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The rare Latiffs Torrent-Dwelling Toad - Ansonia latiffi
Described in 2008, the Latiffs Torrent-Dwelling Toad, Ansonia latiffi (Bufonidae), is known to occur in Sungai Lembing, Gunug Benom, Ulu Tahan and Gunung Lawit, central and east Peninsular Malaysia.
Females are larger than males (females reaching 51 mm SVL, and males reaching 39.3 mm). The fingers are long, slender, lack webbing, and with tips rounded. The dorsal surface is granulous, nearly uniform brownish-red, with orangish-yellow spots on arms and legs.
Ansonia latiffi inhabits hilly, closed canopy forests, and is considered to be a rare species.
References: [1] - [2]
Photo credit: ©M.A. Muin | Locality: Terengganu, Malaysia (2011)

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The rare Latiffs Torrent-Dwelling Toad - Ansonia latiffi

Described in 2008, the Latiffs Torrent-Dwelling Toad, Ansonia latiffi (Bufonidae), is known to occur in Sungai Lembing, Gunug Benom, Ulu Tahan and Gunung Lawit, central and east Peninsular Malaysia.

Females are larger than males (females reaching 51 mm SVL, and males reaching 39.3 mm). The fingers are long, slender, lack webbing, and with tips rounded. The dorsal surface is granulous, nearly uniform brownish-red, with orangish-yellow spots on arms and legs.

Ansonia latiffi inhabits hilly, closed canopy forests, and is considered to be a rare species.

References: [1] - [2]

Photo credit: ©M.A. Muin | Locality: Terengganu, Malaysia (2011)

The charismatic and Critically Endangered Roti Island Snake-necked Turtle (Chelodina mccordi) has become extremely rare due to its popularity in the illegal pet trade. 
Even before it was fully described to science it was so over collected that the trade was prohibited in 2001 due to its rarity. The only hope for the small remaining populations are conservation programs like the Turtle Conservancy’s breeding center and preserving the last remaining populations in the wild on its home island in Indonesia. 
Find out more about their work here:
Turtle Conservancy & Behler Chelonian Center

The charismatic and Critically Endangered Roti Island Snake-necked Turtle (Chelodina mccordi) has become extremely rare due to its popularity in the illegal pet trade.

Even before it was fully described to science it was so over collected that the trade was prohibited in 2001 due to its rarity. The only hope for the small remaining populations are conservation programs like the Turtle Conservancy’s breeding center and preserving the last remaining populations in the wild on its home island in Indonesia.

Find out more about their work here:

Turtle Conservancy & Behler Chelonian Center

HOT SCIENTISTS IN THE NEWS:
If Poachers and Illegal Loggers Strike, This Forest Phones It In
Environmentalists are bugging rainforests with discarded smartphones to catch poachers and illegal loggers 
by W. Wayt Gibbs
When a tree falls to illegal loggers in the forest of the Kalaweit Supayang Nature Conservation Reserve for gibbons in West Sumatra, Indonesia, it most definitely makes a sound—and generates a text message to alert reserve managers. Last summer a tiny, nonprofit start-up called Rainforest Connection installed a handful of old, donated smartphones, each tricked out with a solar charger and reprogrammed to conduct audio surveillance, into the forest canopy. The system quickly brought logging to a halt, says Topher White, a 31-year-old physicist who designed the system and founded the outfit…
(read more: Scientific American)
photo by Rainforest Connection via Flickr

HOT SCIENTISTS IN THE NEWS:

If Poachers and Illegal Loggers Strike, This Forest Phones It In

Environmentalists are bugging rainforests with discarded smartphones to catch poachers and illegal loggers

by W. Wayt Gibbs

When a tree falls to illegal loggers in the forest of the Kalaweit Supayang Nature Conservation Reserve for gibbons in West Sumatra, Indonesia, it most definitely makes a sound—and generates a text message to alert reserve managers. Last summer a tiny, nonprofit start-up called Rainforest Connection installed a handful of old, donated smartphones, each tricked out with a solar charger and reprogrammed to conduct audio surveillance, into the forest canopy. The system quickly brought logging to a halt, says Topher White, a 31-year-old physicist who designed the system and founded the outfit…

(read more: Scientific American)

photo by Rainforest Connection via Flickr

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The spectacular Titan Arum

With a massive flowering structure that rises some three metres above the ground, the Titan arum is a giant among plants, scientifically named Amorphophallus titanum (Alismatales - Araceae).

These striking plants dwell only in the rainforests of western Sumatra, on steep hillsides that are 120 to 365 m above sea level.

The Titan arum has a massive inflorescence (flowering structure) consisting of a spathe (collar-like structure) wrapped around a spadix (flower-bearing spike). The spathe is the shape of an upturned bell. It is green speckled with cream on the outside, and rich crimson on the inside. It has ribbed sides and a frilled edge, and can be up to three metres in circumference.

The flowers are carried on the lower end of the greyish-yellow spadix. At the base of the spadix, within the protective chamber formed by the spathe, is a band of cream male flowers above a ring of the larger pink female flowers. When the flowers are ready for pollination, the spadix heats up and emits a nauseating smell. This stench is so bad that the Indonesians call the plant ‘the corpse flower’.

These wonders of nature are not easy to observe in the wild; they can take ten years to flower and are only open for one day.

Reference: [1]

Photo credit: ©Jeremy Holden  |  [Top]  -  [Bottom]  | Locality: Sumatra

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Lanternfly 

Scamandra thetis (Hemiptera - Fulgoridae) is a beautiful species of Lanternfly known from Indonesia, whose biology and ecology are poorly known.

If you you are interested in reading the original description of the species (1863) and understand Latin, here I leave the link (the species was described as Aphana thetis).

References: [1] - [2]

Photo credit: ©Pavel Kirillov | [Top] - [Bottom]

Locality: Tangkoko National Park, North Sulawesi, Indonesia

Indonesian photographer Hengki Koentjoro has been hooked on taking photos since he received a pocket camera for his birthday when he was a kid. He went on to study at the Brooks Institute of Photography and heavily influenced by Ansel Adams, Hengki went on to document the oceans surrounding Indonesia’s 13,000 islands in a dark, mysterious black and white.

He says, “With the Zone System by Ansel Adams, you are in the practice of seeing things around you in monochrome or learning to see in black and white.” (via)

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Chloeia sp. 
This creature may seem like a caterpillar, but it is a marine polychaete annelid, which has no relation to the Lepidoptera. It belongs to the genus Chloeia in the Family Amphinomidae. 
Amphinoids are also known as "fireworms" and they are unusual, compared to other polychaetes, in having such features as calcified setae. Setae are bristle- or hair-like structures on every segment of their bodies.
Fireworms mainly live in the sea; they have been responsible for ‘bristleworm stingings’ and their large setae are reputed to be filled with toxin.
However, an examination of the setae and parapodia of Eurythoe complanata, Chloeia flava and Pherecardia striata using histological and scanning electron microscope techniques, showed no evidence for hypothesized toxin-producing glands communicating with the parapodial setae. Setae were hollow, but empty. It is suggested that these polychaetes are urticating rather than toxic.
References: [1] - [2]
Photo credit: ©Francesco De Marchi
Locality: Tulamben, Bali, Indonesia.

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Chloeia sp. 

This creature may seem like a caterpillar, but it is a marine polychaete annelid, which has no relation to the Lepidoptera. It belongs to the genus Chloeia in the Family Amphinomidae. 

Amphinoids are also known as "fireworms" and they are unusual, compared to other polychaetes, in having such features as calcified setae. Setae are bristle- or hair-like structures on every segment of their bodies.

Fireworms mainly live in the sea; they have been responsible for ‘bristleworm stingings’ and their large setae are reputed to be filled with toxin.

However, an examination of the setae and parapodia of Eurythoe complanata, Chloeia flava and Pherecardia striata using histological and scanning electron microscope techniques, showed no evidence for hypothesized toxin-producing glands communicating with the parapodial setae. Setae were hollow, but empty. It is suggested that these polychaetes are urticating rather than toxic.

References: [1] - [2]

Photo credit: ©Francesco De Marchi

Locality: Tulamben, Bali, Indonesia.