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LAKE PLACID, FLORIDA
Board of Directors, Archbold Expeditions
ARCHBOLD VAN BEUREN
Secretary and Treasurer
HAROLD E. ANTHONY
JOSEPH J. MULHOLLAND
[FRANK A. RINALD
Advisory Board, Archbold Biological Station
HAROLD E. ANTHONY, Chairman
Department of Mammals
The American Museum of Natural History
Department of Birds
The American Museum of Natural History
FRANK A. BEACH
Department of Psychology, Yale University
LEONARD J. BRASS
MONT A. CAZIER
Department of Insects and Spiders
The American Museum of Natural History
AUSTIN L. RAND
Department of Zoology
Chicago Museum of Natural History
THE ARCHBOLD BIOLOGICAL STATION
T HE Archbold Biological Station was established in
1941 to provide scientists and students with the
facilities for biological research in subjects best studied in
southern Florida. The Station is open throughout the year
to all qualified investigators, whose applications must be
approved by the Advisory Board. It is directed by Richard
Archbold and financed by him through Archbold Expeditions,
a non-profit organization affiliated with the American Museum
of Natural History.
The varied environment of the Station and surrounding
areas supports a rich and diversified fauna and flora, including
peculiar forms of limited distribution. The numerous wading
birds and water birds of the area, and rookeries of herons,
egrets and ibis, are of particular interest to the ornithologist.
The sand-ridge lakes, and associated marshes and streams,
offer a practically untouched field for studies in limnology.
Probably no other area in southern Florida presents such
a variety of interest for biological research.
The 1060-acre property which comprises the Station is
situated near the southern end of the sand-ridge and lake
region of south-central Florida, eight miles south of the town
of Lake Placid. The elevation ranges from 127 to 222 feet
above sea level. Surface drainage is to Lake Istokpoga, through
a chain of smaller lakes, thence to Lake Okeechobee and the
The Station is located in a strategic position in relation to
five of the ten physiographic regions defined for southern
Florida by Davis (The Natural Features of Southern Florida,
1943). The Highlands Ridge Region, in which the Station
Air view north from Station south boundary.
is situated, extends far to the north and ends about seven
miles south of the Station. To the east, three miles away, is
the edge of the Istokpoga-Indian Prairie Basin, and twelve
miles farther east are the Eastern Flatlands. Immediately to
the west, and sweeping south and east to the shores of Lake
Okeechobee, are the Western Flatlands. The edge of the
Everglades is about twenty miles to the southeast.
Annual rainfall is about 55 inches. Most of this falls
during the months of June through October. The Station is
in the hurricane belt, but winds seldom reach hurricane force
in this part of peninsular Florida. Maximum and minimum
summer temperatures are generally within the limits of about
95 and 64 degrees Fahrenheit; the winter range is about 81
to 41 degrees. The summer climate is tempered by the north-
east trade winds and is less trying than the more continental
climate farther north. 7 Uncomfortably hot nights are rare.
Occasional freezing temperatures are experienced for brief
periods in winter, usually with morning frosts, but experi-
mental plantings can be protected by the use of smudge pots.
The Station is most ideally situated for research in inland
terrestrial and fresh-water biology, although it has been used
as a base for field work on both the east and west coasts of
Florida. Within an area readily accessible by roads, is found
a wide variety of habitats. Sand-scrub characterized by oaks,
hickory, saw-palmetto and pines, is extensively developed on
the Highlands Ridge. Pine flatwoods cover large areas of low
relief, as do dry prairies, wet prairies, and cabbage-palm
savannas. Mixed swamp forests, cypress swamps, black-gum
Cottages for visiting workers.
swamps, and very extensive bay-tree swamps are present.
There are hammock forests of several types, marshes, canals,
and, at a distance of one to ten miles from the Station, about
thirty lakes and ponds. The Station holds title to a natural
preserve on the north side of nearby Lake Childs, the main
features of which are sandy lakeshore, a dense black-gum
swamp, and a saw-grass marsh.
Roads, trails, and firelines give access to all parts of the
property. (The area within the Station boundaries has been
protected from woods fires since 1930.)
A main headquarters building contains, in addition to
living quarters, seven work units each 40 feet square. Con-
struction is of heavy reinforced concrete. The floors are
designed and built to carry very heavy weights. Besides
housing for staff, there are two family cottages for visiting
workers and a laundry for the cottages.
Electric light and power (3 phase, 208-120 volt, 60 cycle
alternating current, 75 kva) is furnished by a Rural Electrical
Co-operative. As an emergency source of power, the Station
has a generating plant of 40 kva capacity. Water is pumped
from a deep well and the supply system includes a water
Two 40 by 40 foot units of the main building are equipped
as biological laboratories and workrooms. One of these units
contains six rooms of steel mesh construction, fitted with
movable racks for holding small cages. This unit also contains
a 10 by 6 foot laboratory table and a deep sink.
The other room contains running water, a cold room, and
a temperature control chamber. In other respects the layout
allows special arrangements to be made to suit individual
needs. Free floor space up to 40 by 40 feet is available.
Equipment includes desks and tables, movable steel shelving,
microtome, microscopes, typewriters, balances, and basic
There is a study collection of local birds and mammals,
a local herbarium, and a seed collection. A beginning has
been made on a collection of local insects.
An expanding library contains about 1500 bound volumes
of books and periodicals and several thousand reprints.
Included is a valuable collection of books and reprints, chiefly
on entomology, acquired as a gift from Erik Tetens Nielsen.
A compact chemistry laboratory is adequately stocked with
basic equipment and supplies for general inorganic analysis.
The darkroom facilities compare favorably with those of
a good professional laboratory. Items of equipment include
enlargers for negatives from 35mm to 8 by 10 inches, a temper-
ature-controlled processing vat, print washer and print dryer.
Equipment is available for making still and motion picture
photomicrographs, in black and white and color, up to about
There are equipment and facilities for making 16mm motion
pictures, with sound, in the field and studio, and for editing
and projecting them.
MACHINE SHOP CARPENTER SHOP
These shops are equipped for maintenance of the Station
and working plant and almost any kind of special apparatus
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Cypress swamp, winter aspect.
can be made to meet the requirements of visiting workers.
Included in the plant are metal-working and wood-working
lathes, jeweller's lathe, miller and shaper, drill press, Do-all,
electric and acetylene welding apparatus, forge, and tools and
supplies for metalworking, tinsmithing, carpentry, and elec-
trical installation and repairs.
In addition to the facilities for keeping caged animals in-
doors, there are outdoor cages of various types, ranging in
size from 27 to 7600 cubic feet. The larger cages are fixed
structures, placed as far as possible in natural surroundings;
the smaller ones are portable. Two big cages contain concrete
pools, sunk to ground level, and provided with circulating
Prairie and cabbage-palms in Istokpoga Basin.
Motor vehicles are kept for ordinary transportation, and,
with driver guides, are available for the use of visiting workers.
Four -wheel -drive vehicles and a 11/2-ton truck serve for
For work on the lakes and streams there is a row boat, an
outboard motor, and a diving helmet and air pump.
A portable Magnecord tape sound recorder is on hand.
The frontispiece map indicates the automobile routes to the
Station. Rail passengers should use the Seaboard Airline
Railway to Sebring, where a Station car will meet them. Air
travel involves a four-hour Greyhound bus trip from Tampa
or West Palm Beach to Childs, three miles from the Station.
There is a rural mail delivery and a telephone service to the
Up to 18 visitors can be accommodated in the main building
in two- and three-person bedrooms; the two cottages can each
accommodate man and wife and up to three children. The
cottages are completely equipped for housekeeping. For
those living in the main building, there is a common dining
room for all meals and laundry can be arranged.
No pets may be brought to the Station.
There are two medical practitioners in Lake Placid. A first-
class hospital is located at Avon Park, 35 miles from the
A fee of $3.50 per day is charged for board and lodging,
the use of laboratories and work space, local transportation
and ordinary field assistance. Exclusive of board, the fee is
$1.00 per day per worker.
Long distance transportation and unusual expenses of labor
and materials may incur additional charges. At the discretion
of the Advisory Board, fees may be reduced or waived entirely
for individuals working on small budgets. No charges are
made to staff members of the American Museum of Natural
Inquiries may be addressed either directly to the Station,
Route 1, Box 173, Lake Placid, Florida, or to any member of
the Advisory Board.
PAST RESEARCH AT THE STATION
Work has been conducted at the Station on a wide range
of projects, for example: Life history of the Florida jay and
other birds, studies in the avian adrenal, life history of the
beach mouse, homing in the Carolina toad, thermoregulation
in reptiles, moisture loss in relation to habitat selection in
reptiles, temperature tolerance in the American alligator, life
histories of dragonflies and damselflies, ecological and physi-
ological studies of mosquitoes, behavior of ants, fungus-grow-
ing ants and their fungi, migration of butterflies, mimicry in
butterflies, life history of Yucca-boring skippers, cocoon
construction of the Cecropia silkworm, evolution, systematics
and population genetics of certain butterflies and moths,
avian and reptilian parasites, fresh-water snails as hosts to
schistosomes, plant succession, cultural changes of the Florida