February 23, 2013 · Uncategorized

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Had a chance to visit the Peruvian Amazon again. Looking for projects and programs that breed bugs. Always wanting to find new species to culture as food items in Chile and regional answers seem to be the best route. While traveling around, got to see more great wildlife…here were a few cool encounters.

Got to visit a Manatee rescue center outside of Iquitos.  What a fantastic place!  The facility and its workers rehabilitate Amazon Manatees (Trichechus inunguis) that have been injured by humans (e.g., boat propeller wounds).

Got to visit a Manatee rescue center outside of Iquitos. What a fantastic place! The facility and its workers rehabilitate Amazon Manatees (Trichechus inunguis) that have been injured by humans (e.g., boat propeller wounds).

The Amazon Manatee (Trichechus inunguis)

The Amazon Manatee (Trichechus inunguis)

The Amazon Manatee (Trichechus inunguis)

The Amazon Manatee (Trichechus inunguis)

Spent a little time with old friends on Yagua Indian land.  Caught this little guy checking me out.

Spent a little time with old friends on Yagua Indian land. Caught this little guy checking me out.

Every now and again I come across an exceptional invertebrate to photograph.  This trip didn't disappoint. This is an Ant Mimicing Treehopper (Family Membracidae), Cyphonia clavata.  One hypothesis to explain its strange appearance is that it mimics ants.  Creatures that mimic ants are called myrmecomorphs.  Looking down from above, the array of spines resembles an ant.  This species inhabits Central and South America.

Every now and again I come across an exceptional invertebrate to photograph. This trip didn't disappoint. This is an Ant Mimicing Treehopper (Family Membracidae) (Cyphonia clavata). One hypothesis to explain its strange appearance is that it mimics ants. Creatures that mimic ants are called myrmecomorphs. Looking down from above, the array of spines resembles an ant. This species inhabits Central and South America.

This enormous Black Caiman (Melanosuchus niger) turned up on a GreenTracks herp trip in the Peruvian Amazon. We couldn’t determine the cause of death when the body was found floating in a river. With some of the tail missing, the caiman body still measured 5.3 meters (17.38 feet).  The head was cleaned. Here is the skull. It measures 31 inches in length. It is comforting to know that somewhere out in the Amazon, big Black Caiman still prowl the waterways and haven't all been hunted out.

This enormous Black Caiman (Melanosuchus niger) turned up on a GreenTracks herp trip in the Peruvian Amazon. We couldn’t determine the cause of death when the body was found floating in a river. With some of the tail missing, the caiman body still measured 5.3 meters (17.38 feet). The head was cleaned. Here is the skull. It measures 31 inches in length. It is comforting to know that somewhere out in the Amazon, big Black Caiman still prowl the waterways and haven't all been hunted out.

Another shot of the enormous Black Caiman skull (Melanosuchus niger)

Another shot of the enormous Black Caiman skull (Melanosuchus niger)

The Fer-de-Lance is responsible for most cases of snake bite in the upper Amazon Basin of Peru (Bothrops atrox). This is a juvenile coiled in the leaf litter. The snakes do well around humans, feeding on things like rodents. Rural families commonly have bathroom facilities away from their homes. Walking to said facilities in the dark delivers the perfect set of circumstances for snake bite...and the bites are defensive bites.  This species grows to lengths of 50 inches.  Photographed in Amazonian Peru, 2013.

The Fer-de-Lance is responsible for most cases of snake bite in the upper Amazon Basin of Peru (Bothrops atrox). This is a juvenile coiled in the leaf litter. The snakes do well around humans, feeding on things like rodents. Rural families commonly have bathroom facilities away from their homes. Walking to said facilities in the dark delivers the perfect set of circumstances for snake bite...and the bites are defensive bites. This species grows to lengths of 50 inches. Photographed in Amazonian Peru, 2013.

The Northern Sharpnose (Xenoybelis (Philodryas) argenteus)

The Northern Sharpnose (Xenoybelis (Philodryas) argenteus)

The Northern Sharpnose (Xenoybelis {Philodryas} argenteus) coiled up and sleeping at night.

The Northern Sharpnose (Xenoybelis {Philodryas} argenteus) coiled up and sleeping at night.

An adult Rainbow Boa (Epicrates cenchria)

An adult Rainbow Boa (Epicrates cenchria)

An adult Banded Tree Anole (Dactyloa transversalis)

An adult Banded Tree Anole (Dactyloa transversalis)

A juvenile Banded Tree Anole (Dactyloa transversalis)

A juvenile Banded Tree Anole (Dactyloa transversalis)

An adult male Elegant Eyed-Lizard (Cercosaura argula)

An adult male Elegant Eyed-Lizard (Cercosaura argula)

An Amazon Pigmy Gecko  (Pseudogonatodes guianensis)

An Amazon Pigmy Gecko (Pseudogonatodes guianensis)

The Peruvian Palm Foot Salamander (Bolitoglossa peruviana) inhabits wet lowland forests in Peru and Ecuador.  This group of salamanders has a ballistic tongue in that they can shoot their tongues out of their mouths (sometimes to a distance longer than their bodies) to snatch an unsuspecting prey item.

The Peruvian Palm Foot Salamander (Bolitoglossa peruviana) inhabits wet lowland forests in Peru and Ecuador. This group of salamanders has a ballistic tongue in that they can shoot their tongues out of their mouths (sometimes to a distance longer than their bodies) to snatch an unsuspecting prey item.

The Peruvian Palm Foot Salamander (Bolitoglossa peruviana)

The Peruvian Palm Foot Salamander (Bolitoglossa peruviana)

A female Amazon Leaf Toad (Rhinella margaritifera)

A female Amazon Leaf Toad (Rhinella margaritifera)

A female Amazon Leaf Toad (Rhinella margaritifera)

A female Amazon Leaf Toad (Rhinella margaritifera)

The Amazon Eyelash Frog (Edalorhina perezi) is an inhabitat of leaf litter on primary forest floors.

The Amazon Eyelash Frog (Edalorhina perezi) is an inhabitant of leaf litter on primary forest floors.

Ventral surface of the Amazon Eyelash Frog (Edalorhina perezi)...wow!!

Ventral surface of the Amazon Eyelash Frog (Edalorhina perezi)...wow!!

The Lined Twig Frog (Dendropsophus haraldschultzei)

The Lined Twig Frog (Dendropsophus haraldschultzei)

The Eye-ringed Bushfrog (Hypsiboas cinerascens)

The Eye-ringed Bushfrog (Hypsiboas cinerascens)

The Eye-ringed Bushfrog (Hypsiboas cinerascens)

The Eye-ringed Bushfrog (Hypsiboas cinerascens)

The Eye-ringed Bushfrog (Hypsiboas cinerascens)

The Eye-ringed Bushfrog (Hypsiboas cinerascens)

The Silver-eyed Monkeyfrog (Phyllomedusa vaillantii)

The Silver-eyed Monkeyfrog (Phyllomedusa vaillantii)

The Silver-eyed Monkeyfrog (Phyllomedusa vaillantii) prefers crawling to hopping

The Silver-eyed Monkeyfrog (Phyllomedusa vaillantii) prefers crawling to hopping

The Silver-eyed Monkeyfrog (Phyllomedusa vaillantii)

The Silver-eyed Monkeyfrog (Phyllomedusa vaillantii)

The Yellow-flanked Poison Frog  (Ranitomeya uakarii) has been found throughout the northern Amazon Basin’s wet forests.  Egg-deposition take place in bromeliads (Guzmania).

The Yellow-flanked Poison Frog (Ranitomeya uakarii) has been found throughout the northern Amazon Basin’s wet forests. Egg-deposition take place in bromeliads (Guzmania).

Predatory fungi (genus Cordyceps) are not uncommon in the Amazon.  Spores travel on wind currents and are taken into an invertebrate's system through normal gas exchange.  The fungus develops in number within the insect until it is ready for the termional stage of the infection.  All at once, a chemical is released by the fungus that kills the invertebrate.  A "mushroom" sprouts from the insects body and spreads spores to continue the cycle.

Predatory fungi (genus Cordyceps) are not uncommon in the Amazon. Spores travel on wind currents and are taken into an invertebrate's system through normal gas exchange. The fungus develops in number within the insect until it is ready for the terminal stage of the infection. All at once, a chemical is released by the fungus that kills the invertebrate. A "mushroom" sprouts from the insects body and spreads spores to continue the cycle.

The Alligator Bug, Fulgora laternaria, inhabits wet forests of Central and South America.  It can grow to a total length of 3 inches.  The mythology that is associated with this species in the Amazon Basin is colorful.  For example, it is believed that these bugs are venomous and that if a man is bitten, the only antidote for the venom is sex within 24 hours.  One can only imagine how frequently a bite from a “Machaca” is evoked. This species is not venomous.

The Alligator Bug, Fulgora laternaria, inhabits wet forests of Central and South America. It can grow to a total length of 3 inches. The mythology that is associated with this species in the Amazon Basin is colorful. For example, it is believed that these bugs are venomous and that if a man is bitten, the only antidote for the venom is sex within 24 hours. One can only imagine how frequently a bite from a “Machaca” is evoked. This species is not venomous.

The Alligator Bug (Fulgora laternaria)

The Alligator Bug (Fulgora laternaria)

A Terrestrial Isopod from the forest floor

A Terrestrial Isopod from the forest floor

More later!

Written by Dante


5 comments on “Peru early 2013”

  1. Virginia Salem:

    Your Manatee shots are mind blowing!


  2. Dante:

    Hi Virginia, getting into the water with this manatee was something I won’t ever forget. Being able to photograph a manatee like this was a special experience. I loved the opportunity. Thank you for your kind words.


  3. Juan Castillo:

    How did you take the manatee shots? Juan


  4. Dante:

    Juan-all of the Amazonian Manatee shots were taken using a camera in an underwater housing. This is a young female and she made for a great photographic subject!

    Cheers & Thanks-Dante


  5. Joe:

    Dante, Great shots but I was wondering about that last pic of what looks like a pill millipede.


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