I hope you enjoy taking a closer look at some of the things I find interesting.
- North America (155)
- South America (171)
- Amphibians (10)
- Frogs and Toads (10)
- Arachnids (41)
- Fungi (3)
- Insects (215)
- Ants, Bees, Wasps and Relatives (44)
- Barklice (1)
- Beetles (27)
- Butterflies and Moths (55)
- Cockroaches (2)
- Dragonflies (1)
- Earwigs (1)
- Flies (20)
- Grasshoppers and Relatives (9)
- Mantids (3)
- Net-winged Insects (7)
- Termites (5)
- Thrips (1)
- True Bugs (57)
- Walkingsticks (1)
- Webspinners (1)
- Mammals (2)
- Millipedes (1)
- Polyxenids (1)
- Plants (3)
- Reptiles (13)
- Velvet Worms (3)
- Amphibians (10)
I don’t recall ever seeing one of these little millipedes before, but it’s probably just that I never paid attention. These small millipedes in the order Polyxenida never measure more than 4mm based on everything I’ve just read. The only reason I recognized this one was because of a recent appearance in one of Ted C. MacRae’s identification challenges. This one was found crawling around in the soil beneath a log.
Unfortunately I didn’t get as good a photo as I had hoped. Not a single one had the whole critter in focus. The head is to the right, by the way. You can make out the antennae and what look kinda like compound eyes, but are actually just a grouping of ocelli.
I suspect this caterpillar is closely related to similar looking nymphalid butterfly caterpillars in the genus Adelpha. Some are generally referred to as moss caterpillars because the various body projections give the appearance of moss. It may not be obvious from these photos, but check out this photoÂ from Flickr user artour_a.
I’ve encountered a similar caterpillar before in a different part of Brazil, although that one was probably an earlier instar and was shades of brown.
Scanning the foliage, I spotted some overturned leaf fragments suspiciously resting on top of the leaves they’d been carved from. Lifting the first one up, I found it was concealing a small caterpillar.
Here’s a leaf fragment concealing another smaller caterpillar. That might be the egg the caterpillar hatched from at the top of the photo.
And here the little inhabitant is revealed. Note the silk used to secure the leaf fragment in place. I like that it was careful to leave a small hinge.
Spitting spiders in the familyÂ Scytodidae are easily recognized by their high dome-shaped carapace. They are named for their behavior of spitting a liquid that turns gooey on contact, ensnaring their prey.
Although they occur in my area, I’ve never seen one around my home. For whatever reason, I don’t think I’ve made a trip to Brazil yet where I haven’t seen at least one. This one was on the underside of a small log.
I’m not sure what type of eggs these are, but I saw several clutches like this. I thought at first perhaps a fungus had grown over them and that might be the case. I’m more inclined to believe the webbing was added as some sort of protection by whatever is responsible for the eggs.
I suppose these could also be cocoons, but I’d be surprised if the larvae managed to align themselves so well.
Had I found these in my own backyard, I’d have kept them to see what emerged.
These mysterious larvae were found underneath a piece of wood. At first I didn’t notice them as my eyes fixed on other more obvious things. Then I spotted one or two and thought perhaps they were some sort of plant tubers as they didn’t move at all. Even after picking up a few and examining them I still wasn’t convinced it was animal and not vegetable. In the hand, they felt stout and unyielding. After some test shots so I could zoom in for a closer look I still wasn’t sure. In the end I gathered some together for the shot above.
A phalanx of termite soldiers forms a first line of defense in front of foraging workers (not shown). I accidentally breathed on them shortly after this shot and they all quickly retreated.
I collected this little chrysalis while I was in the field the day before I took this photo. I didn’t think I’d be able to get a good photo at the time, and I was curious to see what might emerge. Strangely, looking at this with my own eye, it appears opaque with a silvery and gold surface. With the camera and flash, it appears as above, somewhat transparent and showing what looks like a wing inside. I figured it would only be a short time to see the butterfly that might emerge. Well, I was half right.
I’m curious what fashioned this trapdoor on the side of a tree. So far this trip, I’ve seen two like this. I found it open and abandoned, but I closed it to show how it would otherwise look. Maybe a spider that rushes out to grab a meal? I looked carefully for any radiating silken threads that might serve as tripwires, but I didn’t see any.