TheMottled Emigrant, Catopsilia pyranthe, is a medium sized butterfly of the sulphur family, Pieridae. It is found in South Asia, Southeast Asia and parts of Australia. This male was photographed in West Bengal, India.
The Gharial, a critically endangered crocodilian from the Indian subcontinent
The Gharial, Gavialis gangeticus, is a cocodrilian characterised by its long and slender snout, specialized for catching fish. This species is one of the largest crocodilians in the world. Males grow to be between 5 and 6 meters long, with the larger ones approaching 6.5 meters. Females are smaller, but reach more than 4 meters.
Gharials are found in the northern part of the Indian subcontinent. They were the first crocodilian to be categorized as critically endangered by IUCN.
In the photo a gharial basking in the sun in Chambal river, Rajasthan, India.
…a species of marten that is endemic to southern India, where it occurs in the hills of the Nilgiris and parts of the western Ghats. Not much is known about their biology but they are known to be diurnal and chiefly arboreal. However, they are also known to descend to the ground occasionally as well. Their diet consists mainly of small birds and mammals and insects.
Currently the Nilgiri marten is listed as vulnerable and likely faces threats due to its limited range.
…a large species of gourami (Osphronemidae) that is native to parts of Indochina, Malaysia, Indonesia, and India. However it has been introduced elsewhere for the purpose of aquaculture. Giant gouramis typically inhabit fresh or brackish water, particularly slow-moving areas like swamps, lakes and large rivers. They are even capable of breathing moist air and can survive out of water for long periods of time. O. goarmy feeds mainly on algae and vegetation but they are known to eat small invertebrates as well.
The spiders live in India and Sri Lanka, so the main impact of listing them would be to generally prohibit their importation or sale within the United States. Most of the species live in trees and are threatened by deforestation. Some will enter homes, where people kill them. All of them are threatened by collection for the pet trade. The reddish parachute spider (Poecilotheria rufilata), in particular, is difficult to breed in captivity, and requires wild individuals.
Brent Hendrixson, a spider biologist at Millsaps College in Jackson, says that habitat destruction is most likely the largest threat to the tarantulas. “It might be a stretch to say that overcollecting is driving the numbers down,” he says. “We don’t have any concrete data on exports from India or Sri Lanka in terms of wild-caught animals.” Most of the individuals in the United States have been propagated through captive breeding programs, he adds. The peacock tarantula (Poecilotheria metallica), in particular, is well suited because it is easy to breed and grows rapidly. They’re also stunningly beautiful…
Tool use in crocodylians: crocodiles and alligators use sticks as lures to attract waterbirds
by Darren Naish
In recent years it has – I really, really hope – become better known that non-bird reptiles (turtles, lizards, snakes, crocodiles, alligators and so on) are not boring dullards, but behaviourally complex creatures that get up to all sorts of interesting things. Play behaviour, complex social interactions, gaze recognition, pair-bonding and monogamy, social hunting, speedy learning abilities and good memories have all been demonstrated across these groups. And another interesting and unexpected bit of complex behaviour has just been published. It’s so interesting that I feel compelled to write about it today. It concerns what seems to be tool use in crocodiles and alligators.
As described by Dinets et al. (2013), Mugger crocodiles Crocodylus palustris in India and American alligators Alligator mississippiensis in the USA have both been observed to lie, partially submerged, beneath egret and heron colonies with sticks balanced across their snouts. Birds approach to collect the sticks for use in nest building and… well, let’s just say that it doesn’t end well for the birds. If the crocodylians really are using the sticks as bait to attract their bird prey, this is tool use, since the sticks are objects that are being employed for a specific function…
The Dead Leaf (Kallima inachus) or Orange Oakleaf , is a nymphalid butterfly found in tropical Asia. The species uses mimicry, resembling a dead leaf when it closes its wings, in order to avoid predators.