scienceyoucanlove
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Memphis moruus coerulescens | ©Rodrigo Conte   (Foz do Iguaçu, Brazil)
Memphis moruus (Nymphalidae) is a Neotropical butterfly commonly named Hoja Azul and Mariposa Hojarasca (in Spanish), because the undersides of the wings closely resemble dead leaves. The upper side of the wings are blue with darker spots. 
This butterfly inhabits the Subtropical forests. They are found in Mexico, Central America, the Caribbean and parts of South America such as Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador, Brazil, and Colombia.

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Memphis moruus coerulescens | ©Rodrigo Conte   (Foz do Iguaçu, Brazil)

Memphis moruus (Nymphalidae) is a Neotropical butterfly commonly named Hoja Azul and Mariposa Hojarasca (in Spanish), because the undersides of the wings closely resemble dead leaves. The upper side of the wings are blue with darker spots. 

This butterfly inhabits the Subtropical forests. They are found in Mexico, Central America, the Caribbean and parts of South America such as Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador, Brazil, and Colombia.

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Lepidobatrachus laevis -  the Budgett’s frog
Lepidobatrachus laevis (family Leptodactylidae) is a large, stout, aquatic frog with a dorsoventrally flattened body. In both sexes the head is large and robust, composing approximately 1/3 of the total body length, and broad to make room for the extraordinarily wide jaws of these animals [1].
This frog has many common names, it is named Escuerzo in Spanish, and in English: Budgett’s frog, Wide-mouth frog, Hippo frog or even ”Freddy Krueger” frog (due to their disturbing screech and aggression [2] 
This species is known from northern, central and eastern areas of Chacoan environments: Argentina, Bolivia and Paraguay [3].
Photo credit: ©homerosimp | photo taken in Orán, Salta, Argentina

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Lepidobatrachus laevis -  the Budgett’s frog

Lepidobatrachus laevis (family Leptodactylidae) is a large, stout, aquatic frog with a dorsoventrally flattened body. In both sexes the head is large and robust, composing approximately 1/3 of the total body length, and broad to make room for the extraordinarily wide jaws of these animals [1].

This frog has many common names, it is named Escuerzo in Spanish, and in English: Budgett’s frog, Wide-mouth frog, Hippo frog or even ”Freddy Krueger” frog (due to their disturbing screech and aggression [2

This species is known from northern, central and eastern areas of Chacoan environments: Argentina, Bolivia and Paraguay [3].

Photo credit: ©homerosimp | photo taken in Orán, Salta, Argentina

Researchers Use DNA to Learn about Tapir Behavior
by Jeremy Hance
apirs are notoriously hard to find and directly observe in the wild. Because of this, little is known about how species behave in their natural habitats. But in a study published in PLOS ONE, researchers found a way around this complication by using tapir DNA to shed light on their behavior.
The team sequenced and compared the DNA of individual tapirs to determine how related they were to one another, and in so doing, determine how far they dispersed throughout their habitat. This study marked the first time this specific technique had been used in the Amazon region…
(read more: MongaBay)
photograph by Jeremy Hance

Researchers Use DNA to Learn about Tapir Behavior

by Jeremy Hance

apirs are notoriously hard to find and directly observe in the wild. Because of this, little is known about how species behave in their natural habitats. But in a study published in PLOS ONE, researchers found a way around this complication by using tapir DNA to shed light on their behavior.

The team sequenced and compared the DNA of individual tapirs to determine how related they were to one another, and in so doing, determine how far they dispersed throughout their habitat. This study marked the first time this specific technique had been used in the Amazon region…

(read more: MongaBay)

photograph by Jeremy Hance

dendroica
dendroica:

The Buff-tailed Sicklebill (Eutoxeres condamini), a hermit hummingbird with a magnificently recurved bill, prepares to gather some nectar. The beautiful creatures is native to the Amazonian lowlands and lower elevations of the Andes from Colombia and Ecuador to Peru and Bolivia.
Picture: CHRISTOPHER WITT/REUTERS
(via Pictures of the day: 4 April 2014 - Telegraph)

dendroica:

The Buff-tailed Sicklebill (Eutoxeres condamini), a hermit hummingbird with a magnificently recurved bill, prepares to gather some nectar. The beautiful creatures is native to the Amazonian lowlands and lower elevations of the Andes from Colombia and Ecuador to Peru and Bolivia.

Picture: CHRISTOPHER WITT/REUTERS

(via Pictures of the day: 4 April 2014 - Telegraph)

Charismatic Minifauna: Giant Predatory Ants
by Gwen Pearson
Giant Tropical Ants (Dinoponera australis) live in South America and are….well, giant. In addition to being one of the largest ants in the world (28 mm long or; about 1.1 inches), they are also incredibly abundant in tropical forest habitats. How do these ants break the “big predators are rare” rule? Lead investigator Chad Tillberg explained the motivation for his research on this question:

When we started watching these enormous and abundant ants, it seemed really obvious to ask: What in the world are these ants eating?!  They had the reputation of being highly predacious, but could a top predator really be that abundant?  

Ants have an amazingly broad history of dietary habits; they range from fungus growers and leaf cutters to ferocious, aggressive predators like army ants. Plant-eating ants dominate tropical ecosystems, and their carb-loading habits have been hypothesized as the reason why…
(read more: Wired Science)
photograph by Alex Wild

Charismatic Minifauna: Giant Predatory Ants

by Gwen Pearson

Giant Tropical Ants (Dinoponera australis) live in South America and are….well, giant. In addition to being one of the largest ants in the world (28 mm long or; about 1.1 inches), they are also incredibly abundant in tropical forest habitats. How do these ants break the “big predators are rare” rule? Lead investigator Chad Tillberg explained the motivation for his research on this question:

When we started watching these enormous and abundant ants, it seemed really obvious to ask: What in the world are these ants eating?!  They had the reputation of being highly predacious, but could a top predator really be that abundant?  

Ants have an amazingly broad history of dietary habits; they range from fungus growers and leaf cutters to ferocious, aggressive predators like army ants. Plant-eating ants dominate tropical ecosystems, and their carb-loading habits have been hypothesized as the reason why…

(read more: Wired Science)

photograph by Alex Wild

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Corallus caninus, Guyane | ©Matthieu Berroneau   (French Guiana)
The beautiful Emerald tree boa, Corallus caninus (Boidae), plays an important ecological role in their habitat, helping to control small mammal populations, especially rodents, which can be pests near human settlements.
It is a neotropical species, found in lowland tropical rainforests in the Amazonian and Guianan regions of South America. 
Specimen shown was photographed in wild.
[Source]

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Corallus caninus, Guyane | ©Matthieu Berroneau   (French Guiana)

The beautiful Emerald tree boaCorallus caninus (Boidae), plays an important ecological role in their habitat, helping to control small mammal populations, especially rodents, which can be pests near human settlements.

It is a neotropical species, found in lowland tropical rainforests in the Amazonian and Guianan regions of South America. 

Specimen shown was photographed in wild.

[Source]

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Ameerega bilinguis | ©Santiago Ron   (Yasuni National Park, Ecuador)
The Ecuador poison frog, Ameerega bilinguis (Dendrobatidae), is known from the Ecuadorian Amazon Basin in Napo moist forests in the Eastern tropical Altitudinal Zone, and from the department of Putumayo in Colombia [1].
This brightly coloured poison dart frog has a granular red dorsum and a blue and black mottled venter. The degree of mottling and depth of blue color varies from individual to individual. Most Ameerega bilinguis posses a yellow spot at the top of the front and rear legs, again, the size and extent of the spots are variable. The dorsal surfaces of the limbs are dark, whereas the ventral surfaces are a variable shade of blue. There is also a white stripe that runs from the top of the forelimbs, along the top lip towards the snout. Juveniles do not possess the red granular dorsum, it is black. The red color appears steadily as the frog matures to adulthood. A golden canthal stripe may be visible [2].

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Ameerega bilinguis | ©Santiago Ron   (Yasuni National Park, Ecuador)

The Ecuador poison frog, Ameerega bilinguis (Dendrobatidae), is known from the Ecuadorian Amazon Basin in Napo moist forests in the Eastern tropical Altitudinal Zone, and from the department of Putumayo in Colombia [1].

This brightly coloured poison dart frog has a granular red dorsum and a blue and black mottled venter. The degree of mottling and depth of blue color varies from individual to individual. Most Ameerega bilinguis posses a yellow spot at the top of the front and rear legs, again, the size and extent of the spots are variable. The dorsal surfaces of the limbs are dark, whereas the ventral surfaces are a variable shade of blue. There is also a white stripe that runs from the top of the forelimbs, along the top lip towards the snout. Juveniles do not possess the red granular dorsum, it is black. The red color appears steadily as the frog matures to adulthood. A golden canthal stripe may be visible [2].

z00l0gy

reptilesrevolution:

Green Thornytail Iguana (Uracentron azureum)

… an arboreal species of lizard from the Amazon rainforest and forests in the Guiana Shield. It is found in Colombia, Guyana, Suriname, French Guiana, northeastern Peru, southern Venezuela and northern Brazil. It can reach about 9 cm (3.5 in) in snout–vent length… (Wikipedia)

Mystery big cat skulls from the Peruvian Amazon not so mysterious anymore

by Darren Naish

Long-time Tet Zoo readers with exceptionally good memories might recall the ver 2 article – pu­­­­­­blished way back in June 2007 – in which I asked that most vexing of questions: “Peter Hocking’s big cats: where are you now?”. As you’ll know if you recall that article, or if you know a reasonable amount about South American mammalogy or cryptozoology, back in 1996, Peruvian ornithologist Peter Hocking announced the procurement of two skulls belonging to pantherine cats, suggested by him to represent two of the ‘mystery’ cats said by local people to inhabit the forested highlands of Peru’s Pasco Province.

Hocking – perhaps best known in the world of zoology for the several bird species he has to his name – has long been collecting anecdotes from indigenous Peruvians about mystery animals: animals that don’t seem to match those known to scientists and which might represent undiscovered taxa (Hocking 1992, 1996, Greenwell 1994). Among these is the so-called ‘striped tiger’, a reddish, jaguar-sized cat marked with white, unbranched stripes. Its paradoxical name results from the fact that ‘el tigre’ is the name used across much of South America for Panthera onca, the Jaguar. In other words, it’s meant to be a ‘Striped jaguar’. We opted to use the name ‘Peruvian tiger’ for this alleged animal.

Then there’s a second, Jaguar-like big cat, said to have solid black irregular spots, not rosettes like a Jaguar. We use the term ‘Anomalous jaguar’ for this animal. The adjacent illustration by Peter Visccher – produced to accompany an article by the late cryptozoologist Richard Greenwell – shows the Peruvian tiger and Anomalous jaguar together with a few other Peruvian mystery animals reported by Hocking (Greenwell 1994), though the illustration errs in giving the ‘Peruvian tiger’ dark stripes rather than white ones. The big black cat included in the scene is the ‘Yana puma’, an animal that might not be a cat after all, but a local name for the Spectacled bear Tremarctos ornatus.

Old news now is that Hocking managed to get hold of skulls said to belong to both the ‘Peruvian tiger’ and ‘Anomalous jaguar’. Preliminary observations on the anatomy and proportions of these skulls indicated that both were different from those of Jaguars…

(read more: Tetrapod Zoology - Scientific American)

images: Gustavo Sanchez, Greenwell (1994), and Peter Hocking

ABC Bird of the Week:  Amazon Kingfisher

This kingfisher wields a spear-like bill that helps make it an expert fisherman. Amazon Kingfishers have well-developed vision and depth perception, adaptations to their plunge-diving hunting method that also enhance the birds’ fishing prowess. They see colors distinctly, and fully closing nictitating membranes (third eyelids) protect their eyes when they hit the water.

Amazon Kingfishers are territorial and choose a prime area based on food sources, perching trees, and roosting sites. Like other kingfishers, the Amazon excavates a tunnel up to five feet long in a muddy or sandy river bank for its nest.

The unlined burrow ends in a chamber, where the female lays three to four eggs. Two of the kingfisher’s toes are fused for much of their length, a useful adaptation for digging burrows.

Amazon Kingfishers mostly eat fish, but also take crustaceans, amphibians, and aquatic insect larvae. They perch low above the water and dive in head first to catch their prey. Because their diet is made up of fish and other aquatic life, they require areas where the water is unpolluted…

(read more: American Bird Conservancy)

photo: Greg Homel

What a rare sight… This puma has just caught a Red Howler Monkey in Manu National Park, Peru. 
The photo was taken by a cameratrap placed by an FZS field team as part of a study. It aims to gather information, together with local Matsiguenka, about wildlife around their communities in order to help these communities develop natural resource use planning. The study is part of the ProBosque Manu project being undertaken in collaboration with SERNANP (the Peruvian protected area service) and funded by the German Government (BMUB). The project is working with communities in and around the Manu National Park to find ways to reduce deforestation and improve local livelihoods.
(via: Frankfurt Zoological Society)

What a rare sight… This puma has just caught a Red Howler Monkey in Manu National Park, Peru.

The photo was taken by a cameratrap placed by an FZS field team as part of a study. It aims to gather information, together with local Matsiguenka, about wildlife around their communities in order to help these communities develop natural resource use planning. The study is part of the ProBosque Manu project being undertaken in collaboration with SERNANP (the Peruvian protected area service) and funded by the German Government (BMUB). The project is working with communities in and around the Manu National Park to find ways to reduce deforestation and improve local livelihoods.

(via: Frankfurt Zoological Society)

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False coral snake (Oxyrhopus vanidicus)
photo: ©Arthur Anker   (Bolivian Amazon)
Oxyrhopus vanidicus (Colubridae - Xenodontinae) is a South American colubrid first described in 2009. It is distinguished from all other species in the genus by having a color pattern of triads and by lacking a pair of short dark bands on the nape.
The Latin name vanidicus, meaning liar, is used in allusion to the apparent mimicry of this species with the venomous coral snake, Micrurus hemprichii.
Oxyrhopus vanidicus species occurs in Colombia, Brazil, Ecuador, Peru, and Bolivia.
[source]

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False coral snake (Oxyrhopus vanidicus)

photo: ©Arthur Anker   (Bolivian Amazon)

Oxyrhopus vanidicus (Colubridae - Xenodontinae) is a South American colubrid first described in 2009. It is distinguished from all other species in the genus by having a color pattern of triads and by lacking a pair of short dark bands on the nape.

The Latin name vanidicus, meaning liar, is used in allusion to the apparent mimicry of this species with the venomous coral snake, Micrurus hemprichii.

Oxyrhopus vanidicus species occurs in Colombia, Brazil, Ecuador, Peru, and Bolivia.

[source]