Readers’ wildlife photographs

Biologist/naturalist/photographer Lou Jost has photographed lots of species at the Tambopata Research Center in Peru (see previous posts here and here). Here’s another installment; his notes are indented:
At the Tambopata Research Center we got up around 4:30 am most days, and evenings after dinner there were often talks, so we had little time to explore the forest at night. But one night before bed I couldn’t resist exploring for an hour. In that hour I found so many things that I only managed to advance about 20 meters from the lodge.
Many big hairy spiders were commonly perched on leaves or branches, probably waiting for one of the Orthoptera I sent earlier [see links above]:
These membracid treehoppers, and the ants that tended them in exchange for sugar droplets, were very active at night, while during the day they don’t seem to move much.
This strange insect was also hanging out near the treehoppers. I don’t know if it was eating the plant or the treehoppers. [JAC: does anyone recognize it?]
Another species of treehopper:
And a landscape from Stephen Barnard in Idaho, sent October 17. The title is “Fresh snow this morning.”


  1. Posted November 19, 2016 at 8:28 am | Permalink

    Beautiful landscape Stephen!

    I think my weird white pincushion insect may be a Neuroptera larva searching for treehoppers to eat. Anyone know if there are Neuroptera that look like this? Many scale insects make those white tufts but this was a more mobile insect.

    • W.Benson
      Posted November 19, 2016 at 9:52 am | Permalink

      The ant pictured is a species of Pheidole. There is still much biology to be done after the sun sets.

    • Mark Sturtevant
      Posted November 19, 2016 at 10:23 am | Permalink

      I don’t know of any Neuroptera that look like that. I was going to say it is probably one of the scale insects, which make these white tufts from waxy secretions. The waxy stuff is a deterrent against predators. Some species do crawl around when disturbed. I saw a bunch this Fall in a forest. They were on leaves, but the leaves they were on had dropped to the ground, and so these white tufty things were slowly crawling around at my feet, trying to find a tree.

  2. gregz
    Posted November 19, 2016 at 8:29 am | Permalink

    The strange insect with the waxy filaments is probably a flatid (Hemiptera: Flatidae), nymphs can produce those long, waxy filaments. The insect under that photo is an adult flatid.

    • jaxkayaker
      Posted November 19, 2016 at 8:39 am | Permalink

      I think gregz is right. That was my first thought as well.

    • Posted November 19, 2016 at 11:51 am | Permalink

      Hmmm….the body was not very elongate and the “tentacles” were coming out from everywhere, not just the rear. There was no visible head. Also it walked slowly rather than with the jerky, nervous gait of most treehoppers. Are there flattid larva with “tentacles” coming forward over their head?

  3. GBJames
    Posted November 19, 2016 at 9:08 am | Permalink

    Speaking of “fresh snow this morning”.

    Yesterday it was 68°F in Milwaukee. This morning it is 31° and there is light snow falling.

  4. rickflick
    Posted November 19, 2016 at 9:11 am | Permalink

    Great shot Stephen. Idaho is surely one of the most beautiful landscapes on Earth. This one is a good example of how a scene provides it’s own frame.

    • somer
      Posted November 20, 2016 at 2:33 am | Permalink


  5. Mark Sturtevant
    Posted November 19, 2016 at 10:33 am | Permalink

    The SOUS (Spider of Unusual Size) is really spectacular. Can’t tell if it is a wolf spider or nursery spider.

    These are excellent pictures, but the white treehopper (a fulgorid, maybe) really impressed me since your camera did not blow-out white on it. I have tried this many times with our local species of waxy white ‘hoppers that are very much like that, and they pretty much all come out as a white wedge with no details. Good light control!

    • Posted November 19, 2016 at 11:45 am | Permalink

      Thanks. For white things I adjust the TTL exposure correction, or use manual flash and trial-and-error to get it right.

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