… also called carrao, courlan, and crying bird, is a bird that looks like a large rail but is skeletally closer to cranes. It is the only extant species in the genus Aramus and the family Aramidae. It is found mostly in wetlands in warm parts of the Americas, from Florida to northern Argentina. It feeds on molluscs, with the diet dominated by apple snails of the genus Pomacea. Its name derives from its seeming limp when it walks. The Limpkin is a somewhat large bird, 64–73 cm (25–29 in) long, with a wingspan of 101–107 cm (40–42 in)…
Strawberry poison frogs (Oophaga pumilio) of Costa Rica give their newborn tadpoles a built-in weapon against predators: alkaloids.
Various animals and plants use alkaloids—naturally occurring, bitter-tasting chemical compounds—as a first line of defense.
But “prior to this study, most of what we knew about alkaloids in these frogs came from adults. So, we decided to fill this void by looking at alkaloids in all life stages of the strawberry poison frog,” Saporito said.
The team already knew that strawberry poison frog mothers feed their babies unfertilized eggs. But their new research revealed the eggs are also spiked with alkaloids—the first time an animal has been found to pass on such chemical defenses to its offspring.
For their study, the researchers measured alkaloid content in strawberry poison frogs during different stages of development.
In one group, tadpoles were reared and fed by their mothers, and a second group was reared by the researchers and fed with eggs from another species of frog not known to harbor alkaloids…
The Hercules beetle (Dynastes hercules) is the most famous and largest of the rhinoceros beetles. It is native to the rainforests of Southern Mexico, Central America, South America, and the Lesser Antilles.
Also known as the nightshade leaftier, the eggplant leafroller is a species of crambid mouth that ranges from the southern United States south to Chile. L. integra larvae are active from spring until fall and will weave webs in the leaves of tomatoes (Solanaceae), Eggplants (S. melogena) and several other plants. The larvae will then feed on them and eventually skeleotonize them.
Longline fisheries in Costa Rica hook tens of thousands of sea turtles every year
by Julia Calderone
Hundreds of kilometers of commercial fishing lines slither along coastal waters in Costa Rica, hooking thousands of mahi-mahi and many other marketable fish. But when scientists scrutinized fishermen’s catch, they were shocked by the staggering number of sea turtles accidentally snagged on the lines.
A study published Aug. 20 in the Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology suggests that longline fisheries in Costa Rica unintentionally caught about 700,000 Olive Ridley turtles as bycatch between 1999 and 2010—the second highest catch after mahi-mahi. Other bycatch included silky sharks, pelagic stingrays and Indo-Pacific sailfish…
…a species of New World warbler (not a thrush!) that is native to eastern North America, and winters in Central America and the West Indies. Louisiana waterthrushes feed alongside running streams and other flooded areas for small crustaceans, small fish, salamanders, and aquatic and flying insects. They are very territorial and will defend their streams from intruders.
After they winter down south Louisiana waterthrushes will return in late March to breed. Males typically arrive before the females and will set up a territory. Once the females arrive they will begin singing as a courtship display. They will nest from late May to mid-June and typically a clutch of five eggs are laid.
A Guava Skipper (Phocides polybius) sucks nectar from a flower at Santa Ana National Wildlife Refuge, in Mission, TX, near the border with Mexico. As the name suggests, the larvae feed on the leaves of Guava Trees/Shrubs. This species of small butterfly is found in Mexico, Central and South America, but is also found int he Lower Rio Grande valley of Southern Texas,
Starrett’s Glass Frog, Hyalinobatrachium vireovittatum, is a very rare frog known only from a few specimens. It inhabits humid montane forest in Costa Rica, and is seen in bushes and trees along forest streams, where larvae develop.
Females deposit clutches of green eggs on the undersides of leaves. Males guard the eggs at night and perform “ventral hydric brooding” by bringing their posterior and thighs into contact with the eggs and emptying their bladder over them. Thanks, Dad!