Readers’ wildlife photos (with “spot the. . .” lagniappe)

We have some odds and ends today, but they’re none the worse for that. First, Diana MacPherson sends a raccoon (Procyon lotor):

Since you’re back, I thought I’d send you this picture of a raccoon I took in December. It was in a tree in my yard after Kala, my dog, barked him up there. He looks like a young one so maybe a late summer litter. He left cute raccoon footprints in the snow all over my backyard.

I hope he isn’t sick as he’s been wandering around my yard all day.

Garry vanGelderen from Ontario sent a photo of a coyote (Canis latrans) in the snow:

Here’s a mystery from reader Tom Alves:

I was in Bhutan where I found this grasshopper with holes in the body. I’ve no idea what it is or why. Perhaps your readers might shed some light on the subject?

JAC: I don’t think these are puncture wounds; they really look like natural perforations:

Finally, Emma Crawford sent an unusual creature with a “spot the” extra:

My partner and I recently spent some time at a field centre in Sabah, Borneo. We thought you and your readers would find these photos interesting.

We had taken a number of photos of the Bornean least pygmy squirrel (Exilisciurus exilis) whilst exploring the jungle. Several weeks later when editing the photographs, we noticed someone else in a few of the images!

See if you can spot the photobomber who appears in both the following photos. [JAC: I reveal it below the fold.]

 The photobomber is a very well camouflaged frilled tree frog (Kurixalus appendiculatus)! The front part of the frog’s body can be seen towards the bottom-right of the first image. The entire frog can be seen to the right of the squirrel in the second image.
We had no idea the frog was even there until we were editing the photos. The images really do highlight how little the least pygmy squirrel really is.
If you’d like to see the full blog posts and photos and more info, check out these links:


  1. Hempenstein
    Posted January 16, 2018 at 8:02 am | Permalink

    Well-known in racing for weight reduction –> greater speed, those holes in the grasshopper are a modification in this case to allow it to jump farther.

  2. Randall Schenck
    Posted January 16, 2018 at 8:21 am | Permalink

    Great photos. Love that Raccoon and the Coyote.

  3. Posted January 16, 2018 at 8:29 am | Permalink

    It looks like the holes are in the wings of the grasshopper not the body. Given the texture and colorization, I imagine this would appear like dried fallen leaves that had been previously nommed by a caterpillar.

    • Mark Sturtevant
      Posted January 16, 2018 at 9:44 am | Permalink

      I agree. The holes are pigment patterns, adding to the ‘I’m a dead leaf’ narrative of this insect.

  4. Michael Fisher
    Posted January 16, 2018 at 8:44 am | Permalink

    I agree with Justin #3: where are the forewings that lie along the back? If the parts above the holes are forewings then there’s hardly any abdomen & the segments – I can’t make them out. My suggestion is it’s being parasitised from inside the abdomen by a wasp grub & the forewings are there, but damaged.

    Total speculation from an insect dunce

  5. Liz
    Posted January 16, 2018 at 8:56 am | Permalink

    Wonderful pictures. I especially like the raccoon and grasshopper.

  6. Merilee
    Posted January 16, 2018 at 9:15 am | Permalink

    A little white mousey-like critter?

  7. Posted January 16, 2018 at 9:31 am | Permalink

    I’m sorry but what perforations? I see a grasshopper with a grey body and black and pale grey markings that match the background.

    • Michael Fisher
      Posted January 16, 2018 at 9:37 am | Permalink

      I’m agreeing with you now – enlarged, the grey ‘holes’ are not not of focus like the background

  8. Mark Sturtevant
    Posted January 16, 2018 at 9:45 am | Permalink

    I spot the hidden critter. Cool!

  9. GregZ
    Posted January 16, 2018 at 10:19 am | Permalink

    The “perforations” in the grasshopper appear to be gaping holes behind the head on both sides of the body. Something ate that grasshopper and left the exoskeleton.

  10. Diana MacPherson
    Posted January 16, 2018 at 11:41 am | Permalink

    The grasshopper holes make it look like it has big eyes that are angry. Maybe that serves some purpose. Damn, do eat that grasshopper; it’s bad to eat them when they’re angry.

  11. Posted January 16, 2018 at 7:42 pm | Permalink


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