City Lights Threaten Rainforests by Deterring Bats
by Paul Sutherland
Fruit-eating bats play an important role in forest regeneration, collecting and spreading seeds far and wide. However, human development may be stymying bat-mediated dispersal.
In a new study published in the British Ecological Society’s Journal of Applied Ecology, researchers found that fruit bats avoid feeding in light-polluted areas, which may significantly affect forest growth.
Scientists from the German Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research, Berlin (IZW), undertook the study in Costa Rica, and focused on Sowell’s short-tailed bats (Carollia sowelli), a species found throughout Central America and Mexico. The findings of their study indicate that artificial lights may deter these bats from feeding on fruit and spreading seeds by 25 to 50 percent…
(read more: MongaBay)
Photograph by Alex Borisenko

City Lights Threaten Rainforests by Deterring Bats

by Paul Sutherland

Fruit-eating bats play an important role in forest regeneration, collecting and spreading seeds far and wide. However, human development may be stymying bat-mediated dispersal.

In a new study published in the British Ecological Society’s Journal of Applied Ecology, researchers found that fruit bats avoid feeding in light-polluted areas, which may significantly affect forest growth.

Scientists from the German Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research, Berlin (IZW), undertook the study in Costa Rica, and focused on Sowell’s short-tailed bats (Carollia sowelli), a species found throughout Central America and Mexico. The findings of their study indicate that artificial lights may deter these bats from feeding on fruit and spreading seeds by 25 to 50 percent…

(read more: MongaBay)

Photograph by Alex Borisenko

libutron
libutron:

Gartered Trogon | ©Álvaro Cubero Vega  (Esparza, Puntarenas, Costa Rica)
The Gartered trogon, Trogon caligatus (Trogonidae), formerly treated as a subspecies of Trogon violaceus, was recently split into its own species and two other species based on genetic and vocalization data.
Trogon caligatus is found from central Mexico throughout Central America, Colombia, western Ecuador, northwestern Peru and the Maracaibo basin in Venezuela.
[Source]

libutron:

Gartered Trogon | ©Álvaro Cubero Vega  (Esparza, Puntarenas, Costa Rica)

The Gartered trogon, Trogon caligatus (Trogonidae), formerly treated as a subspecies of Trogon violaceus, was recently split into its own species and two other species based on genetic and vocalization data.

Trogon caligatus is found from central Mexico throughout Central America, Colombia, western Ecuador, northwestern Peru and the Maracaibo basin in Venezuela.

[Source]

reptilefacts

reptilefacts:

Bitten by Leptodeira… ‘docile creatures’… with rear-fangs

In May 2013 during the first two weeks of Project Chicchan surveys at Las Guacamayas, we were fortunate enough to find a Yucatán cat-eyed snake (Leptodeira frenata).

I had seen a photo from the station of this species so I knew it was found here, but I had never seen one before. They are medium sized snake with maximum recorded length of around 70cm.

The genus Leptodeira are widely accepted to be docile creatures and although they have rear-fangs at the back of the mouth and are mildly venomous they are not considered dangerous to humans and published literature suggests that only mild local swelling results from their bite.

It was also in May 2013 that I was unfortunate enough to be bitten by the above snake on my middle finger, while handling the snake in the field. At first I was merely surprised as …

(read more: Project Chicchan)

*warning, somewhat gorey photo of a snake bite

reptilefacts

reptilesrevolution:

Lepidophyma flavimaculatum (Yellow-spotted tropical night lizard) is a medium-sized night lizard (family Xantusiidae) that inhabits the Atlantic versants of the tropical forest in Central America and Mexico. It lives under logs or rocks. It preys on small arthropods, like flies and centipedes. It has a flat body and head, and its black skin is covered with yellow spots. Like all night lizards, it gives live birth to its young and its eyes are covered by a transparent membrane, similar to that in snakes. Its behavior is characteristically secretive, but it is known to be aggressive when handled.

Sloths, moths and algae: a surprising partnership sheds light on a mystery
by Ariel Mark
Sloths are famous for their exceptionally slow motor skills and petite faces that seem to beam with an almost natural smile. However, less commonly known is the unusual bathroom habit of certain sloth species. While spending the majority of their time in the safety of tree canopies, three-toed sloths regularly place themselves in mortal danger by descending to the forest floor to defecate.

For years, scientists have been trying to figure out what is driving this peculiar and risky behavior. Now, as outlined in a recent paper published in Proceedings of the Royal Society, lead author Jonathan Pauli from the University of Wisconsin-Madison believes his team of researchers has found an important clue to this mystery involving an unusual and beneficial relationship among sloths, moths and algae…
(read more: MongaBay)
photo: Jonathan Pauli

Sloths, moths and algae: a surprising partnership sheds light on a mystery

by Ariel Mark

Sloths are famous for their exceptionally slow motor skills and petite faces that seem to beam with an almost natural smile. However, less commonly known is the unusual bathroom habit of certain sloth species. While spending the majority of their time in the safety of tree canopies, three-toed sloths regularly place themselves in mortal danger by descending to the forest floor to defecate.
For years, scientists have been trying to figure out what is driving this peculiar and risky behavior. Now, as outlined in a recent paper published in Proceedings of the Royal Society, lead author Jonathan Pauli from the University of Wisconsin-Madison believes his team of researchers has found an important clue to this mystery involving an unusual and beneficial relationship among sloths, moths and algae…

(read more: MongaBay)

photo: Jonathan Pauli

To Know Bats Is to Love Them
Merlin Tuttle has spent a lifetime bringing bats out of the shadows and into the light.
by Susan McGrath
Merlin Tuttle, the world’s most famous bat biologist and booster, has devoted his life to studying, demystifying, and helping conserve bats.
He’s also photographed them—a statement that doesn’t begin to do justice to his work. Tuttle is to bats as Annie Leibovitz is to celebrities. If you’ve seen a great photograph of a bat, chances are Merlin Tuttle took it.
I got to know Tuttle while researching and writing the story he photographed for the March issue of National Geographic about tropical flowers that use acoustics to attract bat pollinators. (Read “Call of the Bloom" in National Geographic magazine.) He agreed to talk to me about his life with bats and why all of us, like him, should love them…
(read more: National Geo)
image: The Marcgravia evenia plant seen here was long thought to be pollinated by hummingbirds, but was recently discovered to be pollinated by bats. (Merlin Tuttle)

To Know Bats Is to Love Them

Merlin Tuttle has spent a lifetime bringing bats out of the shadows and into the light.

by Susan McGrath

Merlin Tuttle, the world’s most famous bat biologist and booster, has devoted his life to studying, demystifying, and helping conserve bats.

He’s also photographed them—a statement that doesn’t begin to do justice to his work. Tuttle is to bats as Annie Leibovitz is to celebrities. If you’ve seen a great photograph of a bat, chances are Merlin Tuttle took it.

I got to know Tuttle while researching and writing the story he photographed for the March issue of National Geographic about tropical flowers that use acoustics to attract bat pollinators. (Read “Call of the Bloom" in National Geographic magazine.) He agreed to talk to me about his life with bats and why all of us, like him, should love them…

(read more: National Geo)

image: The Marcgravia evenia plant seen here was long thought to be pollinated by hummingbirds, but was recently discovered to be pollinated by bats. (Merlin Tuttle)

libutron
libutron:

Trilepida macrolepis | ©Renato Gaiga    (Porto Velho, Rondônia, Brazil)
The Big-scaled Blind Snake, Trilepida macrolepis (Leptotyphlopidae) is  a fossorial blind snake, adapted to burrowing.
This species occurs in Panama, Colombia, Venezuela, Guyana, Surinam, French Guayana, and Brazil [1].
The generic name is derived from the Greek adjective tri (three) and Greek nouns cheilos (lip) and stoma (mouth), in allusion to the presence of three supralabial scales [2]. 

libutron:

Trilepida macrolepis | ©Renato Gaiga    (Porto Velho, Rondônia, Brazil)

The Big-scaled Blind Snake, Trilepida macrolepis (Leptotyphlopidae) is  a fossorial blind snake, adapted to burrowing.

This species occurs in Panama, Colombia, Venezuela, Guyana, Surinam, French Guayana, and Brazil [1].

The generic name is derived from the Greek adjective tri (three) and Greek nouns cheilos (lip) and stoma (mouth), in allusion to the presence of three supralabial scales [2]. 

dendroica
dendroica:


Rosy Thrush-Tanager (Rhodinocichla rosea) occurs in low, dense forest, or tall scrub, often near the sea coast. It possesses simple yet beautiful plumage, a rich song (often delivered as a duet), and a curiously disjunct distribution with populations in western Mexico, Costa Rica and Panama, Colombia, and Venezuela. As its name implies, it is shaped like a thrush (Turdus sp.) or perhaps a thrasher (Toxostoma sp.), with a slender, decurved bill, a long tail, and long legs that suggest terrestrial habits. Males are dark gray above and on the lower belly with raspberry red lores, neck, breast, and vent. The post-ocular stripe is pale pink. The female is similar but the red is replaced by orange. Although large and loud with a fluty song, Rosy Thrush-Tanager can be a frustratingly difficult bird to see in the dense low foliage it inhabits.

(via Overview - Rosy Thrush-Tanager (Rhodinocichla rosea) - Neotropical Birds)

dendroica:

Rosy Thrush-Tanager (Rhodinocichla rosea) occurs in low, dense forest, or tall scrub, often near the sea coast. It possesses simple yet beautiful plumage, a rich song (often delivered as a duet), and a curiously disjunct distribution with populations in western Mexico, Costa Rica and Panama, Colombia, and Venezuela. As its name implies, it is shaped like a thrush (Turdus sp.) or perhaps a thrasher (Toxostoma sp.), with a slender, decurved bill, a long tail, and long legs that suggest terrestrial habits. Males are dark gray above and on the lower belly with raspberry red lores, neck, breast, and vent. The post-ocular stripe is pale pink. The female is similar but the red is replaced by orange. Although large and loud with a fluty song, Rosy Thrush-Tanager can be a frustratingly difficult bird to see in the dense low foliage it inhabits.

(via Overview - Rosy Thrush-Tanager (Rhodinocichla rosea) - Neotropical Birds)

What’s that growing in your fur? Sloth fur is a messy business. Their long, coarse hairs, riddled with deep grooves or cracks, provide a place to live for a wide variety of organisms ranging from algae, fungi, ciliates, and nematode roundworms to cockroaches, moths, and beetles. Sloth fur often shows a greenish tint which is due to symbiotic green algae. This discoloration is thought to provide camouflage for the sloths among the foliage of their arboreal habitat. More about sloths: Encyclopedia of LifeImage by Steve Garvie via Flickr 

What’s that growing in your fur?

Sloth fur is a messy business. Their long, coarse hairs, riddled with deep grooves or cracks, provide a place to live for a wide variety of organisms ranging from algae, fungi, ciliates, and nematode roundworms to cockroaches, moths, and beetles. Sloth fur often shows a greenish tint which is due to symbiotic green algae. This discoloration is thought to provide camouflage for the sloths among the foliage of their arboreal habitat.

More about sloths: Encyclopedia of Life

Image by Steve Garvie via Flickr 

Sunday Species Snapshot: Panamanian Golden Frog
by John R. Platt
These tiny, brightly colored amphibians pack a potent neurotoxin on their skin. That toxin protected them from predators, but it won’t save them from extinction. They haven’t been seen in the wild in seven years.
Species name: Panamanian golden frog (Atelopus zeteki). This is actually a misnomer. These “frogs” are actually toads!
Where found: The mountain ranges and streams of central Panama. Well, that’s where they used to be found…
IUCN Red List status: Officially they are still listed as critically endangered, but populations of this species have crashed so dramatically that they may actually be functionally extinct, if not already extinct, in the wild. The last documented frog in the wild was seen in 2007.
Major threat: Long protected under Panamanian law, the golden frogs have faced numerous threats ranging from deforestation to water pollution to the pet trade. But it was the arrival of the amphibian-killing disease chytridiomycosis in 2004 which effectively (and quite quickly) wiped out this species…
(read more: Scientific American)
image by Heather Paul via Flickr.

Sunday Species Snapshot: Panamanian Golden Frog

by John R. Platt

These tiny, brightly colored amphibians pack a potent neurotoxin on their skin. That toxin protected them from predators, but it won’t save them from extinction. They haven’t been seen in the wild in seven years.

Species name: Panamanian golden frog (Atelopus zeteki). This is actually a misnomer. These “frogs” are actually toads!

Where found: The mountain ranges and streams of central Panama. Well, that’s where they used to be found…

IUCN Red List status: Officially they are still listed as critically endangered, but populations of this species have crashed so dramatically that they may actually be functionally extinct, if not already extinct, in the wild. The last documented frog in the wild was seen in 2007.

Major threat: Long protected under Panamanian law, the golden frogs have faced numerous threats ranging from deforestation to water pollution to the pet trade. But it was the arrival of the amphibian-killing disease chytridiomycosis in 2004 which effectively (and quite quickly) wiped out this species…

(read more: Scientific American)

image by Heather Paul via Flickr.

libutron
libutron:

Glittering Sapphire / Black-patched Metalmark | ©Luciano Rubens
A beautiful Lasaia agesilas (Riodinidae) photographed in Caçapava, SP, Brazil. This species is found exclusively in the neotropics (from Mexico to Paraguay). They are small butterflies, averaging about 30mm in wingspan. Males have extremely reflective wing scales, shimmering in metallic turquoise, blue or steely grey according to species. Females are rarely seen. They are generally a dull earthy brown color. Both sexes have a similar pattern of black spots. 
The butterflies are strongly attracted to human sweat. So when you come across them, get ready because they will not stop harassing you.
[Source]

libutron:

Glittering Sapphire / Black-patched Metalmark | ©Luciano Rubens

A beautiful Lasaia agesilas (Riodinidae) photographed in Caçapava, SP, Brazil. This species is found exclusively in the neotropics (from Mexico to Paraguay). They are small butterflies, averaging about 30mm in wingspan. Males have extremely reflective wing scales, shimmering in metallic turquoise, blue or steely grey according to species. Females are rarely seen. They are generally a dull earthy brown color. Both sexes have a similar pattern of black spots. 

The butterflies are strongly attracted to human sweat. So when you come across them, get ready because they will not stop harassing you.

[Source]