Readers’ wildlife photos

Reader Robert Lang made a trip to Costa Rica earlier this year, and sent some photos of arthropods. His captions are indented:

We saw fewer arthropods (other than butterflies) than I expected in the various wet forest environments, but the ones we did see were quite spectacular.
The Blue Land Crab (Cardisoma guanhumi) was shot near the Caribbean coast.

blue_crab

The Golden Orb Weaver (Nephila clavipes) was fairly common. The guide called it a “golden oar” spider, because the wide parts of the legs looked like oars, he said. This is a female, about 5 inch leg spread. If you look closely, you can see the male just above, trying not to get eaten.

golden_oar_spider

The Orange-Kneed Tarantula (Megaphobema mesomelas) was coaxed out of its burrow at night by wiggling a twig near the entrance to simulate prey. The tarantula was not happy being fooled.

red_kneed_tarantula

The scorpion (unidentified species) was interesting because it had all its babies hitching a ride on its back.

scorpion_mother

The walking stick (unidentified species) was about 9” long. The guide pointed it out on a night walk, and even looking right at it, it was hard to identify as what it is. To add to the illusion, it held its forelegs and antennae out straight, inline with the body. Eventually, though, it relaxed, as here.

walking_stick

4 Comments

  1. rickflick
    Posted October 24, 2016 at 8:13 am | Permalink

    It’s nice to know there are such amazing critters out there. I may never get there myself, but pictures like these are sustaining. Much appreciated Robert.

  2. Posted October 24, 2016 at 8:19 am | Permalink

    Gorgeous photos! Really enjoyed them, but especially the walking stick.

  3. loren russell
    Posted October 24, 2016 at 11:12 am | Permalink

    This maternal behavior AFAIK is universal in scorpions [and probably pretty effective protection for the babes. So it would be “she has all her babies hitching a ride..”

    Scorpions are pretty uncommon here in northwest Oregon, but there’s a rather imposing species that lives in oak woodlands; my introduction to the babies-aboard behavior was finding a female with 40 or so babes. That was about 50 years ago on a hillside a couple of miles from where I’m writing.

    Time for me to go roll some rocks and logs!

  4. Christopher
    Posted October 24, 2016 at 5:20 pm | Permalink

    Nice spider shots. I have one helluva time getting them to sit still as I lack a decent lens that would allow me some distance.

    I love that we have a species of scorpion in the Missouri Ozarks. My father had one as a pet when I was a kid. I also taught my boy scout troop how to catch them during camp, so soon all the boys had pet scorpions in coffee cans in their tents. and walking sticks! Are not Phasmida just the coolest! I never tire of finding one (never mind how many I don’t find that are probably right under my nose!) Lovely.


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