A Photographic Guide to the BIRDS of the CAYMAN ISLANDS
by Patricia E. Bradley and Yves-Jacques Rey-Millet 2013

Mangrove Skipper - Phocides pigmalion, R.R. Askew, Little Cayman, Jan. 23, 2008

Mangrove Skipper – Phocides pigmalion,
R.R. Askew, Little Cayman, Jan. 23, 2008

Mangrove Skipper – Phocides pigmalion batabano, Family: HESPERIIDAE nectaring on Sea Lavender – Argusia gnaphalodes Family: BORAGINACEAE.  This Mangrove Skipper subspecies is known from Andros in the Bahamas, Cuba, the Isle of Pines and Little Cayman. It has not been recorded on Grand Cayman or Cayman Brac. Photo: R.R. Askew, Little Cayman, Jan. 23, 2008. Butterflies of the Cayman Islands book, 2008 , by R. R. Askew and P. A. van B. Stafford, p.115.

Cayman Islands Dragonflies and Damselflies

Dragonflies and Damselflies are called Needlecases in Cayman.

Bulletin of American ODONATOLOGY Vol. 5, Number 2,  20 January, 1998 Odonata of the Cayman Islands A Review by R.R. Askew, Richard Prosser and Phillip S. Corbet

Odonata CI, Askew, Prosser, Corbet 1998

Damselflies and Dragonflies Order: Odonata – about

Dragonflies & Damselflies – about Nov.19-10

Cayman Islands Dragonflies & Damselflies checklist Feb.12. 2016

Dragonflies & Damselflies Feb.12-16

Anax junius Jun.2006 JGCommon Green Darner – Anax junius, Family: AESHNIDAE (Darners). Photo taken by Jennifer Godfrey June, 2006.

Coryphaeschna adnexa - Blue-faced Darner, new PD Dec22-13Blue-faced Darner – Coryphaeschna adnexa     

New Cayman Record – Peter Davey, Dec. 22, 2013

Blue-faced Darner Jan.9-16 PD

Blue-faced Darner – Coryphaeschna adnexa 

Peter Davey, Pedro St. James quarry, Grand Cayman, Jan. 9, 2016

Mangrove Darner - Coryphaeschna viriditas, female Sep.28-10 PD

Mangrove Darner – Coryphaeschna viriditas, female,

Peter Davey, Grand Cayman, Sept. 28, 2010

Celithemis eponina Feb24-11 PD_44Halloween Pennant – Celithemis eponina, Family: LIBELLULIDAE (Common Skimmers),   NEW Cayman Islands RECORD, Photo Peter Davey Feb.24, 2011, Pedro St. James quarry, Grand Cayman.

Erythrodiplax umbrata, male, Frank Sound Aug.29-05 DBBand-winged Dragonlet – Erythrodiplax umbrata, male, Family: LIBELLULIDAE (Common Skimmers).    Photo: Denise Bodden, Frank Sound, Aug. 29, 2005.

Marl Pennant dragonfly – Macrodiplax balteata, Family: LIBELLULIDAE (Common Skimmers).   Photo: Peter Davey Nov. 2010

Three-striped Dasher – Micrathyria didyma, Family: LIBELLULIDAE.       Photo: Peter Davey, Nov.22, 2010

Orthemis ferruginea, m, Frank Sound Aug.29-05 DBRoseate Skimmer – Orthemis ferruginea, male, Family: LIBELLULIDAE.     Photo: Denise Bodden, Frank Sound, Aug.29, 2005.

Ischnura ramburii Nov9-10 PD_145Rambur’s Forktail damselflies mating, Ischnura ramburii Family: COENAGRIONIDAE (Narrow-winged Damselflies, Pond Damsels).     Photo: Peter Davey Nov. 2010

ranbur's Forktail. Female Rambur’s Forktail damselfly – Ischnura ramburii, Family: COENAGRIONIDAE (Narrow-winged Damselflies, Pond Damsels). Photo: Peter Davey Nov. 2010

Insects of the Cayman Islands by R.R. Askew

CaymANNature photos

West Indian Odonata   Compiled by Dennis Paulson

Cayman Nature Tours

Cayman’s One Mile Sea Swim: 30th. Anniversary, June 23, 2015

by Ann Stafford, a founder member of the Cayman Islands Amateur Swimming Association

Cayman’s first One Mile Swim Swim was held on June 23, 1985.

1970’s Swim Meets held in the sea

In the early 1970’s the Annual Lions Club Swim Meets were held in the sea. John Stafford, former captain of his school swimming club, encouraged his sons, Peter and John Michael, to swim and sail.Inter-primary school swim meets were held in the Sea View Hotel pool.

1980 First Three Mile Sea Swim

In October 1980 Raglan Roper sponsored and organized a Three Mile Sea Swim during Pirates Week, from the George Town dock to Galleon Beach Hotel. The Pirates Week 3 Mile (later 5K – 3.1 miles) Sea Swim became an annual event.

1985 First One Mile Sea Swim

In 1985, there being no good answer to the question asked by Peter Stafford, a keen swimmer, “Why can’t we have a swimming event shorter than 3 Miles?” the first One Mile Sea Swim was held. It was sponsored by John Stafford and organized by Ann Stafford and the embryonic swimming association, with tremendous help from the Cayman Islands Amateur Athletic Association.

1985 First One Mile Sea
Parents walking along the beach.
L to R: Anne Tyler (Squash), Laurice Fraser, mother of subsequent Olympic swimmers Shaune and Brett Fraser (London 2012 Olympics) and Louise Leslie (Squash).

https://caymannature.files.wordpress.com/2012/11/1985-reg-koster-winner-jun23.jpg?w=789&h=579

1985 Winner of the First Cayman Islands One Mile Sea Swim was
Reg Koster.
The Cayman Islands Amateur Swimming Association was subsequently formed. Reg was its first President.

1985 The First One Mile Sea Swim, Seven Mile Beach, Grand Cayman.
L to R: Ann Stafford, Miss Cayman Edith Yates, and James Bettany.

1985 The First One Mile Sea Swim in the Cayman Islands was held on June 23.
It was initiated and sponsored by the Stafford family
and organized with the help of the Cayman Islands Amateur Athletics Association.
L to R: Peter Stafford, John Stafford,
Miss Cayman Edith Yates who presented the trophies,
and John Michael Stafford.

1985 Cayman Islands Amateur Swimming Association founded (CIASA)

Subsequently, it was suggested that a Swimming Association be established so that it could run its own events. The Cayman Islands Amateur Swimming Association was formed in 1985. Over the years, CIASA added and organized more annual Sea Swims of different distances, including several annual Half Mile (later 800m) events, One Mile, Two Mile and Three Mile Sea Swims (later 5K).

12 founder members October 20, 1985:

Leon Jackson (Cayman Brac – Youth and Community Worker), Rosalind Wilson (Cayman Brac – Spot Bay Primary School Primary School Deputy  Headmistress, Clare Joy, Gerry Harper (P.E. teacher), Derek Banks, (cartograpgher), Reg Koster (High School teacher), Alfred Ebanks (Customs Officer), Jan Pereira (Primary School teacher), Peter van B. Stafford (Law student), P. Ann van B. Stafford, Laura Ribbins (Fitness and Aquatics instructor), Douglas Bickerton (High School teacher)

CIASA Directors and Officers: March 20, 1986

President: Reg Koster

Vice-President: Ann Stafford

Secretary: Clare Joy

Treasurer: Tony Hale

Captain: Peter Stafford

Publicity Officer: Sue Hale

Cayman Islands Swimming

The Cayman Islands Amateur Swimming Association (CIASA) is a volunteer, not for profit association dedicated to furthering the interests of all aquatic sports in the Cayman Islands.
CIASA is the recognized Governing Body of aquatic sports in the Cayman Islands and is a member of FINA, UANA, CCCAN and the CIOC.

1986 Lions Aquatic Centre 25 meter pool opened

the largest pool on the island.

1986-1992 Lobster Pot One Mile Sea Swim

In 1986 the 2nd. Annual – 1st. Lobster Pot One Mile Sea Swim was held. The Lobster Pot restaurant sponsored the swim for 7 years, then in 1993 Flowers took over the sponsorship of the 9th. annual One Mile Sea Swim.

One Mile Sea Swim Winners 1985-2005

1993 to present – Flowers One Mile Sea Swim

In 1993 the 9th. Annual one mile swim became the 1st. Flowers One Mile Sea Swim, sponsored by the Flowers family.

Flowers Sea Swim

The Cayman Islands, located in the beautiful Caribbean Sea with crystal clear waters, white sands and warm weather all year, is the perfect location for outdoor water sports. Over two decades ago, against such an ideal backdrop, the tradition of the Flowers One Mile Sea Swim began. As the event swims into its 23rd year on June 13, 2015, we invite you to participate in what has come to be considered a must-do event for open water aficionados and has been named one of the World’s Top 13 Open Water Swims.

The Flowers Sea Swim is Grand Cayman’s flagship sporting event. Last event’s race boasted over 900 registrants. Participants vary in age from 8 to 80 years old and in skill from novices and first-timers to gold medal Olympians and world championship open water specialists from around the globe. The Flowers Sea Swim welcomes Swimmers from all strokes of life!

The unique draw of the Flowers Sea Swim is not only its flawless course conditions along Cayman’s beautiful Seven Mile Beach, but the numerous random prizes. The race is the world’s richest open water event with over $100,000 in cash and random prizes. The odds to win a random prize are 1-in-5 and previous giveaways have included blackberries, Ipad’s, hotel stays, and dozens of airline tickets to premier destinations such as Miami, New York, Panama, Rome, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Chicago, London, Dublin, Rio De Janerio, and Toronto. All finishers receive a fantastic t-shirt and goody bag filled with prizes and surprises!

The Walk & Watch program will also be offered again. Ideal for the non-swimmer who wants to be able to take part in the excitement of the Flowers Mile and contribute to a worthy cause at the same time.

All registration proceeds are donated to the Special Olympics, Cayman Islands

Hurricane Ivan Remembered

10th. Anniversary of Category 5 storm, Grand Cayman,

Sept.11 and 12, 2004

10pm Sat. Sept.11 18.3N 80W 105 miles (170 Km) SE of Grand Cayman 165mph WNW 8mph 26.87in.910 mb. 4am Sun. Sept. 12 18.6N 80.8W 55 miles SSE of Grand Cayman. Cat.4/5 155mph WNW 9mph 27.11in./918mb 5am Wind from NE. Storm surge from North Sound 7am Sun. Sept.12 no update available from Radio Cayman 10am Sun. Sept. 12 19N 81.5W 30 miles SW of Grand Cayman 155mph, higher gusts 170 mph and higher, another storm surge – from South Sound. 8 – 10ft storm surge, plus 20 – 30 ft waves on top of 10 ft surge, WNW 9 mph 27.14in./919mb Centre of EYE within 21 miles SW of Grand Cayman, EYE-WALL 7 miles off our coast. Grand Cayman in the NE quadrant – the worst. Hurricane Hunter plane. Hurricane Force winds extend 90 miles from centre Tropical Storm Force winds extend 175 miles from centre 4pm Sun. Sept.12 19.3N 82.5W 225mile SE of W. tip of Cuba 150 mph WNW 10 mph 27.05in./916mb

Emerald Eyes Hyatt, NS Oct29-04 tFirst storm surge, from North Sound

Sun. Sept. 12, 2004 5am The wind came from the NE, the first storm surge came from North Sound.
Emerald Eyes party-boat that was moored in the Hyatt canal, rose with the storm surge from North Sound and, when the water receded, come to rest atop about 6 cars in the Hyatt Hotel staff car-park, squashing some of them.

SS car on wall,  Oct.10-04 tSecond storm surge, from South Sound

Sun. Sept. 12, 2004, 10am 19N 81.5W 30 miles SW of Grand Cayman wind 155mph, gusts 170 mph and higher, WNW 9 mph 27.14in./919mb. There is a second storm surge, this time from South Sound. 20 – 30 ft waves on top of 8-10 ft surge.

Hurricane IVAN 2004   more photos….

Hurricane IVAN Dec. 5, 2004

a personal account by P. Ann van. B. Stafford

2004 Hurricane Season

2004 was a very active hurricane season, the pattern has changed from that of the previous 5 or so years. We prepared well for Hurricane Charley, it was heading straight at us, but passed 20 miles to the north of us on 12 Aug. with 90 mph winds. ‘Cayman dodged the bullet’ said Dr Steve Lyons of the US Weather Channel.

Preparation

Hurricane Ivan was a different story. We prepared solidly again – for 3 days. As it approached us with 165 mph winds, and the 6th. lowest recorded barometric pressure of Atlantic basin hurricanes – 910 millibars/26.87 in., it was forecast to go north of us again, but it didn’t. The centre of the eye was within 21 miles SW of Grand Cayman, the eye-wall 7 miles off our coast.

Catastrophic Destruction

We were in the NE quadrant, (the worst). Ivan caused catastrophic destruction; it also spawned tornadoes. 95% of homes were damaged to a greater or lesser extent, a quarter beyond repair. Surprisingly, only one or two people died during the storm, but a lot of people have died subsequently. Surviving the hurricane is one thing, surviving the stress of the aftermath is another. Some people have lost everything, their homes, clothing & belongings, vehicles and livelihoods. There were many damaged roofs, salt-water flooded houses and businesses, boats where they shouldn’t be, ripped up roads, or sand dunes covering roads. There was extensive flooding, no electricity, no running water, (except from leaking roofs), no food to buy, no telephones, no internet, no TV, no connection with the outside world, no banks nor shops functioning, no traffic lights, no street lights, downed power lines, fallen trees everywhere, no leaves, no shade, fewer vehicles, homeless and jobless people, and debris everywhere.

Storm surge, first from North Sound, then from South Sound

At 5 am on Sunday the storm surge came from the North Sound, then 5 hours later from South Sound, 8 – 10ft storm surge, plus 20 – 30 ft waves on top of 10 ft surge, the storm came from WNW at 9 mph and the pressure rose to 919mb/27.14in. Some places were affected by both surges as well as by sewage. There were tons of sand in houses & on roads.

Cayman Sister Yacht Dr Sep26-04

Damage, survival, insurance

Tyres punctured, there were no repairers initially. Businesses had to change location, like musical chairs, cell phone replaced landlines, but there’s no directory for cell phones. Life focused on survival, insurance estimates, claims, adjusters, and hopefully payments. Our insurance adjuster has adjusted after 16 hurricanes. I asked him how he would rate Ivan. He said it’s right up there with Hurricane Andrew – southern Florida, 1992.

No schools

Accommodation for the homeless, rich & poor alike, was, and still is, a problem. Out of a population of some 45,000 people, 15,000 people left, many not returning. No schools were functioning, many children left the island to go to school in different parts of the world, many, including our three 14 yr old granddaughters, to Canada.

Repairs

There is a shortage of supplies and repairers. When people asked me how we fared, I say as a family, both good and bad. One son & his family were very badly hit. His house had his neighbour’s roof puncture his roof & let in the hurricane, so it’s uninhabitable. Repairs have begun, but it’s a painfully slow business. The sea gutted his rental apartments and damaged the Sailing Club and boats at his workplace. He’s been finding boats that floated far away. We got our electricity back 2 weeks after Ivan, but some people have only just got theirs restored, after 3 months. Some wiring is still too badly damaged to restore yet.

Ivanized

It’s going to take a lot of money to repair the island. It won’t return to how it was before, expanding too rapidly. Like the trees, it’s been severely pruned and will grow back stronger, but more compact, I think. Cayman has been ivanized (my word) – a greater resilience to life’s corrosiveness. One thing we all have been acquiring is patience. Repairs on our house won’t start until next year. We will have to move out of our house for a while.

Birds and ButterfliesQueen on Red Top Nov.21-04 AS

There’s almost no birdsong, there are so few birds, either they didn’t survive the hurricane or died of starvation – no fruits or nectar flowers or bugs to eat. One Bird Club member said that as high as 95% of our resident birds have perished. We get a lot of migratory birds in the fall and spring. The heavy rains after Ivan washed away the salt. After a while, new leaves appeared from the bottom of the trees upwards and outwards along the bare branches. Flowers began to bloom. Butterflies appeared one by one, and now there is an explosion of butterflies, it’s just amazing and a joy to see. There are fewer birds to eat them or their caterpillars and less insect spraying. All the big trees in our garden fell, you couldn’t see any lawn. After a lot of chain-sawing and weeks of clearing away, some are growing back, some are gone for good, so now there’s more light and space for other, more desirable plants, especially indigenous small trees/shrubs that don’t grow too big or too fast. Our garden is looking different, but is colourful and blooming. The weather is delightful, sunny and windy and not too humid.

 

Recovery

Recovery is a long, slow process. Cruise ships have started coming back. Some hotels are opening for our tourist high season – mid-December.

2004 IVAN Furore Oct29-04The storm surge came first from the North Sound. The surge came down the Hyatt canal. Furore at the Hyatt Hotel. Photo: Ann Stafford, Oct. 29, 2004.

2004 IVAN SS road, trench, Casuarina Sep21-04South Sound Road was washed away by the second storm surge, this time from the south. The road reverted to beach. A trench was cut across to drain the land. Photo: Ann Stafford, Sept.21, 2004.

2004 IVAN track Sept 2-24Hurricane Ivan track Sept. 2 to 24, 2004.

Hurricane IVAN 2004   photos

Deep Blue Images – Hurricane Ivan Remembered   photos